Yesterday afternoon I had the absolute pleasure of photographing D Day Veteran, George Bernard AVERY (71st Royal Engineers) aged 96 years (97 in February) for my World War 2 Project…
George has the warmest of smiles and his family were a real treat to spend time with; such lovely people. Huge thanks to his daughter Kathryn Balmford for getting in touch and helping to arrange this. Can’t wait to catch up again soon to deliver a print and to sit with George to record a short interview.
For those of you who may be interested in the set up for this portrait here’s a list of the kit used:
- Sony A7RII
- Sony f/1.8 55mm
- Elinchrom ELB 1200
- Westcott Rapid Box Switch Medium Octa
- Gravity Backdrops Canvas (Medium)
- Neewer Heavy Duty Adjustable Light Stand
- Manfrotto MT055CXPRO4 Carbon Fiber Tripod
- Manfrotto MHXPRO-BHQ2 XPRO Ball Head with 200PL Quick-Release System
- Manfrotto Q2 L Bracket
- Tether Tools TetherPro USB 2.0 A Male to Micro-B 5-Pin Cable (15′)
- Capture One Pro (Sony)
I often get asked what I use to support the backgrounds behind the subjects when I’m photographing them so just to clarify…
I rarely use light stands and a cross beam because of the space this needs, so instead I use just a Heavy Duty Adjustable Light Stand with Boom (C Stand) and for this particular shoot use the Neewer model listed above. Solid piece of kit that can go up to 10ft high and comes as a two piece and a great price too (£169 at time of writing).
These stands are solid so all I do (using just one) is to position the boom horizontally and lock it in place and directly over the longest leg / foot of the stand and slide the background onto it. Using a sandbag for extra stability works great too but to be honest I rarely do. Supporting the background like this means minimal space is taken up which is very handy when photographing in people’s homes as I often do with my World War 2 Project.
1/60 sec, ISO 100, f//8.0
Light was positioned in such a way that I got exactly the lighting pattern I wanted on George but also enough light spill was on the background to give separation.
World War 2 Project
Later this year I’ll be holding an exhibition of all the portraits taken to date in the project and between now and then am trying to get around to as many Veterans as possible. So, a request from me is that if you know of any Veterans, please, please do get in touch so that we could look at taking their portrait; not just for the project but so that family can be given a print of their family member who, as I’m sure we all agree, is a real life hero.