Stephane Leblon Photography: Blog https://www.stephaneleblonphotography.com/blog en-us (C) 2021 Stephane Leblon Photography All Rights Reserved info@stephaneleblonphotography.com (Stephane Leblon Photography) Sun, 08 Nov 2020 17:21:00 GMT Sun, 08 Nov 2020 17:21:00 GMT https://www.stephaneleblonphotography.com/img/s/v-12/u186431219-o926149883-50.jpg Stephane Leblon Photography: Blog https://www.stephaneleblonphotography.com/blog 120 80 The London Photo Show 2020 https://www.stephaneleblonphotography.com/blog/2020/11/the-london-photo-show-2020

And what a show!

 

I had the immense pleasure to have my images about the “Kowid Diary” on display at this renowned exhibition, in that prestigious Bargehouse Gallery at the Oxo Tower Wharf on the Southbank in London, where all kind of artists and photographers were showing their work, and it gave me the opportunity to connect with great artists in their fields.

The Bargehouse Gallery

The story behind the London Photo Show Exhibition

“It is now in it’s 4th year and is an open group exhibition. Photographers from all over the world take part, and you can see some truly unique and original artwork. It is organized by the same people behind the 36exp Photographers’ School. The London Photo Show was born out of the knowledge that there are too many good photographers out there with great images not being shown to the world, so they wanted to give those photographers the chance to experience the buzz of showing their work in a central London gallery, as well as experience the excitement of attending their own private view.

By visiting the exhibition, you not only get to see a huge range of photographic styles created by people with a massively diverse set of background, but you also get the chance to buy the artwork and experience something unique”.

The Oxo Tower Wharf

There was some really outstanding work presented at the 2020 exhibition from national and international photographers with various themes and concepts, going from street and travel portrait photography to conceptual and artistic urban images as well as nature and landscape photography, so there was a vast array of interesting images for every visitor to look at.

My narrative photographic story of the “Kowid Diary” couldn’t depict any better the current state of mind and mixed feelings of fear, hope, protection and staying safe perceived by everyone, as it is of course a hot topic nowadays, and was perfectly suited for the exhibition. Besides the grungy, industrial look and décor of the gallery was an ideal match with the derelict location where the “Kowid Diary” was shot.

The complete story of The Kowid Diary is in the “Personal Projects” section on my website, comprised of 31 images to tell the evolution of the entire story, so it was very challenging to narrow it down and choose only 6 images for the exhibition, that would of course still tell the story with coherence.

Despite of the new restrictions applied to London on that weekend due to Covid-19, that consequently limited the number of visitors allowed in the gallery per floor at one time, there was nevertheless a good crowd of people visiting the gallery all day long on the Saturday and Sunday which was very nice to see and connect with.



Prior to the start of the exhibition that lasted for four days, there was the private view the evening before, which was indeed a fantastic buzz as all of my friends (including Ania who contributed to the project with ideas, concept and modelling) came throughout the course of the evening despite of the restrictions and the time slots allocated per six people, that really made my evening even more special to see everyone’s support. I am very grateful and thankful to everyone who came to meet me and see my work exhibited.

 Ania the model of the Kowid Diary story

The Private View Mona Model and photographer friend

It was truly and utterly an amazing experience from a photographer and an artist perspective, especially when you see your work and creative ideas printed and framed on the wall of a well-known gallery.

A special thank you to Andrew the organiser for the planning of the exhibition and his help to set up my frames on the wall.

My gratitude above all goes to my partner who gave me her full support in accomplishing my dream to make this happen to an exhibition in London. I will always be thankful.

That was my first exhibition but certainly not the last as I aim to exhibit a lot more of my work in many galleries.

Stay safe

Au revoir et à bientôt  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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info@stephaneleblonphotography.com (Stephane Leblon Photography) Conceptual Portrait Digital Camera Exhibition Film Camera Framed Prints Gallery Kowid Diary London Exhibition My Work Narrative Portrait Portrait Photographer in Surrey The London Photo Show https://www.stephaneleblonphotography.com/blog/2020/11/the-london-photo-show-2020 Sun, 08 Nov 2020 17:02:41 GMT
The Kowid Diary on Exhibition at the London Photo Show https://www.stephaneleblonphotography.com/blog/2020/10/the-kowid-diary-on-exhibition-at-the-london-photo-show

 

It is such an honour to have my work exhibited at the London Photo Show 2020 about the "Kowid Diary" (kowid being the Polish spelling given by my Polish friend who worked on the project with me) that shows through powerful photographs the emotions, feelings and hope during the current pandemic. I tried to depict the story of someone, anyone or everyone with my cameras to reflect on various state of mind during these difficult times. This was shot on digital and film cameras as I believe an image from a negative gives a different dimension to a photograph.

The whole story can be seen here on my website under the "Personal Projects" section.

I have been very busy with the preparation for the exhibition between choosing, printing and framing the images to be shown in this prestigious gallery. 

This so exciting and rewarding to be part of that show.

To read my bio shown at the exhibition please click on the link below.   

https://londonphotoshow.org/stephane-leblon-exhibitor-oct-2020/

 

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info@stephaneleblonphotography.com (Stephane Leblon Photography) Digital Camera Exhibition Film Camera Gallery Kowid Diary London Photo Show My Work Photographs Portrait Photographer in Surrey Show https://www.stephaneleblonphotography.com/blog/2020/10/the-kowid-diary-on-exhibition-at-the-london-photo-show Tue, 06 Oct 2020 23:58:54 GMT
My Choice of Cameras (and Lenses) for Portrait, Landscape and Travel Photography https://www.stephaneleblonphotography.com/blog/2020/6/my-choice-of-cameras-and-lenses-for-portrait-landscape-and-travel-photography My Go-To cameras and lenses and why I love shooting with them

I love cameras of all shapes and eras like all photographers do and I have quite a few but did I mention that “I love cameras”? More than a fact it is a statement.

My photography journey and first love with a camera started many years ago when my father gave me his Rolleiflex film camera, and at that time the brand didn’t mean much to me, I was too excited to have a camera to play with and take pictures with the spare few rolls of film that came with his camera. I had to do the odd jobs to save some money to be able to pay for the film processing and prints. When the first prints came from the lab I was torn between happiness and disappointment, so I decided to save more money to buy books, more film stocks, and learn about the art of photography as well as practice as much as possible. Everything that came in front of my Rollei lens was being photographed.

The first camera that gave me the photography bug!
 

 Rolleiflex SL-35 E with a Rollei-HFT 50mm Planar f/1.8 From 1978

 

The more the prints looked fine and properly exposed having applied all the rules that I read in my photography books, the more I was hooked on photographing more, and the result was… ? That camera followed me everywhere. At that time there was no internet or social media and I could only rely on my precious books that I was reading over and over again to acquire all the foundations and the skills needed to evolve quickly and take great pictures.

We are now in 2000 and I live in Canada where landscapes and the wildlife are just astonishing, any place you go is the dream place for any photographer regardless of its niche of photography. It was time for me to upgrade to a more up to date camera. After reading a few reviews about various camera brands in a photography shop in Toronto, my mind was set on a Canon EOS Elan 7 (that is its name in North America but is called Canon EOS 33 in Europe), still a film camera but I was over the moon to own an SLR with autofocus and all sorts of cool features.

Canon EOS Elan 7 with Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 from 2000

Canon EOS Elan 7 with Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 from 2000

I still use that camera nowadays

While I was touring around Ontario and Quebec on my spare time, I literally abused my Canon as there were so many picture opportunities everywhere, urban, landscape and wildlife, there was always something to take a picture of and hundreds of film rolls have gone through the film chamber. It’s a great camera still producing beautiful images 20 years later, that I have recently rediscovered and included in my photo bag when I went on holiday last year to Santorini.

Greece Santorini Kodak Ektar 100 135Greece Santorini Kodak Ektar 100 135My Analogue Landscape Photography with Canon Elan 7 Oia Santorini Greece taken with the Canon EOS Elan 7 and Kodak Ektar 100 film 2019

Since going back to film, I always have with me a 35mm or medium format camera (film) and a digital camera whether it’s on a shoot for a client, on holiday or for my own projects.

But enough with my camera history and let’s move forward in time to the current decade for...

My choice of camera and lenses for portrait work

 

The choice of cameras and lenses nowadays is so vast, it is like being in a desert looking at the map standing in front of you where it says “You are here” under a red dot in the middle of a… desert, where sand is all that you see. Where do you go from here in terms of choosing the right camera? There are no good or bad camera brands, there is only a camera system that suits you, works best for you and feels the most comfortable with when taking pictures, and obviously the main big names are still the most popular.

 

I have been a Nikon photographer for years now since my first entry level Nikon camera many years ago, I have over the years upgraded the camera bodies and lenses from APS-C sensors to full frame and I have been shooting portrait with all of them, but my trusted Nikon D810 is the camera that I’ve been using since 2016. It is a full frame camera meaning that the sensor is a 24mm x 36mm, the equivalent size of the old film cameras.

 

 

                           

Nikon D810 35.9mm x 24mm Full Frame FX Format CMOS 36.3-megapixel with my Go-To portrait lens attached Nikkor 85mm f/1.8G
launched in 2014

 

I know this camera inside out, it is my workhorse that I use for studio and location shoots with natural light, speedlight and strobe flash outdoors or indoors. The resolution is high, it is fast with autofocus and responds well to my needs on a shoot depending on the lighting conditions.

That is the digital camera that I use for portrait work and weddings all the time, anytime. For portraits in the studio my choice of lenses is the Nikkor 85mm f/1.8G as well as the Nikkor 50mm f/1.4G, I just love prime lenses (not a zoom lens), I zoom in and out with my feet. For portraits on location and weddings I use the Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8G which is a wide angle and a telephoto lens as often I need to include the background outdoors and indoors or get wider shots.

Very recently I have been adding an extra Nikon camera on my portrait shoots in my studio, it’s a 135 film camera, the Nikon F80, and the great advantage is that all the lenses from my digital D810 can be mounted and used with the autofocus on the F80 though I use another Nikkor 85mm f/1.8D with it, which is an older version of the one I use with the D810: so I have two 85mm on both bodies when I shoot as I alternate digital with analogue frames when photographing a portrait. The 85mm lens is a short telephoto lens that is very flattering, it gives a lovely bokeh when wide open, it is very sharp and most portrait photographers have one in their camera bag.

 

Nikon F80 35mm film camera with the standard zoom lens 28-80mm launched in 2000 the same year as the Canon EOS Elan 7

 

To resume, for all my portrait work in my studio or on location, I use my digital Nikon D810 and Nikon F80 film cameras, both ideal with natural light as well as strobes, they are both very enjoyable to shoot with and suit my work very well. I won’t include some sample images from both cameras as I have too many to choose from, but you can take a look at the results for images taken with the D810 by following this link Digital Portrait Images , and this link Analogue Portrait Images for images taken with the F80.

 

Occasionally in the studio or even on location I will use a medium format camera that shoots film. It’s my Zenza Bronica SQai 6x6, it has a waist level viewfinder that is awesome. It’s hard work to operate as it is big, clunky and very heavy, yet it produces superb square images as it is a 6x6 medium format and takes rolls of 120 film (12 shots per roll), so I have to really perform when it comes to exposure as every shot is precious, everything is manual on that camera, focus, film loading etc... so it is indeed time consuming when on a shoot but I just love the images that it produces and my clients certainly do too!

I also use that camera for my landscape projects

Zenza Bronica SQai medium format camera 6x6 launched in 1990 with Zenzanon PS 80mm and Zenzanon PS 150mm.

With a roll of Kodak Tri-X 400 120 and Kodak Portra 800 120 ready to shoot! But coffee first!

 

You can take a look at all the images taken with the Bronica in the “Analogue Frames” section on my website for both portrait and landscape. I use both lenses shown above, Zenzanon PS 80mm (50mm equivalent on a 35mm camera) and the Zenzanon PS 150mm (85mm equivalent on a 35mm film camera) for all portrait. For landscape the Zenzanon PS 40mm (23mm focal length equivalent on a 35mm camera) is my favourite lens.

On a location shoot with a client with my Bronica SQai medium format camera 6x6

With the waist level viewfinder, I need to look at the scene from the top and use the focusing screen to get an accurate focus

 

A photoshoot is usually a fast-paced environment and it’s easy to find yourself after a shoot with 200+ images to post process after a difficult selection of the best ones. That beast of a camera slows me down and helps me re-center myself on the true craft of photography, every single detail counts to not waist a shot.

 

My landscape projects give me the opportunity to take my time even more when making a picture which I really appreciate.

 Adjusting my Bronica SQai medium format camera to take a long exposure for a waterfall shot

 

Beautiful spot in the South of France for a landscape capture

 

My digital travel companion and landscape image catcher is a small compact camera but the quality of the images is just amazing. It has all the features that I need, it is small and light, it has an articulated LCD screen that moves at various angles, it has an EVF (electronic viewfinder as it is a mirrorless camera), manual and aperture/shutter speed settings and it is very… attractive, it is my Fujifilm X-T100 with an APS-C sensor (cropped sensor 23.5mm x 15.7mm). A lot of critics came about that camera when it came out with more cons than pros but it works for me while travelling, people need a camera to work for themselves in different ways and I can’t complain about it as it gives me stunning travel images, and if it wasn’t good enough I wouldn’t be photographing the world with it. I couple it with a Fujinon XF18-135mm so no need to carry any other lenses as it is perfect from a wide-angle lens for sceneries to telephoto for closer shots in one touch, which is very handy when travelling around places.

Fujifilm X-T100 launched in 2018 with the Fujinon XC 15-45mm PZ that came with the camera as a standard kit

So, this is my choice of cameras and lenses for various genre of photography that I use in my photographer’s life. I do have many other cameras and they all have a purpose but they are mainly for my personal projects and all film cameras, but there are too many to list.

Again all the cameras that I have mentioned above are not the "best" cameras, they are the cameras that I enjoy working with and give the results that I expect in terms of photographic quality, besides as a principal the camera only records the image and what really is important is the glass (lens) as it sees the scene and that's what you need to record a very good image quality.

If you enjoyed reading that little insight about the tools that I use to create my craft, please hit those "Pin It", "Like" or "Tweet" buttons to share on your social media.

On the next episode I will be talking about various lighting that I use in my studio or on location so stay tuned...

Au revoir et à bientôt.

 


 

 

 

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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info@stephaneleblonphotography.com (Stephane Leblon Photography) 35mm Camera Choice of Camera Digital Camera Film Camera Landscape Lens Lenses Medium Format Portrait Portrait Photographer Portrait Photographer in Surrey Travel https://www.stephaneleblonphotography.com/blog/2020/6/my-choice-of-cameras-and-lenses-for-portrait-landscape-and-travel-photography Thu, 11 Jun 2020 15:52:40 GMT
Ice Queen BTS https://www.stephaneleblonphotography.com/blog/2020/5/ice-queen-bts BTS (Behind the Scenes)

I have many times worked with a professional team of make-up artists, stylists and models on projects and assignments that were for everyone’s portfolio to show one’s craft or even to be published in a magazine.

On this particular occasion I was given the opportunity to work with a very talented make-up artist called Misty and commercial model Lucy on a project that both Misty and I wanted to collaborate on to create an “Ice Queen” look and shoot on location. Misty was very creative with Lucy’s make-up and once the four hours of preparation were over the result was just spectacular as Misty’s imagination to make particles of ice as a hair piece, the hair styling, icy eyelashes and lipstick, as well as icy silver eyebrows, and all in all the overall make-up was fabulous. Lucy had the perfect dress to match the theme and the icy feel.

Top pictures: the preparation 
Misty making her magic happen with Lucy’s make-up
.

Bottom pictures: ready for the shoot
Ice Queen make-up applied and finished. 
My set up on location during the shoot.

BTS (behind the scenes) are always nice to have for everyone involved to show the evolution of a shoot from the team meeting at the beginning of the day through to the make-up and shoot process until the final edited images are shared with the team.

The same goes for people and potential clients who might wonder how that specific image was created as a “BTS” always gives a good insight of everyone’s job during a shoot and details about the team work that went into making an image.

A “BTS” is very popular amongst photographers, models, stylists, make-up artists and anyone else participating in a shoot regardless of the theme or place and it is always interesting for me to see how other fellow photographers organize and do their shoots.

But let’s have a look at the “BTS” images of that “Ice Queen” photo shoot.

Misty is applying the final touches of make-up on Lucy at the location before I start shooting.

I like to work with flash on location, I can control the ambient light and add a burst of flash to create a dramatic effect. I am setting up the flash pointing directly at Lucy with no flash modifiers, I took a few “test shots” and we were good to go.

As it was a late afternoon in March the temperature had dropped but Lucy was brave enough to stand bare feet in the cold water at the top of the waterfall, thanks to her the images were fabulous.

By now the natural light is falling fast and it’s getting really cold so I have to photograph the last images quickly.

Misty is once again touching up Lucy’s make-up for the last part of the shoot, 
 

I have now brought in a second flash gun with a blue gel on (CTB colour temperature blue) and the other flash gun has a CTO (colour temperature orange) to preserve the skin tones and a smoke bomb!

After capturing some more images of Lucy with different poses, it was a “WRAP”.

I reviewed all the images taken on my computer and the choice was difficult as there were so many stunning pictures of the make-up, the poses and the lighting.

The editing process was very interesting as I had to learn some new techniques to create the snow as well as the icy look on Lucy.

And voila! The final edited image…

The Ice Queen

There are many "behind the scenes" images from various photo shoots that I personally have, there is also a lot shared on social media from other photographers, models, or make-up artists as it is somehow a trend not only in the photographers world but also in the modelling field that show how people interact on a shoot which can be instructive and fun.

If somehow you would like to discover more about "BTS" I suggest you check ISO1200 Magazine on Instagram or Facebook as they are great at showing "behind the scenes" from photographers as well as some other interesting articles on various photography subjects. Below is the link to their website and Instagram.

www.iso1200.com / @iso1200magazine

I hope you enjoyed reading this article and I would really appreciate if you could share it with maybe some friends who like photography or just because you've enjoyed it a lot, so be sure to hit the Facebook, Twitter or Pinterest buttons.

On my next blog I will be talking about the cameras that I use in the studio, on location or when travelling abroad (when that was still possible!) and why I use them, so stay tuned.

Au revoir et a bientôt.                                   

Team Credits:

Hair and make-up artist: 

Misty from Misty Visions

Misty won a few hair and make-up competitions and is based in Windsor

myst_makeup1@hotmail.co.uk

Insta: @mistysvisions

Model and stylist:

Lucy fashion and commercial model at QVC UK Model

Miss Sussex 2015

Miss Kingston-Upon-Thames 2016

Miss Surrey 2017

Miss Scuba UK 1st runner up 2018

Insta: @lucyekent

Photographer:

Stephane Leblon photography

www.stephaneleblonphotography.com

info@stephaneleblonphotography.com

Insta: @stephane.lphotography

 

 

 

 


 

 

 

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info@stephaneleblonphotography.com (Stephane Leblon Photography) Behind the Scenes BTS Ice Queen Location Makeup Makeup Artist Model Photographer Photoshoot Portrait Photographer in Surrey https://www.stephaneleblonphotography.com/blog/2020/5/ice-queen-bts Mon, 04 May 2020 16:24:24 GMT
Why I shoot on film https://www.stephaneleblonphotography.com/blog/2020/4/why-i-shoot-on-film  

 

So why do I take portrait photographs on film in a digital era ?

 

UK Surrey Kodak TMax 400 120UK Surrey Kodak TMax 400 120Analogue Portrait Photography

Bronica SQai medium format 6x6 Kodak TMax 400

 

There is definitely a sense of mysterious achievement as well as a certain mood reflected when looking at a print or a photograph captured on film stock with a large, medium format or 35mm cameras (the latter better known as a full frame camera in the digital world).

Film photography has made a virtual come back (#filmisnotdead) and has now become the trend amongst some well known and many other photographers. Like vinyl records and turntables from a time that seems far away, yet very much in the present since it is also the trend to listen to a cracking sound like it is to look at negatives and transparencies.

Personally I just love the colours depending on the film stock, as well as the grain and rich blacks from a black and white film as opposed to digital noise when you push the ISO of a digital camera (which I really dislike), these are the perfect criterias to create a great portrait in an old fashion way.

It is also the roots of photography when it comes to expose the film according to the feared triangle of ISO/Aperture f/n/Shutter Speed. You are basically in charge of your camera instead of the sophisticated camera light meter telling you the exposure, though you might think that I am looking for troubles here, especially on a shoot with a client but I make it work, it suits me and they love the results.

 

UK Surrey Kodak Portra 160 120UK Surrey Kodak Portra 160 120Analogue Portrait Photography  
Bronica SQai medium format 6x6 on Kodak Portra 160

 

Be sure to visit my page "Portrait on Film" for more of my portrait photographs on film and share if you enjoy the page.

I will be back very soon for another article about "behind the scenes" where you'll see me at work, so stay tuned !

Thank you for reading !

You can join me on Instagram https://www.instagram.com/stephane.lphotography

Au revoir et a bientôt

 

 

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info@stephaneleblonphotography.com (Stephane Leblon Photography) film cameras film photographer film stock portrait photographer in Surrey https://www.stephaneleblonphotography.com/blog/2020/4/why-i-shoot-on-film Wed, 29 Apr 2020 17:33:02 GMT