Monday, 7 March 2011

Gesture and Light: Portraiture with Flair

This page seems to capture a significant chunk of what Exercise 6 is about. I particularly like this quote:
Tension and release, subject and background, light and dark... all lead to that single moment I call gesture. Fleeting in its very nature, the subject's natural approach to the world and the way the photographer wants to present it makes the gesture of a photograph so much more interesting to me.
It's quite instructive having a pro explain why he has chosen a particular shot from the contact sheets, and also, in this case, the manner in which he let the shoot develop.

In fact, looking at some of his other posts there's a whole world of info in here, just waiting to be dug out.

Gesture and Light: Portraiture with Flair

Sunday, 6 March 2011

PnP Exercise 6: Best of a sequence

The aim of this exercise appears to be to develop a sense of when you have an appropriate expression from the subject so that you can move to a new pose or sequence of poses.

I have varied the arrangements somewhat to make use of an opportunity to shoot my daughter and 3 friends in a series of group photos. In some ways this made the exercise more challenging as I had to judge when I have 4 expressions that meet the brief to provide a set of ‘friendship photos’.

The overall shoot produced about 120 shots and the first pass on the selection routine winnowed this down to 70 that I thought were worthy of further consideration:

Screen capture of 'acceptable' shots

The sequences I took were of varying length depending on whether I felt I had an acceptable shot ‘in the bag’. For example, one of the girls had a tendency to blink, which required particular care during the internal shots (it seemed to be less of an issue outdoors)

I eventually achieved success in this sequence by making a joke of it and enlisting the help of the others to help me spot when it happened.

Home sequence 1

In this next sequence I liked the final shot best because I finally managed to get the lighting right, but the grass got in the way, and by the time I got rid of it the mood for that particular group of shots had evaporated, which is a shame.

Dune sequence 1

In this sequence, set on the sea wall – I was happy with the expression in the middle but it was spoiled by the contrasty lighting. The last shot has les overexposure on the sunny side but the expressions are not as good.

Step sequence

This sequence, taken on a handy log on the beach, contained a couple of candidates for best shot (4th and 5th in the group). i was very clear in my own mind I had a good one in both of these cases.

Beach sequence

There were also a couple of poses where I didn’t need to run a sequence to be sure I had a decent shot. In particular these two:

lighthouse.jpg  starfish.jpg

In the first case the only difference between the shots was the amount of fill – I was comfortable that I had something a little different, with appropriate expressions. In the second case the shot was taken using a remote release while I held the camera over the group on a monopod, so I could see their expressions as I took the shot.

I ended up with a dozen shots that I would regard as good, including two from the log sequence, one from the dune sequence, two indoor shots and the two above. I am happy with the range of expressions in all of these,and that they capture the spirit of the afternoon.

P2264208.jpgP2264214.jpg P2264221.jpgP2264222.jpgP2264231.jpgP2264239.jpg


My final selects are these two, the first because it’s a slightly different group shot, everyone is clearly comfortable and it captures something of the spirit of togetherness, the second because it captures the fun. This latter is also my single choice of best shot. On close inspection it appears that two of the girls have their eyes partly closed, but for my part that does not detract from the overall feel of the photo, and certainly does not knock it off my ‘favourite’ spot.