One thing I want to do more of this year is get better at shooting portraits. So I felt a great place to start is to access where I’m at as a portrait photographer and update my portfolio. I went through my photos I’ve shot in the last couple of years and picked the best twenty portraits. After I got through that edit, I redeveloped them with a consistent look and utilized all of the current digital darkroom techniques. I used a subtle split tone with warm highlights and cool shadows to give them a real sense of depth while keeping the classic look of black and white.

I’ll be writing and posting each portrait in the coming weeks but this first one is this portrait of Jerrett, a snowboard buddy of mine I met at the first Splitfest. He’s also is surfer so last year I took advantage of him for a stock photography shoot in Tofino, a little surf town on the west coast of British Columbia, Canada.

He just got back from a surf session and was a little beat up but he wasn’t injured so I took advantage of the opportunity. There’s a plethora of surf photos available from all the agencies so I didn’t feel there was anything new to be done in that genre but I still was interested in capturing the spirt of surfing. To make the shoot even more challenging I decided to do this without actually shooting someone surfing. The spirit of a sport like surfing really lives within the person anyway so it made sense to point the camera at what I was after.

There’s something honest and authentic about this portrait that I really like. There’s nothing posed about this photo. Jerrett was in no mood to have his photo taken and he was too exhausted to care that I was there. The only thing I asked him to do was look into the camera. I kept my equipment simple, a camera, a lens and the soft light of British Columbia.

SONY, SLT-A77V, DT 16-50mm F2.8 SSM
1/500, f/2.8, ISO 50

About the author

Terry Schmidbauer: