BILL GEKAS. ART PORTRAIT
Today I want to introduce you to the photo artist from Australia, Bill Gekas and his works. Bill works in the genre of art portrait, and, along with photos, will share some of the secrets of his skill. Bill’s photos and information about him can be viewed on the official website of the author.
Portrait photography has always been your main focus? If not, why are you paying so much attention to her today?
Portrait has become my main genre since 2005, since I decided to buy a camera with a digital matrix to replace the film camera. Up to a certain point I shot a little of everything, but once I was very inspired by the works of famous masters of portrait photography. I realized that the people in these photos, though unfamiliar to me, are very dear to me. Having absorbed the surrealism of these works, I realized that I would shoot portraits with an artistic approach, combining in them elements of the historical heritage, beautiful light and the special emotions of people being photographed.
Your new works have a very peculiar style. I will not refer to other photographers, but rather I will ask, how do you define it yourself?
This style is called an art portrait. You will not find in it the standard smiles and glamor, popular among modern photo studios. An artistic portrait is capable of evoking deep emotions from a particular circle of photographic audiences and requires creative ingenuity from the photographer.
Your work is thought out to the smallest detail. How much time is spent preparing for the shooting of such portraits? Where do ideas come from, and at what stages can you divide the whole creative process from the birth of an idea to its full realization?
Another artistic portrait is born in my head even before I take it off. The image of the resulting photo appears a few days before the shooting itself, everything else is a matter of preparation. Thanks to this method, every detail of the new portrait is controlled: from shooting to processing. It turns out that I spend 90% of the time on preparation and only 10% of the time on the shooting itself.
The main secret of the success of such a portrait is that everything is planned before the appearance of the model: background, lighting, accessories, composition, etc. The whole process from the birth of the idea to the processing of the final photo takes about 8 hours.
I had a lot of ideas after contemplating the works of great artists. Caravaggio, Vermeer, Rembrandt, Raphael, Velasquez and others. I also draw inspiration from selected movie screenshots of foreign films. So art portraits appear.
I always carry a notebook with me to write down ideas that may arise on the go.
Tell us about one of your latest works
The Red Scarf is one of my new portraits taken in nature near my home. The idea of the portrait came to me after watching the next movie. The scene itself was a bit different, but, considering that it was late autumn outside the window, I decided to capture the atmosphere of the time of year, having carefully selected the background and the girl’s outfit.
Technically, everything was very simple: aperture f4.0, shutter speed 1/60, cloudy day. Focal length – 28 mm on the crop matrix. Only one 1/4 portable light source was used. The flash is mounted on the right, and its light is scattered through the umbrella to the light.