Word and Image

Posts tagged “Portrait

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.


Take My Picture

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I was walking along an empty alley. Really! If you were with me you might be a bit wary. There were not many people about in the late afternoon. No one comes out till much later. I am street aware but do not feel unsafe walking around with my Nikon slung over my shoulder. It is pretty simple to make out that I am not a native to Saudi. As I walked past, the guy on the left gestured for me to take their picture. So I did. I might have staged them closer together or shot each individually. I fired off several frames and shared the last with them on my LCD screen. I received a satisfied look and moved on. They did not want a copy. They just wanted their picture taken by a tourist. Okay!


Picture Please

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I wandered around the old city and was discretely snapping pictures as I went. And, every once in a while someone will ask me to take their picture. Really! This was a variation. Another guy saw me with my big shiny Nikon and beckoned me to snap off a shot. So I did. I realize that I was nervous and might have moved in for a closer shot. He’s selling carry bags and I wanted to include them. His friend was having a great time encouraging me. And my new friend was quite tolerant.


Selfie

(multiple values) Flash manual bounce 1/80 SB800

Warning. Don’t try this at home. And if you do keep in mind that double chin can be the result. It is another early flash experiment. The bounce flash gives fairly even lighting. But the image needs some more front light and a catch light for the eyes. Anyway, it seems easy enough to mess up the shot. For all my past subjects, I grimace at the mistakes you had to endure.

(multiple values) Auto SB800 direct and bounce

If you get it right then you can avoid the unflattering images. But the learning curve is always interesting. My Nikon D70 had a center focus point. It neatly did exactly that and got the bookcase perfectly focused. Later I found the Nikon D200 allowed for closest subject focus. After learning that, the images all focused on the near subject without the annoying out of focus errors.

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Autofocus does work well when you plan. The manual focus of my youth does not surpass the focus on the eyes here. And it helps if you have catch lights.DSC_0030-2


Group Shot

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A long time ago in a galaxy far away…. This is an archived photo of the Tyler Place group back about ten years ago. I daresay a lot has happened in ten years. Grand kids are running all over. Relationships have changed. Well… lots have happened. I am the one in the outrageous Hawaiian shirt. Everyone else has pastel shades and it is actually kind of staid. Ordinarily I am pretty conservative in my wardrobe choices. This was the last time I wore this shirt. It was never seen again. I was told that my stuff was put away and if I did not look for it within a year, it was disappeared. Gee, I miss that shirt.


Self Portrait 2004

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I had this spiffy new Nikon D70 and I was experimenting with images and lighting. I was using natural light and flash. Anyone who wandered into my path got in on the experimenting. This was bounce flash. It has even lighting and there are catch lights in the eyes.

Once I mastered the basics I tried to get some family group shots.

DSC_0044We never did get that special shot. You know the one the professionals get. Retrospectively just to get the four of us in a single frame was special.


John

 

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It’s another year gone by and it’s John’s birthday. He had the fortune to be born near to Christmas. My aunt Fu Ching would always be able to say something nice about anything that happened in life. To me it was always like you have to wait so long  after Christmas feeling like you were cheated that the days are so close together. No matter what, it is nice to remember and say happy birthday.


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