Thursday, December 29, 2011

Portrait Practice

xDSC_0046, originally uploaded by NedraI.

I recently rejoined the gym. The bonus to this is that I'll start listening to more podcasts as I work out. Today I watched a video on portraiture by Scott Wittenburg on Photography 101. It was a good introduction and I'll watching it again to pick up more tips. I came home and asked my daughter if she'd be a guinea pig for me in our small basement studio. My promise was that I wouldn't post anything she didn't like. Our studio is in a corner and consists of an old light blue tablecloth for a backdrop, 3 lights with stands along with a  powerbox and a flash unit. I'm sure there are more technical names but those will have to do for now. Yes, I'm a newbie to these things. I ended up taking about 200 shots. I'd say the first 30 were spent trying to get the flash unit to work and picture wise were not good at all.  I finally gave up on the flash and just used the constant lighting and played around with different angles. I tried a few with a dramatic feel and I like the way they turned out. I don't like the way her arm casts a shadow on her face in the shot above. However, I like that expression a little better than this one:

Then she changed clothes and we tried some more shots. I ended up noticing some shadows and worked to adjust lights to get rid of the unwanted shadows. This is a shot after I got rid of a shadow under her right eye. 

Then I remembered some photos I had taken of myself recently and how uncomfortable I was until I put my camera in my hands. So, I suggested she put on a hockey sweatshirt and grab her new stick. She chose a hockey shirt and jacket along with her stick and I could see a difference in her too. She was more relaxed and started playing around a little more with poses and I remembered I should be working on being bossy and telling her how to pose. All in all it was a fun experience. As she looked through the photos I posted on Facebook she said, "Hey mom, you could take senior portraits." I have a long way to go for that but I'll take the compliment. 

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