It is no secret the a photographer’s greatest asset is the light, whether it be the natural or artificial, studio or outdoors.
I, myself, prefer the outdoors. It’s even, lights well, and never fails. And hell, if it rains, that could work, too.
But most of all, I love shadows. Not the harsh, ugly kind on someone’s face when they are shot at high noon, the sun blazing overhead. But the dramatic shadows of the late afternoon.
The bro and I decided to head out to a local cemetery and shoot there. I had this idea about repetition and drama and it was very fortuitous that the light at this particular spot worked out so well.
It was just beginning to set when Anton and I went up on this hill and shot around it, then as the shadows grew longer we moved to two spots that worked so well. One was on the right side of this marble structure where the light was still bright and well lit.
I shot from above adding to the dramatic effect and the result I think was quite nice.
On the other side of it was mostly in shadow and the reverse had happened where slivers of light shone over the grass and graves. I had Anton walk through the light and the effect was an altogether different kind of drama.
And as the sun dipped even lower I shot from below, the shadows stretching towards me, as Anton channeled that GQ suave.
The war between humanity and Faerie devastated both sides. Or so 15-year-old Liza has been told. Nothing has been seen or heard from Faerie since, and Liza’s world bears the scars of its encounter with magic. Trees move with sinister intention, and the town Liza calls home is surrounded by a forest that threatens to harm all those who wander into it. Then Liza discovers she has the Faerie ability to see—into the past, into the future—and she has no choice but to flee her town. Liza’s quest will take her into Faerie and back again, and what she finds along the way may be the key to healing both worlds.
It’s all about the hands. The slight change of hand can alter the feeling of the message. Take for example these images, all from the same shoot.
On the right, the hand at the chin gives this image a more delicate feel. The middle image is more ladylike than the left, relaxed look of the model. All because of where the hands are.
Next time you shoot a portrait of a person take a look at their hands, or have them place their hands somewhere else other than on hips (I do that a lot, too). What would your picture look like if your subject has their arms crossed, or if brushing their hair back, or resting on the wall at their side?
Lighting can be tricky. But also it’s the most important thing about your photos.
For portraits you can have harsher lighting to give your photos drama
What’s your favorite? All-over natural light or one-source dramatic lighting?
I AM back. Finally home. With internet.
This trip had been so much fun but also busy and majorly lacking internet. And then to make matters worse, my external hard drive is kaput and I hope it can get fixed soon or else a huge number of my photos will be GONE.
So my grand plan of doing this photo-class-a-day has gone horribly awry and is majorly lacking in posts. So apologize.
I’ll have a post after this with a few examples of things and quick posts on the major days so far unless you want to see something specific.
That said, I have loved seeing everyone’s posts on instagram( #photolassaday) and you guys are so great for tagging along. Now I’m back will be much better about doing it and so I hope that you will stick with me for the rest of this month! Don’t lose steam!
As always, you are all awesome!
Bokeh get s a little technical so here’s a quick post about how to achieve it.
A lens that is great for achieving a great bokeh is the 50mm and the one I most often use. Basically bokeh is how light is rendered in the out of focus background of your subject. Usually it looks circular in shape.
It can be as simple as this blurred out background. Notice how there’s a bit of that circularity we look for in bokeh and yet the background isn’t so blurred that it’s just large blocks of out of focus shapes like this one below:
The trick is to shoot your subject close up and the background to be far off. Keep in mind that your background cannot be blown out, meaning over-exposed by the sun or light source, because then there wouldn’t be a background.
For example, don’t shoot in shadow with your background being the over-lit woods behind your subject. (that’s called being backlit and another topic for another time).
When using a 50mm or really any lens with a low aperture (how much your lens will open to let light in) Don’t us anything below a 2.8 aperture because anything lower than that will only let you focus on small parts of the face. Like tip of nose, eyelashes, brow or lips. By using a slightly bigger aperture like 2.8 or higher you’re still facilitating that blurring out effect in the background but your subject will stay more in focus.
Shooting at night also gives a great bokeh effect if there’s lights around. I plan shooting in NYC in Times Square when I’m up there later this month and hopefully give you guys an example of the effect during night time.
Got questions? Still confused? No worries, leave a comment below and I’ll make sure to answer!