Neil van Niekerk


Ulorin Vex in red (1)

Working with a model as professional and striking-looking as Ulorin Vex was an experience. The photographs shown in this series was from a sequence we did in the passage outside my hotel room. The lighting was surprisingly simple - a single speedlight bounced into a stairwell. (I had propped the door open with my camera bag.) The flood of light from that single speedlight was just perfect. See another image in this series: http://500px.com/photo/2121041 for a description about the lighting setup: http://neilvn.com/tangents/2011/04/26/ulorin-model-2/

Ulorin Vex in red (2)

Another in the series of the incredible Ulorin Vex, where I photographed her in a hotel passage against the red wallpaper. The lighting is a speedlight bounced into an open stairwell behind me. With other images in the series, I was shooting at an angle to the light, so there was shadows and highlights - creating dramatic light. But for this image, I had my back to the light source, so the light was coming on the same axis as the lens ... hence the light is flat, and even looks like ring-flash, the way it reflects off the wallpaper here. See another image in this series: http://500px.com/photo/2121040 for a description about the lighting setup: http://neilvn.com/tangents/2011/04/26/ulorin-model-2/

Ekaterina

With her graceful beauty, Ekaterina, (or Kate, if your tongue trips over her name), was an easy subject to photograph. This image was shot with available light only. I had her against the doorway which was deep enough under the canopy of the buildings. So the soft light was coming in mostly from 30-45 degrees from above – that natural softbox effect. Very flattering. more details: http://neilvn.com/tangents/2011/08/10/photo-session-available-light-ekaterina/

Ulorin Vex - Monaco foyer (1)

When I had the opportunity to photograph the sensational Ulorin Vex in San Francisco earlier this year, I split it up in different sessions with different dress and costume. Lighting is way an off-camera flash that is bounced into the hallway. more details: http://neilvn.com/tangents/2011/07/25/ulorin-vex-monaco-foyer/

Ulorin Vex - Monaco foyer (2)

Another image in the series where I photographed Ulorin Vex in the foyer of the Monaco Hotel in San Francisco. Lighting is way an off-camera flash that is bounced into the hallway. more details: http://neilvn.com/tangents/2011/07/25/ulorin-vex-monaco-foyer/

Bethany, blue

I photographed Bethany in the foyer of a night-club, outside of hours. I saw this curved wall lined with small mirror tiles. Just like one giant curved disco glitter ball. All kinds of awesome. But it needed light. I added a flash on the background, and a tungsten-gelled flash on Bethany, and thereby created the blue color to the background. more details: http://neilvn.com/tangents/2011/05/03/gelling-your-flash-for-effect-model-bethany/

Bethany, amber

Another image from the photo session with Bethany, when I was in San Francisco earlier this year. This interesting background is part of the lobby area of a San Francisco night-club. I knew the wooden panelling and subdued incandescent lighting would make an interesting background because of the repetitive pattern and glow. A slow shutter speed brought the background light in … and then I used flash (with softbox) to light her. I used another flash behind her to give some separation from the darker background. more details: http://neilvn.com/tangents/2011/07/22/off-camera-flash-creating-separation-with-back-lighting/

Molly K - graffiti wall

trying out the Canon 600EX-RT speedlites http://neilvn.com/tangents/2012/06/06/review-canon-st-e3-rt-transmitter-and-canon-600ex-rt-speedlite/

Molly K, early evening

I photographed Molly in Manhattan one early evening, for an equipment review article for my website. http://neilvn.com/tangents/2012/05/29/review-impact-quikbox-softbox-24-x-24/

Molly K, early evening, Times Square

Playing with my new Nikon D4 - available light photo of a model, Molly K. details about the shot here: http://neilvn.com/tangents/2012/05/31/photo-gear-that-had-a-fundamental-impact-on-your-photography/

Anelisa - milk shake

A photo session with Anelisa, my favorite model, where I used the Fuji X100 to stealthily photograph her in a shopping mall. I looked for interesting spots in the mall that would work in the context of a fashion shoot, to see how well this camera would perform. more details: http://neilvn.com/tangents/2011/06/22/review-fuji-x100-camera-photo-shoot-with-a-model/

Anelisa, New York evening light

http://neilvn.com/tangents/2012/06/25/review-nikon-af-s-28mm-f1-8g-lens/

Anelisa - mall

A photo session with Anelisa, my favorite model, where I used the Fuji X100 to stealthily photograph her in a shopping mall. I looked for interesting spots in the mall that would work in the context of a fashion shoot, to see how well this camera would perform. more details: http://neilvn.com/tangents/2011/06/22/review-fuji-x100-camera-photo-shoot-with-a-model/

Ulorin Vex, window light

When I had the opportunity to photograph the sensational Ulorin Vex in San Francisco earlier this year, I split it up in different sessions with different dress and costume. For this session, we worked inside the hotel room.I initially tried to work with just the window-light, but hit a small snag. The indirect light through the window kept changing on me as clouds moved in and out. Instead of changing my settings continually to match the light, I decided to revert to using a speedlight, bounced into the window, to mimic the window light. This would give me the consistent light I wanted. more details: http://neilvn.com/tangents/2011/04/27/ulorin-model-3/

Shawna, Las Vegas

While in Las Vegas for a few days, I had the opportunity again of working with one of my favorite models – Shawna. This striking photo of Shawna illustrates something that I want to underline: at some level, our consideration of the light that we’re using remains the same, whether we’re using available light, or flash, or video light or some other continuous light source. We need to consider the direction and quality of the light we have or are creating. By posing Shawna so that the light falls onto her face in a way that gets more light onto her far, instead of having her eyes completely in shade. With a slight shift in her pose, we have the light fall on her in a way that just looks so much better. There’s a sense of drama now, a little bit of mystery … and we have a photograph that makes our model look as attractive as she really is. more details: http://neilvn.com/tangents/2011/02/22/direction-of-the-light-using-any-light/

Anelisa (1)

One of my favorite portraits of Anelisa, a model I often work with. Here I used just the available light. more info: http://neilvn.com/tangents/2010/09/26/shifting-exposure-settings/

Priscilla, glow

Shooting for my own portfolio.

Carly Erin, mood (1)

Photographing in a less spacious setting, the choice to include the surroundings or not will greatly affect how you shoot. I made the decision that I didn’t want the location to be identifiable and this affected how I shot … I wanted to retain a mood of gentle sensuality, so I shot close and tight, aiming for a sexy and intimate mood. more details: http://neilvn.com/tangents/2010/03/27/intimate-photo-session/

Carly Erin, mood (3)

Photographing in a less spacious setting, the choice to include the surroundings or not will greatly affect how you shoot. I made the decision that I didn’t want the location to be identifiable and this affected how I shot … I wanted to retain a mood of gentle sensuality, so I shot close and tight, aiming for a sexy and intimate mood. more details: http://neilvn.com/tangents/2010/03/27/intimate-photo-session/

Carly Erin, mood (2)

Photographing in a less spacious setting, the choice to include the surroundings or not will greatly affect how you shoot. I made the decision that I didn’t want the location to be identifiable and this affected how I shot … I wanted to retain a mood of gentle sensuality, so I shot close and tight, aiming for a sexy and intimate mood. more details: http://neilvn.com/tangents/2010/03/27/intimate-photo-session/

Carly Erin, blue (2)

From a photo session with the ever photogenic Carly Erin. The purpose behind this photo session was to try out some new lighting techniques for photographing an intimate session or boudoir session. more details: http://neilvn.com/tangents/2011/01/22/using-a-small-softbox-for-lighting-an-intimate-photo-session/

Carly Erin, blue (1)

From a photo session with the ever photogenic Carly Erin. The purpose behind this photo session was to try out some new lighting techniques for photographing an intimate session or boudoir session. more details: http://neilvn.com/tangents/2011/01/22/using-a-small-softbox-for-lighting-an-intimate-photo-session/

Catherine, sundial

Kalyex

Lea, red (1)

A spectacular model, Lea at the Brooklyn bridge with dramatic red and dramatic light (via off-camera flash) more details: http://neilvn.com/tangents/2009/10/13/using-direct-off-camera-flash/

Oktavia, love

This photo is one of my favorite images. Not only because it was chosen as the cover of one of my books on photography. Oktavia is a professional dancer and we both wanted some photos to extend our portfolios. Of the number of places we used as a backdrop, I really liked this place – an art gallery in Manhattan where we were kindly allowed to use as a setting. more details: http://neilvn.com/tangents/2010/08/08/sequence-posing-model-oktavia/

Amy

Aleona, black

more details about the photo: http://neilvn.com/tangents/2011/08/28/exposure-metering-observing-the-available-light/

Anelisa, B&W

Aleona, color

Noreen

Noreen modeled for us at a flash photography workshop I taught in Cork, Ireland. (2009) the lighting is deliciously simple - single on-camera bounce flash: http://neilvn.com/tangents/2009/08/03/bounce-flash-photography-short-lighting/

Anelisa, blue & red

http://neilvn.com/tangents/2011/12/04/gelling-your-flash-for-effect-model-anelisa/

Alex

http://neilvn.com/tangents/2011/12/22/flash-photography-tip-find-your-background/

Anelisa, moody colors

http://neilvn.com/tangents/2012/06/27/review-nikon-af-s-85mm-f1-8g-lens/

Hannah

Anelisa - fashionably red & black

http://neilvn.com/tangents/2012/06/20/photo-processing-for-film-look-nik-color-efex/

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Lea, white dress

Priscilla

Shawna, Las Vegas strip sunset

http://neilvn.com/tangents/2012/06/27/review-nikon-af-s-85mm-f1-8g-lens/