Fashion photography in Tokyo: Norie in Shibuya
© 2016 Alfie Goodrich. All rights reserved.

Shooting models in Tokyo: a walk and shoot with Norie

Been a couple of weeks since Norie and I did this shoot but we've done a few bits of work since then. Meeting up next week to organize a new shoot with her, for a friend who makes some amazing jewellery. Looking forward to that.

See a load more shots we did the day we did this one below, at this link:

This shot?
Nikon D810
Sigma 35mm f/1.4
In-camera monochrome with a little grain added in Photoshop/Nik

#tokyo #japan #fashion #alfiegoodrichblog

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  1. Norie is a good find. She has a very expressive face. I bet her smile really shines. Give her a thank you from all of us.

  2. Nice 'cosmopolitan' work Alfie. Thanks for sharing

  3. +Dean Sonneborn Will-do mate. Doing some more work with her next week. 

  4. +Phillip Ebrall Cheers Phil. See you next month sir. 🙂

  5. I had a question that's been on my mind lately, I hope you don't mind my asking. I've been curious about the artistic effect of lifting the blacks on the tone curve, it's quite striking in a way I can't articulate. Do you often choose to lift the blacks when processing in B&W, and what is the effect you're trying to convey? I want to try the same thing, but I don't have an intuition on when to apply it

  6. Hello Leo

    I’m unsure wether you are asking me or Alfie, but for what its worth I’ll offer a view. Please bear in mind that while I have earned a Master of Photography through a combination of teaching and exhibiting and commentary, I am far from a professional. Black and white is my preferred mode and one of my favourite images, taken on film and processed in a wet darkroom, depicts a mining company metal workshop. The blacks are the most intense I have ever achieved.

    Back in 1973 (before you were born, maybe?) I bought a little spiral bound pocket-size ‘Master Photoguide’ by Kodak. The last 2 pages are of the standard gray-scale for film-based photography. The recommendation is to take a meter reading then open up a half to a full stop. Today I’m going over to a Pioneer Cemetery near my home to image a couple of headstones. I’ll take the ‘neutral gray-scale’ and include it in an anchor shot then see how it can be used in post processing.

    I am thinking it should allow a scale which would be constant from shoot to shoot and suitable on which to base a decision about where best to set the black point.

    I hope this is useful.


  7. Thanks for your insights +Phillip Ebrall. Though I was asking Alfie (since he took the photo in this post), any insight is helpful, so thanks. I'm just now learning about concepts like black point, so I've got a lot to learn. I have shot B&W film before the digital days, but I was a complete amateur. I hadn't ever thought deeply about B&W processing.

    What I'm keenly interested in at the moment has to do with the artistic expression being conveyed in a photo like the one in this post, when the blacks appear to be lifted into noticeably grey tones. Intuitively, the photo feels introspective, reflective, and timeless to me for reasons I can't quite explain.

  8. +Leo Deegan did you try it with any of your photos? What did you think?

  9. Hi +Dean Sonneborn, I actually haven't yet purposefully tried, but I mean to 🙂 It's hard to shake the instinct of applying contrast. My challenge has been deciding what kind of subject/composition would work well with a lifted-black look, but I'll definitely give it a shot, perhaps as soon as tonight if I find a photo in my archive that might work

  10. +Leo Deegan As for tweaking what feelings a photo conveys by processing in a specific way, that happens with me on an intuitive and instinctive level. I can't really offer any explanation as to when I would do something to a photo, other than I do what feels right to me at the time. 

    In the darkroom we learned a lot about what treatments suited which images. We also learned with film to choose a particular stock to suit a subject or situation: e.g. Fuji for greens, Kodak for skin, reds and oranges, Agfa for blues, etc etc. 

    I shot this with a very high contrast mono setting in-camera, which I had made on the computer in Nikon's Picture Control Utility. 

    I converted the file to a TIFF using Nikon's Capture NX-D. 

    In Photoshop I used the Camera Raw filter on the TIFF to bring back the highlights a little more, light the shadows a little. 

    Lastly was a custom mono filter in Nik Analog Efex Pro 2, which slightly lowers the contrast, 'fogs' the blacks a little and adds grain.

    All took about 5mins

    But… as for why I did that? It just felt right.

  11. I really appreciate your sharing your thought process (and your post process) +Alfie Goodrich. "It just felt right" is probably the best reason for processing a certain way 🙂 It came out great in this shot. Like I told +Dean Sonneborn, I'll just try it out on a shot of mine when I get a chance and see what reaction I get out of myself. My natural instinct pushes me toward contrasty processing, but I'm guessing that's more a comfort zone than anything. Thanks!

  12. I think the hardest things to learn with digital are what to do to which image and when to stop processing. On top of that, what treatments to do in which order. These things were much easier to learn in the darkroom: you had to do things in a certain order or else chemicals just wouldnt work. You had to learn to know which treatments suited which images, You learned when to stop because if you did too much to a neg or print, then you risked physically destroying the medium.

    Experimentation in a scientific way is the best way to build up these skills. Experiment in digital processing but keep notes (or switch on the ability to log all processes and steps in Photoshop). You need to build up a way to repeat everything and apply the same processing to a run of images. A quantifiable, repeatable and consistent aesthetic is part of the pro's workflow. No one wants to commission someone who can turn out an amazing image every now and then or by accident. It's all about consistently being able to repeat great results, +Leo Deegan.

  13. +Alfie Goodrich that's really instructive, and something I needed to hear at the stage I'm at. I'm starting to get the sense that I need to look beyond the individual photos I process and consider the wider body of work. I imagine, to hone skills and build consistency,  it also helps to stay true to a style that speaks to you, since it is a great motivator to achieve a look that pleases you.

    I haven't had much dark room experience, but it sounds like it helped you build up a great processing repertoire and instincts. I'll keep your advice in mind since I do feel like I tend to over-process.

  14. I never consciously looked for a style. It found me, +Leo Deegan. I think that's the best way. Email me and I'll share some of the visual literacy materials I use in my classes with you. Learning to better direct images made by others will help you create your own better. Keeping a 'scrapbook' is a good thing too, which these days I use Tumblr for: keeping images there that inspire me and which feed my work.

  15. +Alfie Goodrich – That's a better way of putting it (re style). That is so kind of you! I'll email you via your contact form on your Re a scrapbook, I have started a private G+ Collection called "Shots I Like" where I reshare posts of photos I enjoy, but I have yet to go back and look at it. I should do that. Thanks again for your time, it's been very instructive 🙂

  16. Leo

    This is the sheer joy of proper use of social media. An exchange of inspiration and ideas, and a boost to our individual enthusiasm

    Personally I count myself as very fortunate. I’ll see Alfie in person in 3 or 4 weeks, and now we have something else to chat about over a coffee


  17. That's so awesome +Phillip Ebrall​, that sounds like a great meet-up 🙂 I have to agree, social media has the power to bring people together on common interests, this has been a transformative exchange for me. I hope your meet-up goes well 🙂

  18. Looking forward to seeing you in March, +Phillip Ebrall . Let's see if we can make time this year to get a pint or a coffee, away from the work stuff. 🙂

    +Leo Deegan I'll look out for your email. Had a late night last night, early morning of shooting today. Got a manic week ahead and have been spending time chilling out with my eldest son this afternoon. 

    But I'll check the mail later and get the dropbox invite off to you. There's the visual lit stuff in there and a whole load of other useful stuff too.

  19. a pint sounds great – my shout

  20. Thanks again +Alfie Goodrich, I'm super appreciative, no worries on time, I'd hate to see you prioritize this over your busy week and especially time with your son

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