When taking environmental portraits on location you have to be prepared for any situation that may arise. It can be even be more difficult with time and equipment restraints. Above is one of the first assignments that I was tasked with on my first year on the job.
The objective was to take a location portrait of a sound engineer at work for a large playhouse. Since the photo had to be taken during a dress rehearsal I was banned from bringing strobes and lighting the way that I wanted too. So this is lit with the natural room light. Also the client insisted that I shoot large format film. This image was taken with a 4x5 view camera and color negative film. This was not my first choice on how to do this but the editorial director insisted on the highest quality negative so that it would look “great” in the magazine. His words not mine.
The sound booth was accessed by climbing a ladder. That was no fun with the view camera and a large Bogen (Manfrotto) tripod. This took quite a few trips. After setting up tripod, camera, and taking meter readings with my Seconic meter I took four shots and was on my way. Three days later I delivered 8x10 and 16x20 prints and one negative. The negative was sent to the publisher of the catalog and type about the employee was added to the left side of the frame.
The image that is shown her is basically the same image that I would have made no matter what camera I was using. Some people say they shoot differently with digital as opposed to film. Or manual focus versus autofocus. You hear this all of the time when people shoot with Leica’s. When you develop a style the image might look a little different from camera to camera but it still should look like your work. That’s why people say they have favorite lenses. The lens compliments their vision. It is not you only use wide-angle lenses for groups or only 85mm for portraits. The best images say something to the viewer, they are not just snapshots.