“Red leather diary”
New York Times writer Lily Koppel reading from the titular subject of her novel, The Red Leather Diary. See Lily read from her book on January 22 at the Tribeca 92Y, and take a look at the video of her talking about the project here.
(hi-res and more here)
Until Brian Van can produce anything near this level of artistry, he should shut the fuck up about photography.
This is a nice picture. The lighting and clarity are great.
Despite the high quality, it is not terribly difficult to produce something like this - Nikola’s usual nightlife stuff has a much greater degree of difficulty, due to the situational constraints. In this case, you have all the time and space in the world to plan and capture a shot like this (she has a blurry patch on her back so I’m guessing it was a long exposure that required Lily to hold very still), so really it’s all about the lens. This was shot with a very good lens. You can buy very good lenses in almost any respectable camera store. You just need to spend the money. Cheap, inexpensive lenses can’t get photos like this. Most people assume that more expensive equipment = better pictures, and this is often true, but most people doesn’t understand that why that is so about cameras, lenses and exposures. Hence they don’t understand why their $200 18-200mm f/4.5 lens, which shoots a respectable 50mm in the middle, is much, much inferior to his $1,500 50mm f/1.2. (Okay, he may not have the f/1.2. He might be using the f/1.4, which is less expensive but still great quality; it could be any lens with high-end optics. But it’s a silly guessing game; the point stands.)
There may have been some professional strobes involved in this too. The background is kinda dim but I can see some stark shadows which may come from reflector umbrellas. I know Nikola has that kind of stuff. (So do I.)
Makeup, styling, and fashion are also important, and they’re done well here.
I don’t know why anyone would think I can’t produce a shot like this. I’ve done similar work. Maybe it’s because I focus on web design 99% of the time because it makes money and I’ve got serious bills to pay? Maybe it’s because it’s been 2 1/2 months since I’ve taken any photos at all? Maybe because I’ve done so much nightlife/event/social photography and it’s rare that I do portrait stills? Maybe because I have failed to build a good-quality standalone website that appropriately features my work?
Whatev. I did this and it’s in a museum.