Studio Shoot with Sheldon

In December of 2023 I shot the fair Sheldon Parnick, who is herself a photographer. The longer I shoot, the more I realize that I am more of an artist than a technician. I know my camera and lenses pretty well, so I’m no slouch, technically, but I am aesthetically restless: I get bored with the “same old.” So instead, I see in my mind’s eye what might be possible, and set out to realize something like what I imagine. Go here to see the gallery.

Sheldon is something of a muse to me: I am challenged to think of different ways to capture her beauty. When everything “clicks” — lighting, composition, expression — I stop breathing; I have to press the shutter button, and hope that what I saw through the viewfinder is as pleasing on a screen as it was a second before.

It was a boudoir-style shoot, with flowers, and I aimed for a soft, high-key look. Besides my regular lens, I used three lenses that would give me something other than sharp, well-exposed images: the “nifty-fifty” 50mm lens, which handles color differently than my RF 24-70mm; the Lensbaby Spark, with selective focus; and the Lensbaby “Velvet 56,” which in larger apertures produces a nice kind of bright, velvety haze (without a loss of sharpness). In post-processing, I realized that many of the images would look good in black and white, and then toned (sepia), so I took the best of them and did exactly that. I experimented in Photoshop and found that bringing back some color in her face and skin made for an even more appealing image, along with about ten percent of the original color elsewhere in the image. Some of the images I left in sepia, with no color.

The subject is beautiful, the mood is gentle, relaxed, and reflective. I hope you like them. If you are interested in images of yourself in a similar style, please contact me (412-418-6349), and we can discuss the possibilities.