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Events, photo walks, talks from the masters, in-depth workshops. Expand your horizons with one of our many events across Australia.

Starting Never Ends is the one place for all Sony camera mini-sites. Learn about all new Sony camera products in a fun interactive way.

Events, photo walks, talks from the masters, in-depth workshops. Expand your horizons with one of our many events across Australia.

Starting Never Ends is the one place for all Sony camera mini-sites. Learn about all new Sony camera products in a fun interactive way.

AU NZ
Sony New Zealand
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Event Host

Behind the Shot: Dad with Triplets by Lizzie Gilmour

6 Dec 2021
Sony New Zealand
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Event Host
Image: Sony New Zealand, Alpha 7R III (A7RM3B)

Lizzie Gilmour (@kowhaiandthistle) is a Taranaki-based professional photographer who is well-known for her emotive studio portraits of children and pets. In 2020, her photo of a father with his triplets won gold at the NZIPP Iris Awards. Lizzie’s portrait work is heavily influenced by renaissance paintings, as she loves the way artists such as Leonardo Da Vinci, Michelangelo, and Carravagio used light to add depth and meaning to their artworks.

 

Photo by Lizzie Gilmour
Sony Alpha 7R III with FE 85mm F1.4 GM lens. 1/160 sec, f/7.1, ISO 100

 

Setting the Scene

Lizzie was inspired to capture the chaos of the triplets as one-year-olds and portray their dad feeling at ease amongst all the mayhem. The year before she had photographed the triplets as newborns with their mum, so for this shoot she wanted to switch it up and include their dad, noting that “dads often don’t get enough photographs with their little ones.”

“I wanted to capture dad being overwhelmingly happy and at ease with the chaos,” Lizzie explains. “With triplets, your arms are always full, and someone is always in tears - and that’s exactly how it was on the shoot.”

As you might imagine, photographing toddlers can be quite challenging, but Lizzie knows how to get the best out of her more temperamental subjects. “I want them to just be themselves. With a toddler, you never know what you’re going to get, and that’s part of the fun!” To capture authentic emotions and expressions she stays quiet and relaxed while shooting, providing very little direction and letting things happen organically. With this shoot Lizzie quickly came to the realisation that getting the triplets in the same plane of focus was going to be impossible, so she reduced the size of her aperture and ran with the chaos, knowing that she could throw the background out of focus in post.

 

Gear & Camera Settings

Lizzie used her Sony Alpha 7R III paired with the FE 85mm F1.4 G Master lens. With all her fine art portraits she shoots at 100 ISO for maximum dynamic range, and in this instance, an f/7.1 aperture gave enough depth of field to ensure that all four subjects were in focus. For lighting she used one studio strobe, an Elinchrom ELB 500 with a large 160cm umbrella positioned to the left of the camera.

For post-production Lizzie edits her photos with Lightroom, often adding a radial filter to highlight faces and darken the edges of the frame. To add a painterly texture to her images she overlays photos of rough surfaces such as concrete. She rarely uses Photoshop to remove blemishes, stating that it’s not necessary if you’ve set up your lighting correctly.

To see more of Lizzie's work visit www.kowhaiandthistle.com, or follow her on Instagram - @kowhaiandthistle

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