Word and Image

Posts tagged “Portrait

Lulu and Badi

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Pearl and marvelous – Arabic names. Cats. I’ve named them. They adopted me. I’m a free meal ticket. I started with rolls. They are not vegetarian and finicky so they ate sparingly. Then I used canned tuna. I wasn’t sure if they would be back. So I did not invest in cat food.

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Cats around here are stray and pretty much abandoned to the whim of people. They are painfully thin and pretty much know how to work a trash bin. There’s not much.

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Two nights after I fed them from the tuna can – they licked the empty can – I found three bounding up to me when I opened my door. Pet food is located with the kitchen supplies at the grocery. There is even dog food. They are large (relatively), medium, and small. The little guy runs if I look in its direction. The large – now Badi – and medium, Lulu are braver. Badi let me touch him almost at once and Lulu is pretty ok. She will nip and scratch at me. At this point I have fed them about a week. And they now eat from my hand. They came into the villa for a visit.

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Badi is dumb and started to meow and whine and climb through my curtain at the window. He doesn’t get the concept of a door or how to use it to get out. Lulu was in and out without a problem. Girls are smarter.

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I finally got pictures of them both. The third guy is still missing. There are other cats lurking about. These three have adopted me. So we are getting to be buddies. I’m teaching them sharing. Everyone eats.


The Boys

Dad_Album_03_055_aImages are little memories. The graphic is like Le Petite Madeleine, Proust. Memories. A time past and but forgotten except for the image to call forth a memory forgotten till that moment you see the image again. Photographic memory? By my age I have so many images collected that they all seem new again. But…this image was taken in the 60’s at 15 Southgate Road. It was a brick house my mom had built. Three little pigs – remember? Not us silly….brick is stronger and lasts. The house is still there. Only two owners have lived there since mom built it. So it did last and has been cherished. The neighborhood is way different. It’s still suburban middle class. But it looks so tiny and small now. Well, the three boys grew up. I’m the oldest. John has the other bowtie. And Eric is the infant who nowadays has a ponytail. Happy birthday John. I don’t know. There are very few pictures from this time. I actually got this copy from my cousin. On the other hand I have thousands of images of my kids. They are archived and passed along to them. Better?


Cats – Elle

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This one’s name is Elle. She’s extraordinarily shy. In fact I knew about her but had never seen her.

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Then I saw her but only for a second at a time. Then I discovered she did not like cameras.

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Fish don’t like cameras. I assume a big thing swimming toward them with big bubbles blowing is off putting. But how does a cat know to be inherently skittish.

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Nonetheless I find Elle running whenever I approach with a camera. Persistence! And volume! I shoot lots.

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Eventually you get a few images. Voila! Gotcha.

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Oh, she’s come ‘round. Elle will even nudge me to pet her now. But no photos please! She still runs when I pull the camera out.


Icebreaker

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Your kid gets married. You don’t choose the in laws. They are forced upon you. You can only hope your kid has some taste. I met the new in law – father of the groom. How’s this?

“I’ve been given a list of forbidden subjects during our first meeting. How about Trump?”

Needless to say we had an extraordinary breakfast. Oh? Yeah, nice guy. His wife is a Fox news believer. This is gonna be a problem for the mother in laws. I think it would be entertaining to watch. Glad I won’t have a dog in that fight.


Building the Family Portrait

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I’m better. Jules is better. Or maybe she’s just used to my constantly photographing. I shoot everything. I carry an iPhone now. And I usually have a point and shoot Canon S100 in my pocket. Then there is the big one, my Nikon D610. Ready. You can’t get an image if you are not ready in the moment. So it was near sunset with evening light. And the shoot just happened spontaneously.

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Jeff then Molly and soon it was a family portrait. Sweet. But you need to have a camera close at hand. I did.

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Modified Selfies Are Still Selfies

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I don’t do selfies well. So instead it’s pretty simple to Photoshop. Take two pictures in the same spot with the same settings and lighting. It’s not perfect. And you don’t send it into the internet instantly. I have the patience to wait. It beats a remote control and tripod.

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The second is from inside a redwood tree. You know you are on to something when the very next couple is along to imitate your technique.

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And then at Morro Bay this was obviously easy to do. Except that we did not notice the pirate patch was crucial to the shot. Oh well, I did not say we were perfect. Yes, Photoshop could have been modified more. But it was the fun of the day not the accuracy of the image that counted.


Engagement

Here’s photography lessons. I read a site in which people are always there asking how to do portraits and they are just about to do their first wedding shoot. Could someone please help? And the response – if you are asking, don’t do it. I’m not the shooter for my daughter’s wedding. She hired someone. I did not ask. She’s pretty organized. Tips:

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It helps if they love each other. Duh? But close and tight. You don’t need to see pores but close up. You don’t need the whole body. Hey, do you actually notice? Anyway a kiss helps. But there are so many people who smush. That looks funny. This was about right. I did not ask but this was the right shot. I was just there to shoot it.

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A winning smile. You need the couple to be at ease. It helps that I know my daughter. And her fiancée was cool, So everyone was relaxed and spontaneous smiles were in ample evidence. Clothes are optional but I did not tell them how to dress. I merely warned them I was shooting a lot of images.

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Once you have them laughing, you need to move around. Get a different perspective. But keep them smiling. I don’t patter. You can. I just smiled and let them know I appreciated the moment too.

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Background check. Not too close. The background will be in focus. You want a more soft one? Keep your subject well away from the glass behind them. No? Well, then that is a choice.

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The fence made a nice graphic. Focused. It added an element and you might decide it is distracting. Remember I’m just trying things out as we go along. Ah! Remember the light. No harsh sunlight to make squinting. Nice even soft light. Indirect light works. It would be open shade. Yes, you can work with a flash but that would be too formal for me.

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Another kiss and a neutral background. Elegant and classy. Yes a monotone background lets you concentrate on the main subjects. It is also nice that my daughter can kiss back.

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This was an odd shot. I was pleasantly surprised. When I shot it I did not think it was so special. But the spontaneous action was nice. Sunglasses hide the eyes. But here they work rather well. Yeah, I shot it but I consider it a brilliant snapshot.

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This was actually the start of our walk. Dappled sunlight and shade. Watch for the highlights. The overexposure will kill the image. But controlling the light is good. Jeff’s taller so sitting put them more even. Yes, Happy helps too.

 


Product Placement

_DSC2120Happy Birthday Dave. He visited recently. No details please. Anyway one of his favorites is Cheezits. Don’t ask. It is my bad teaching that he eats this horrible junk food. The process of baking them has salt added at three stages. Without that much salt added the stuff would taste like cardboard. Three times salt? Geez!

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Well he’s a good sport. I take his picture often. He tolerates me. He has his fake smile of benign tolerance.But after a while his look changes to – please leave now.

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Yes Sir

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I was leaning over to take a shot of the fountain in the background when the street sweeper saw me. He thought I was taking a shot of him. He immediately stopped and struck a pose. Then he pulled out his broom and posed again. He was pretty proud for me to take his picture. So my fountain did not get shot. We both walked away happy.

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Me

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Hey! I found some beautiful light. So the photographer became the subject. Turnabout is fair sometimes. And the photographer of this image; she’s shy. But she did a great job. And I thank her.


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