Posts Tagged ‘ lights ’

Portrait Mood


Sarah and Norah

I’ve definitely been in a portrait mood lately. Sarah and Norah were kind enough to pose for several frames. This is probably my favorite, but there are a couple of “out-takes” that I find funny as well.

 
Norah whacking Mom                         Lucy wanders into view

The portraiture work has been both rewarding and difficult. I think my viewfinder awareness is getting better. I’m becoming more adept at posing too. I think the practice is helping. Also, using the light meter has been fantastic. Maybe several facets are simply “clicking” at the same time, but it seems that using the light meter has really enabled me to think about what each element will look like, and more importantly, what I want each element to look like.

In fact, I wanted to revisit using the pink background. The first time I used it (for Lucy’s birthday pictures) the colors seem to have an almost orange tint. So, I decided to add some light to the background and make the pink “pink-er” whilst photographing Norah.


Norah looking cute.

I’m very pleased with the background color. Just what I wanted. I think that had I moved the flags in closer I’d have at least mitigated the shadow line, if not mostly eliminated it.

Making progress.

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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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Pink Seamless Test

From Pink seamless test shots

Lucy, the soon to be birthday girl.

Saturday is Lucy’s birthday party. This is going to be a very “girl” focused party. Tea, finger sandwiches, princesses, crafts, pink everywhere, etc. One of the crafts is decorating a picture frame. My wife (bless her heart) thought it would be nice to get pictures of each of the girls and print them for their picture frame. Additionally, we’ll be having a princess stop by and want to get pictures of each girl with the princess.

From Pink seamless test shots

Stella wanted to show me her “mad” face.

In preparation of all this, I ordered a pink (actually “Carnation”) roll of seamless paper from Calumet. Last night the girls were kind enough to help me out as models. I got to try a few different lighting styles, they got to change costumes several times, and at the end they got a huge piece of paper to color on once I cut off the used piece of background paper.

From Pink seamless test shots
In my defense, Lily picked her own wardrobe.

This was my first time using a paper seamless background. I got the 53″ wide background as opposed to the 107″ roll. While it’s not a huge issue, I think I’d choose the 107″ roll next time. It’s a bit more freedom and I would then be able to get a group shot as well. The 53″ is fine for a single person and a shot of the princess and 1 child. But more than that and I’m pushing it.

Now we just have to work out the logistics of when to take the pictures. I need a decent amount of space. So does the craft table. So, there will have to be some shuffling.

All in all, I’m quite looking forward to this Saturday. It’ll be a fun challenge to shot a bunch of other people’s kids, process the pictures and print for the frames.

A few more selects….

From Pink seamless test shots

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Flowers In Your Hair

It all started with braids.

Lily asked her Mom for some “Heidi” braids. Once you’ve got braids, why not put some flowers in your hair, right? Of course, once the flowers are in your braids you’ll want a picture.

And once you start taking a picture of one kid, why not get the whole bunch in the mix?

You can look sweet, clown around, whatever….

Just have fun.

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