Fort Point - Sophia

This is Part Three of the photo shoot at Fort Point in San Francisco.  For this segment, I'm using images I took of Sophia.  I'd worked with Sophia about a year ago when I shot amongst the murals in San Francisco's Mission District.  It was great to be working with her again.  Our group's organizer, Marebeth Gromer, dressed Sophia in period-style to match the look of the Fort at its heyday.

All of these photos utilized natural light.  No reflectors or speed lights used at all during the shoot.  As I'd mentioned in a previous blog post, the Fort's guards weren't too keen on our group bringing a lot of gear.  I was grateful for that because it really forced me to push the boundaries of creativity.

This first shot involved a simple window light portrait of Sophia.

ISO 800   56mm lenss   f/1.2   1/125sec

The white walls served as perfect reflectors, bouncing the light and diffusing it all around Sophia.  You'll see the nice wrap-around of the light on her face and arms.  It's a graceful pose, with her right arm stretching out the veil, creating a nice angle to contrast the lines of the wall behind her.

Not only is Sophia a model, but she's also an actress.  So it's a nice treat to be able to pull some emotion out of her as well.  In the photo above, she has a meditative, almost melancholy look to her.  In the next shot, you can see a bit of emotion in her face.

ISO 400   56mm lens   f/1.2   1/100sec

What story does her face tell?  She looks alone and concerned.

In the next photo, I wanted to play a little bit more with Rembrandt lighting.  I'd heard it talked about a lot, and even admired many photos that used the lighting, but I'd never tried it myself.

ISO 800   56mm lens   f/1.2   1/220sec

You can see a discernible cheek triangle, and a delineation of the light boundary across her nose, primarily.  Since her body is blocking some of the light and preventing it from striking the wall, the shadows on the dark side of her face and body are more pronounced.  Not enough to create a sense of drama, but enough again to tell a story.  You want to be drawn in, hoping that she might tell you what thoughts are dancing through her head as she looks out the window.

The next shot again utilized window light in a different part of the fort.  The room was much darker, except by the window.

ISO 200   56mm lens   f/1.2   1/18sec

For the above shot, I wasn't aiming so much for Rembrandt lighting as I was a simple portrait.  I took the clarity down in the photo because I wanted it to take on the same look as a painting.  Here Sophia has a timeless quality about her.

Perhaps the photo could have used a little warming to it, especially if I wanted to make it look a little more painting-like, but I also like the pearlescent look that the light casts on her face.

The final shot ... well, this just happened.  As often is the case, the shot initially didn't look good through the viewfinder because it was way way way too dark, but then I thought about black and white and suddenly the shot started to look really good!

ISO 800   56mm lens   f/1.2   1/1900sec

You can imagine Sophia, once again staring out the window on a bleak winter's day.  There's a longing in her face, as if she's waiting for someone to come home.  I suppose too, because it's October and Halloween is around the corner, one might also be able to interpret this photo as something out of an Edgar Allen Poe story.

If you want to book Sophia for a shoot or an acting gig, she's represented by Models Inc Talent Agency in Pleasanton, CA.

Gear used:  Fuji X-T1 with 56mm lens (85mm field of view on the APS-C sensor)