Thursday, October 21, 2010

The Challenges of Portrait Photography

As much as I love being around people I'm not quite sure how I feel about taking pictures of them. It's quite the challenge. I was also working against time and light in this most recent assignment and I feel like the other elements won.

A barn in a grassy field doesn't mind how long you take photographing it. A leaf floating in a body of water has as much time in the world as it takes to disappear out of the frame of your camera. With people you have to deal with distractions, movement, and time. I don't want to waste people's time. And as gracious as all of my models were for this assignment it was a struggle to feel natural doing a staged "photoshoot".

Half of my images printed and turned in were taken in very low light situations and I refused to use an on camera flash with the images. I wanted to learn how to manipulate the controls on my camera to get the correct exposure and work with the lighting I had.

I wanted environments that were appealing to the eye and compositions that weren't your standard 3/4 body shot portrait. I took pictures of two friends down on a dark city street with the only lighting being from the street lights, lights from bars and restaurants, and cars passing by. I took pictures of a newborn baby in the comforts of his own home. He was a wonderful model, (thank you Flint and Bizzy), but you can't expect a newborn baby to lay still. So having the low light and the movement of a baby definitely posed a challenge.

Also with my schedule, I had a hard time arranging to meet up with people for things so I couldn't quite be as creative as I had hoped. I definitely want to keep tackling portrait photography, but it's definitely been the most challenging thing to learn so far.

Here are a few of my images from the assignment. Some of them have been edited in Photoshop and some have just been edited with Picasa, because sadly that's all I have at home.

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