Portraits by Carl W. Heindl

Tamara - Portrait

Edited by Jenna E. Garrett. Photos by Carl W. Heindl.

Designer Carl W. Heindl’s DIY studio lighting coupled with medium format film illustrates how far a little ingenuity and inspiration can go. POSI+TIVE speaks with him about the processes of these stunning portraits.

What is the inspiration for your series?

I don’t have a studio to work from so most winters I will create a new setup and lighting rig for some more intimate portraits and for practice; its far too dark and cold here in the winter for any casual shoots after work. I actually built this huge ring light for this series out of 8 light sockets and using wood from my old futon frame I had around while the first model was putting her makeup on. I finished wiring it up and she hid when I plugged it in. Worked great throughout the series.

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Are the subjects friends of yours? Why did you choose to photograph them?

They were mostly friends and people I have shot before. I wanted to highlight interesting personalities and the eyes are everything in these.

What medium are you using?

Film. I sold my digital years ago as I wasn’t really using it. These portraits were all shot on a Bronica RF645 medium format rangefinder with Kodak Portra NEW 400 film, except for the odd few. I used old expired Fuji when I couldn’t afford new Kodak stock.

Shooting with film is a popular novelty but still not widespread. What made you decide to shoot these portraits analog? 

I’ve shot film my entire life. I since my father gave me his old Minolta SLR when I was young. It’s a medium I’ve always felt comfortable using. Most digital these days (Instagram and the like included) are simply emulating film and all the things that could go wrong with it: expiry, light leaks, scratches, developing error and all the “happy accidents” film is so fun for.

What is your opinion regarding film vs digital?

Digital is convenient for sure and I will still go that route when I’m shooting some commercial work. But when it comes to detail (I read once that medium format film is about 50 mega pixels, a number still unrivaled in digital SLRs), plus an added layer of warmth and the unexpected, film feels more rewarding for sure. In the end, photography is still just light entering a box through a hole and being recorded in some way. I think what counts more is your own eye. Good timing and composition is the art of photography. You can take amazing photos with a cardboard instant camera, or just a pin hole in a shoebox.

Fritz - Portrait

Alex - Portrait

Ryan - Portrait

Zoe - Portrait

Simon - Portrait

Nicole - Portrait

Tess - Portrait

Brooke - Portrait

Kai - Portrait

Jess - Portrait

Juliann - Portrait

Carl W. Heindl is a designer living and working in Toronto, Canada. He has an affinity for nature and portraiture.

Flickr & Tumblr

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