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Viewing great portraiture can be an extremely rich experience. Great portraiture takes on many forms and styles, but some of the most moving portraits are done in Black & White. A perfect example of this being the portraiture of Yousuf Karsh. While Karsh was a master of lighting and film, new photographers are emerging that are pushing new envelopes in digital photography. One such photographer is Kelly Castro who is today’s guest on “3 Minutes with…”
1. Describe your photography in 100 words or less.
Black & White – emphasis on the black. Simple. Sharp. Textural. Maximum detail within minimal composition. I’m always trying to pull more out of my portraits in post-processing — more tone, more contrast, more detail. As a result, they often end up looking like a cross between a relief map and an X-ray when you see them close, but I like that. I’m also aware that they aren’t everyone’s cup of tea.
2. What gear/software do you use?
My main cameras for the last couple of years have been the Canon 5D Mark II and the Ricoh GR Digital 3. I use lenses from Canon, Tamron and Lensbaby. For studio lighting I use Profoto and Alien Bees, though I’ve been working with small flash more recently.
For software, it’s Adobe Lightroom & Photoshop. I love playing around with apps and plug-ins that simulate film looks, so along those lines I really like the NIK Silver Efex Pro plug-in for Lightroom. For color film effects on snapshots, I’m digging the little JPEG preset app “Lo-Fi” from Alien Skin. Hardware is a Mac Pro and I output to an Epson Stylus Pro 3800 – which makes beautiful prints.
3. What’s one quick tip that you’d give people interested in portrait photography.
Shoot as many frames as your subject has the patience for. The smallest change in gesture can be the difference between an average or extraordinary portrait.
4. What photography sites do you recommend?
American Suburb X
A dream site for those obsessed with the history of photography.
The Online Photographer
Some great content and writing.
A good mix of current photography news and information.
My new favorite site for photo-sharing – the overall quality of new photography posted there is inspiring.
To view more of Kelly’s photography visit his portfolio kelco at 500px