Rob Heyman is a Brisbane based photographer who is also a Triple Master of Photography with the Australian Institute of Professional Photography. He is recognised as one of the leading portrait photographers in Australia. Rob's expertise is internationally recognised and as a result he is asked to speak at photographic events worldwide – including last April (2018) at the QCG in Bardon!
Following is a small excerpt from Rob’s talk – if you’re interested in portraiture, this article is a start. You can also follow Rob on Facebook where he regularly shares his latest portrait work, mostly of farmers in Victoria. Rob’s approach to portraiture photography is to choose natural outdoor locations for the optimal light conditions and backgrounds. His folio of award winning images is testament to his remarkable talent. He is also a lover of black and white, and was more than happy to share his experience both in portraiture and black and white processing with QCG.
Below is a summary of some of the points shared by Rob:
Rob always shoots around 5.00pm in the afternoon, or starts an hour before sundown;
Posing – the tip of the nose must not break the side of the cheek; don’t show the back of the hand and don’t shoot from less than 6ft away from your model;
Research and become an expert on the theory of posing – inspiration can be found from:
. Yousuf Karsh https://karsh.org/
Documentary style photographers include:
. Steve McCurry http://stevemccurry.com/
. Mary Ellen Mark http://www.maryellenmark.com
.Rob shoots with two lenses – a 24 – 70 and his preferred 70 – 200; has a spare macro as backup but never uses it;
Vignettes just about every photo – stops arms and legs dropping out of the image;
Don’t allow highlights to overwhelm; enable the Highlight Indicator on your camera or the ‘blinkies’; turn your LCD panel to black and white and get a better feel for how your image will look – this will also help draw your attention to unwanted elements in your composition;
Rob has three requirements when scouting for location:
- Find a good background;
- Then, establish your foreground;
- Light must have a direction.
With regard workflow, Rob:
- Converts to black and white by de-saturating in camera raw filter
- Never sharpens, but prefers to increase Clarity if necessary
- Vignette also added in camera raw filter using the Graduated Filter button (top bar)
- Use levels to check if your blacks are black and your whites are white; to set your whites, press the Alt key on Windows and Option key on Mac and slide the right hand slider right until little bits of white appear in the black (then bring back until the whites are one) and to set the black, use the left hand slider and hit Alt or Option – drag the slide left and the screen turns white with bits of black – the black shows clipping, so drag the slider right until they’re gone.