Never to old to learn...8 week Portrait Class - Lesson One is Skrebneski!

I have a mentor of sorts in Donald Giannatti of Lighting Essentials.  He is a commercial photographer who loves to share (as Wizwow on social media) and teaches workshops.  He is currently teaching an 8 week Portrait Class and each week features a different photographer to study and learn from.

We are learning lighting techniques, editing, style, composition and posing from these great photographers.  Our assignments require us to interpret what we learn in our own way.  I've seen many photographers I admire "borrow" from other photographers in their work, testing an inspiration in their own style.  I didn't realize it until I started researching and seeing the work of many famous photographers as I payed attention to the stories they were telling in their work.

The first photographer we studied is Viktor Skrebneski.  I would show you a google search but there would be lots of NSFW images, beautiful bodies shot in an artful manner but not everyone wants to see them.  He also shot many iconic advertising campaigns for Estee Lauder, Tiffany's and of course, many celebrities.

One of his famous series of images is his "Black Turtleneck" series.  I loved those images and the lighting.  He shot with film, I saw a Hasselblad in one video I watched.  I think I would like to do my own black turtleneck series because you can really capture the personality of a subject by distilling the styling so simply.  Here are a couple of my shots inspired by this series.

Inspired by Skrebneski's shot of Andy Warhol lit by a silk Japanese lantern over a bare daylight balanced fluorescent bulb.

Inspired by a shot of Bette Davis holding a cigarette.  A smudged chalkboard for a backdrop, same silk lantern lighting.
Inspired by Victor Skrebneski campaign for Estee Lauder of my makeup artist (how appropriate!)

So google Victor Skrebneski, notice his beautiful lighting and how the light drops off to darkness so as to accentuate the subject.  So how do you think I did?


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