My B&W Look – Part 2

If you haven’t read the first part of Nacho’s saga, please click here.

So Nacho was really keen to get this thing done and he invited a friend to come over and try some more. Before she arrived he sent me some photos of his place and I tried to guide them through what I would do in that location: position myself with the big window behind me; hang something dark as the background, move the sofa out of the way so I could position my model there, etc.

Unfortunately we don’t have any photos of this attempt to show. Nacho was manual focusing and all images were out of focus. He then realised his camera’s diopter was off. Well, it can happen to anyone and luckily he wasn’t shooting with a paid model!!!

But then, on Wednesday morning, not even a week after he fist message me, I woke up to this:

He didn’t just nailed it, he also got me jealous of the picture!!! His shot of Martín Chuecos, from Major Models Milan, is not only amazing, it’s the best photo in Martín’s Instagram feed!

So there you have it! In less than a week chatting online, Nacho went from having no idea how to shoot something similar to my B&W to completely nailing it and making me jealous of his picture and wanting to create some amazing imagery soon!!!

Photo of the Week: Bianca

Photo of the Week: Bianca

Model: Bianca Mc Intyre
Agency: Freelance
Location: Bruno Domingues Photography
Shoot: Budget Home Studio Workshop
Date: February 2018

Sony A7R III + Sony 85mm f/1.4 GM
ISO 100, 1/200, f/1.4
Natural light
Processed in Capture One Pro 11

Bianca was my model for the last one-on-one Budget Home Studio Workshop and of course my student loved her!! This is one of my shots at the end of the workshop 🙂

Click here for more photos of Bianca


My B&W Look

On Thursday 22nd February 2018 I received a message on Facebook from a really nice guy, a photographer based in Valencia called Nacho Almarche. He was asking me how I achieve my B&W look and sent me one of his photos so I could see what he would have to change to achieve the same look.

At first I thought about telling him he was blind as he kind of had me in the same ballpark as Peter Coulson. Here is his message and the photo he sent (model in Nacho’s photos is Alejandra Monzo):

Hey Bruno, I’m trying to achieve the quality in black and white you have, please give me some advice. I’ve check Peter Coulson’s tutorial but I don’t get the level you or Peter has on his instagrarm. This is an example of what I’m doing

So I went about explaining I just play with my settings until I’m happy. But the main thing is when I shoot my Black & White images, I already know they are going to be Black & White. If I’m shooting tethered in the studio I set everything up after taking a test shot and all the next images will be already set. If I’m not tethering, I will change my camera to B&W picture style so I see in B&W (I shoot with a mirrorless camera so my viewfinder will show me the final image before I hit the shutter).

Basically what I do in Capture One Pro is to play with Contrast, Brightness, Levels and Curves, after ticking the Black & White box of course. Some times I will change Levels and Curves for the Red and Green channels as well, but not that often.

So I also told him that when shooting already thinking in Black & White, there are a few things to consider before taking the shot: is this going to be high contrast or low contrast? If I’m going to a high contrast image I usually try to make sure my model’s skin is the brightest part of the image. If I can’t do that and the background, for example, is brighter, I will go for a low contrast image so the background doesn’t pull the viewer’s eyes away from my model.

Also, his model had bags under her eyes so he could either get her to chin up (depending on the light source) or use a reflector under her face to fill that up.

The next three images were taken in my studio using natural light. My studio is just a garage turned into studio and the whole garage door is my light source. The fourth image is the backdrop I made, which is very dark (please note for the first photo, of Natalie, I’m using the back side of the backdrop, which is not THAT dark).

And this photo of Jessica is the example I used for a lower contrast image.

Now, the first image is Straight Out Of Camera and the second one is me pushing the exposure up just to prove my point: the background is brighter than Jessica’s skin, and thats why I decided to have a low contrast image.

So Nacho messaged me next day saying he followed my advice, getting more light on the model than on the background. But he added some vignetting to the image which took away all the detail on her hand. And it also looks like Nacho tried to bring her face back in post, which also removed any facial structure.

After reading his message, I sent him a photo of Bella that I had just shot. This image was ready as I shot because it was tethered and I all my settings were already there.

Shot with the Sony A7R III + Sony 85mm f/1.4 GM, ISO 100, 1/160s, f/1.4.

Next you can see my settings on Capture One Pro 11 and the Straight Out Of Camera image, which I don’t really get to see as Capture One Pro is already showing me the final image as I shoot.

Please note that because I shoot with a Sony mirrorless camera, even though I’m shooting tethered I also change my picture style to Black & White, because having a setting called “Live View Effects” turned on, I will see in B&W through my viewfinder.

A little note to pixel peepers: yes Bella’s eyes are slightly out of focus, but this is my favourite photo of the whole shoot and only YOU care about that. Nacho’s first image is very out of focus and I didn’t even notice that until I started writing this article, because I don’t care if the eyes are not tack sharp, unless my clients do.

With that out of the way, I tried to achieve the same look in Adobe Lightroom just in case you don’t have Capture One Pro. It’s not the same, but I got close.

After talking to Nacho a bit more I told him what gear I use and he said he shot those with a 50mm f/1.8 lens. He doesn’t need to buy the 85mm f/1.4 to get that look, the nifty fifty will do it. I shoot with the 85mm 95% of the time because it’s my focal length of choice.

So now I’m waiting for Nacho to try again and see what he comes up with.

Please check back here to see how he’s doing, I hope I can help him get to where he wants to be!!!

Photo of the Week: Summer

Photo of the Week: Summer

Model: Summer McInerney
Agency: Freelancer
Location: Bruno Domingues Photography
Shoot: Natural with no retouching
Date: October 2017

I have shot with Summer before but this time she noticed I was doing a lot more natural looking stuff, with no retouching, and asked to shoot again. Summer is INCREDIBLE and so sweet, it’s always a lot of fun shooting with her!

Sony A7R II + Sony 85mm f/1.4 GM
ISO 100, 1/160s, f/2.8
Natural light
Processed in Capture One Pro 10

Click here for more photos of Summer


Photo of the Week: Loli

Photo of the Week: Loli

Model: Lauryn Watson
Agency: que models
Location: Warehouse Studios
Shoot: Peter Coulson Studio Workshop
Date: 28th May 2016

Not long after I started shooting with models, Peter Coulson was in Brisbane for his “3 days with Peter Coulson” workshop. I really wanted to learn more about studio lighting so I booked the Saturday, but not the other days. I did regret not booking the other days so in 2017 I went back for “Night Flash” and “Natural Light”, and you can see photos of these two parts of workshop here (Mary Rose Stickley) and here (Amy-Lee Gowan).

Loli was our second model for the day and I really love this shot 🙂

Sony A6000 + Sony FE 55mm f/1.8 ZA
ISO 100, 1/160s, f/7.1
Processed in Adobe Lightroom, Retouched in Photoshop

Photo of the Week (Wednesday Special): Jessica

Photo of the Week (Wednesday Special): Jessica

Model: Jessica Saponaro de Virgilis
Agency: Freelance
Location: Bruno Domingues Photography
Shoot: Model Test Shoot
Date: February 2018

Jessica is an Italian model spending some time in Australia. She’s very experience and lots of fun. Check our her Instagram to check out where she’s going next!

Sony A7R III + Sony 85mm f/1.4 GM
ISO 100, 1/160s, f/1.4
Natural light
Processed in Capture One Pro 11

Click here for more photos of Jessica!