Posts Tagged ‘ digital ’

Hard light portraits


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.


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.

In Knots


I’m not sure what to say about these pictures. There’s simply something about the rope and knots that I find interesting. Maybe it’s the graphic nature? Allegorical statement? Who knows….


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In recent discussions with a friend, we challenged each other. I had to take at least 5 pictures every day by Monday and self-edit down to my choice of the best 5. Hence 5 by 5 by Monday or 5x5xMonday. His challenge was to draw 5 sketches per day and cull to the 5 best for Monday. There was also a loose theme of fun (maybe it was funny; I don’t remember though).

Here are my 5. They’re all centered around kids, as that’s a major part of my life right now. Plus, who best do define “fun?”

Here I come!

_MG_5393 - Version 2
Not Happy!


Fighting Gravity

Spinning with Ceila

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Noise in the shadows

Now, let me preface this with: I don’t think that I’m pixel peeping. That being said….

When I was converting this picture to black and white, I was looking at the picture at 100% while adjusting the black levels.


You can see the noise in the shadows of the arms. I’m not sure if the noise is due my camera or something else.


So, I tried to remove the noise with Noise Ninja. This was a mistake. The noise was actually helping to prevent banding. The banding is more prevalent on the arm on the camera right.

So, I’m stuck. I have seen this in other pictures as well, and can reproduce pretty much at will. I’m not sure how well the affects show up for this post, but it’s plain as day on my monitor at 100%. So, experience tells me that were I to print this, I would see this, and I would never be happy.

Not sure where to go from here. (Insert tongue in cheek) Buy a new camera?

(Here’s the noise reduced version)

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