As a photographer, I am 99% of the time, the one behind the lens. It is rather rare that I spend time in front and I think this is probably true for many photographers.

My Photographer friend John (Visit Johns website here) and I were talking about this; and so we set about setting ourselves a portrait challenge. This challenge would be a learning experiment and enable us both to have some new content of ourselves (Brushing the ego a bit there 🙂 ). After the images are made, we will both have a copy of all the RAW files and can edit as we wish.

Then we shall share our edits, to see what the other came up with.

We would choose a location that would enable us to make interesting portraits of one another, and anyone else who happened to walk by. To make it even, we made three stipulations:

  • Camera was irrelevant, but the lens had to be the same. Fortunately, we both have a delightful 50mm 1.4 lens, so this would be a great starting place.
  • Maximum ISO for the day would be 3200, allowing for clean images and faster shutter speeds in low light situations.
  • Try and utilise f1.4 where possible for nice depth of field.

After a bit of research we chose the British Museum in London, as they allow photography and the last thing this project needed was the no photo police.

Both being photographers, meant that we had the patience and understanding of what the other was thinking. Bouncing ideas of one another is great, as we both see things differently. It really is great fun without the added pressure of a paid gig, an impatient friend or a bored model who is not really interested in helping you get the next best shot or lean against a glass cabinet for 20 minutes.

The light in the British Museum is beautiful, it is like photographing in a huge soft box and made for great tones and soft shadows. Moving around the museum we also found dark areas with textured books, walls with shadows burned into them, sharp slithers of light that could create harsh shadows and my favourite, highly reflective surfaces. To be fair, we hardly looked at the exhibits and more at the environment and light around us.

John lightened the mood with a yellow silk and a bow tie and I had a variety of hats. It’s the little things that can make a difference and these added extra textures rather points of interest.

Here is a sample of what I came up with, mostly Lightroom edits with a bit of Photoshop here and there, feel free to leave a comment or if you have any suggestions I would like to hear them :

I think its safe to say that we had the most fun in the museum that day. Neither of us takes life too seriously and no idea was a silly one, in fact, the sillier ones were the better ones.

Let me know what you think of the images. I am really pleased.

John and I have talked about our post processing, and I am really pleased with how the images have turned out. Thank you John for such a great day, I continue to learn a lot from you and look forward to our next trip out.



and remember to follow my journey

#paulkporterphotography #explorewithpaul


About Admin

Commercial and Travel Photographer and writer based in London.

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