Posts Tagged ‘ child ’

Hard light portraits

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I’ve been thinking about some Yousuf Karsh pictures lately. He has amazing portraits done with hard light. I know that we’re “supposed” to use soft light, but I think that some hard light portraits might be a nice change.

In order to kind of dip my feet in the hard light water, we quickly got some pictures of Norah. This was taken outside on a partly cloudy day. The sun was moving in and out of the clouds, and judging by the shadows in the picture, it was probably overcast when the picture was taken. I used a small speed light on a light stand, camera right, as my main light. If I remember correctly it was set for 1/4 power. I shot at f/5.6 @ 1/100 sec.

Aesthetically, I’m pretty happy with how this turned out. You can see the hard line of the shadows under Norah’s arms and on her legs. I’d say the she could be sharper, but she was very antsy, so I was lucky to get what I got.

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Turning around, we decided to put Norah on our wooden bench. The light is now camera left, and behind Norah. You can just see a bit of rim light on her right side. It’s a bit of a deviation from what I had originally set out to do, but not too bad. I wish that I had thought to bring another light with me in order to get a catch light.

Overall not too bad. I’ll have to try some more standard portrait work with the hard lights and see what I can do with that.

It’s been so long….

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Lucy on Victoria

Things have started to settle down a bit with my new job, and I really feel like I need to start being more active with my photography. I’ve been on a bit of a break for several months now.

Last weekend a family that we met in Arizona stopped by on a cross country trip from Oregon to Maine. They brought their dog, Victoria, and our kids absolutely loved her. Except Stella. But that’s another story entirely. Victoria was a fantastic dog. Very well behaved, quiet, and good with the kids. They were sad to see her go.

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Lighting and Portraits

I feel like I’ve been in a bit of a funk lately, photographically speaking. I really have had a hard time seeing anything interesting to capture. But, since I did get a light meter a few weeks ago I wanted to practice with it. Stella has been very cooperative lately so she’s been my main subject. I did manage to get a few pictures of the other girls, but they were a bit more on the “hostile model” side.

The first photo is Stella in front of a backdrop in the basement. The main light is a Canon 430EX strobe shooting into a bounce umbrella. The background light is a Vivitar 285HV shooting directly into the background, but angled down to get the differential exposure that I wanted around Stella’s head. Since the flash unit is on the ground, the bottom is brighter than the top. I’m not sure how I like that effect, but it’s not a bad picture. I’m trying to remember to pose, get the hands occupied, watch the height of the light so the catch lights line up correctly, etc.

The second picture was taken outside, in the shade. I wanted to try lighting from behind to get a bit of a rim light on Stella’s hair, and use a reflector to provide the main light. So, the setup was a snooted Canon 430EX shooting behind Stella and into a silver reflector. The reflector was angled to provide the main light source.

I think that it worked okay, but only okay. It seems a bit flat to me. I may have to play with it some more. A major flaw here (in my opinion) is the lack of distinctive catch lights in her eyes. There is a bit of reflection, but just not enough for my taste.

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Child photographer….Not so much

From Norah Proofs

Norah

Norah is now 3 weeks old. You’d think that getting a picture for a baby announcement would be a snap, but no such luck.

We did a little browsing on Flickr for some ideas. There are some really good baby pictures on Flickr. I, it seems, can’t make pictures like those. What I can get is a pseudo-portrait type picture. The above picture was taken with window light, shooting at f/2.8, ISO640-ish. I think that I need a bit more practice with my lights, as I just couldn’t seem to get a decent picture with them.

The above picture is my personal favorite for an announcement, but this….

From Norah Proofs

Surprise!

Seems a bit more fun to me. I bet that others in my household would disagree….

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