When Portraits & Landscapes Collide: The HDR Composites of Patrick Knecht
When we begin our photography journey, finding what we love to photograph is one of the first steps that everyone goes through. When I got my first DSLR, aside from photographing my newborn, I loved shooting inanimate objects. I remember telling my best friend that I would never photograph people, because well, you had to deal with people and people were difficult. Looking back, now having countless weddings and portrait sessions under my belt, I’ve never went back to shooting “inanimate objects.”
From the time he was a young boy, around 10 years old, German photographer, Patrick Knecht loved photography. He developed a fondness for photographing landscapes, people and weather. And like many of us, when he got his first DSLR five years ago, tried out many different genres of photography – from animal photography to 3D photography -before discovering his true passion, which lead him back to landscapes, people and weather all at once.
Two years ago, Patrick read a book by Matt Kloskowski, landscape photographer and Photoshop Guy. Within the last few pages, Matt mentioned compositing and also a photographer named Joel Grimes. After looking at Joel’s work, Patrick knew the genre he wanted to pursue. He wanted “to bring portraits into landscape photos or buildings.” From then on, Patrick began photographing landscapes during his vacations and compositing them with portraits shot in his studio. The creative possibilities were endless.
[REWIND: BEGINNER ASTROPHOTOGRAPHY: HOW TO CREATE PORTRAITS UNDER THE STARS – PART 2 COMPOSITING]
Patrick now photographs many athletes and combines them into his HDR landscapes, which he shoots as panoramas. In the photo above, “Water Sprinter,” Patrick’s vision was to gave the impression that Gamghe Gaba, the fastest German 400m sprinter, defied the force of gravity with his speed.
Below Patrick talks a bit about his settings and gear for this image. (After much effort on the part of Patrick’s limited English and my non existent German, a translator and Google translate, hopefully, I’ve conveyed his words properly).
I photograph my models for my composing in the studio with a Three-Edge-Light Setup. Two 60×90 cm softboxes from Photix with grids and a 150 cm Octabox from the front as fill light.
My flashes are Jinbei HD 600 to freeze the sprinter mid stride with a flash duration of 1 / 15000s. The flashes were set to 1/128 and the camera setting was : ISO 400 and aperture of 5.6. I used a Canon 5D Mark III with a Canon 16-35 L 2.8 II.
For the backgrounds, keeping my composite in mind, I photograph to 95%. Even then, I prefer a very high resolution in panorama format; this gives me a larger space to create. I always shoot the backgrounds in HDR -2.0, + 2 or depending on the contrast range also times with a 5 or 7 series. My lenses are a TS-E 24mm L II lens or a Canon 16-35mm L II on a Really Right Stuff PanoHead.
[RELATED: WHAT IS HDR PHOTOGRAPHY AND WHAT EXACTLY IS HIGH DYNAMIC RANGE?]
Before he finishes the photo, Patrick will leave it for a few days and come back to it with a fresh set of eyes to make sure he didn’t miss anything or that nothing else can be improved upon. Check out some more of Patrick’s work below and also on his website, Urban Natural Photography and follow him on Facebook here.
CREDITS : Photographs byPatrick Knecht have been used with permission for SLR Lounge. Do not copy, modify or re-post this article or images without express permission from SLR Lounge and the artist.