Entries in Teaching (90)
Image 1. I had so much fun photographing my wife and our two daughters yesterday. First of all I'm not very good at taking pictures of my own family, so don't be like me. I sure enjoy the results and having them when I do. I have always been a shopper, and buy most of the clothes for my wife ( she doesn't like shopping!!!) and also more and more for my daughters. I wanted to take a picture of the 3 of them in clothes I bought them without them! They keep getting so many compliments on their clothing and when people ask: Where did you buy it the answer is often, my Dad/Husband bought it in Europe. Especially my 14 year olds friends have a hard time understanding that Dad bought it :-) Well here is my shopping shot, photshopped by my wife MaryLyn, all my girsl are awsome in Photoshop BTW. We left the hair light etc on top to give it a Polaroid feeling kind of, like it.
Image 2. has a good lesson to it. In this image of my daughter Lindsey, she is just standing waiting for the other 2 in her spot, I'm telling her I'm testing light and she is all relaxed and thinking, great mood, and I think the use of space where the other 2 soon would be worked well. You can get so many great shots of people when you test light, tell them you need to change some settings or whatever. They will so often do something relaxed and natural which will again make a great image, so always watch and click, click.......Have a nice week end.
I been fascinated by leading lines for a looong time. Traditionally years ago we where thought to build them from left to the subject or if we where in Asia from right to left (Asians as you probably know reads from right to left). Window decorators in the western world always built the window displays from left to right. In modern research we learn that young people today growing up looking so much at screens like phones, computers, navigation, games etc starts looking from top to bottom. So maybe it is time to look a little different at leading lines, be more open minded for different directions.The first image of the bride in the green it's done the traditional way of building with the timber as leading line from left to right, focus is also used to not keep the eye from going past her. In the second image of the bride in the snow the leading lines comes from the top with the trees leading into the road and down to her, and the snow in front make a great stopper. Here is a link to a previous blog post I did in 2007 on leading lines with an example where the lines comes from everywhere leading to the subject, please check it out, good example of leading lines.
PS. Please forgive me for my lack of blogging lately, I have had 3 very busy but educational weeks in Europe teaching from Spain to Norway, and a great job as Jury Chairman for The Norwegian National Competition 2010.
Looking into dark eyes is like an auto focus camera pointed at a white wall, it spins back and forth. When we look at people with no light in the eyes we react about the same way we keep searching for contact in the eyes but don't get it. So my simple rule is, if you don't have great light in the eyes have them look anywhere but in the camera!
This particular engagement shot is one of my all time favorites, see how even looking down you know how happy and in love they are. I carefully framed them inside the mountain to not have disturbing lines though their faces.
The title of the blog is " If you can't get good light in the eyes? " I know that with the right equipment and time we can always get good light in the eyes, but sometimes it's moments that happens fast etc. In my workflow of shooting an engagement like this one I typically work like this: When I'm in a spot with great light I make sure to take good eye contact shots. If lets say the light change fast and the mood is good I have them look at each other or away, kiss, hug, etc.etc This way I get a good mix of style and emotions.
Hope all is well, I don't feel I'm very good at expressing myself this Monday morning, but.... :-)
I been in love with reflectors since long before they made fold ups. Remember working on a movie in Paris the first time a saw one pop open, so did my eyes! We used to buy silver cooking foil, step on it on the asphalt or cement to make mini bumps in it then tape it to foam boards. Still works great today. Then I remember I found actual sheets of reflection foil from Rosco, and I could tape them on. Reflection of light have always been used in photography, reflections from walls, windows, snow, water, a silver car in the parking lot etc etc .
My question today was HOW MANY do you need? It's not one correct answer to that question of course, but I want to bring up some points why I find a need for many. If you look in the image you will see some of mine along the camera room back wall. I think I have about 30 total? A brand new reflector reflects so much more light light then it will do after a few months use. About every 10 months I keep buying the same silver reflector in my most used size 32" I write the date I bought it with a black marker on it for fun to keep track of their change.
By having many silver reflectors with different ware I get many choices of brightness, especially great when I can't choose the distance to the subject. It's kind of having a flash with one output or variable outputs. I also love using soft gold a lot, but I use them all even my blue one I bought from a german photographer. Color correction is a huge issue with them, getting to change color on a part of your image, create minorities. Like on a bride I might want to use a large white or silver one on the dress and a smaller soft gold just for the face. Keeping the dress white, while giving her a nice skin color. Often I will just use a different one on the face because the face need more brightness then a white dress.
This is such a huge subject I can write on it forever. In my seminars and workshops you will learn a lot about reflective light, but this blog post should get your mind running? NEVER trow away an old reflector it might be the only one weak enough on close distance on a bright day, you can also spray paint it in a cool color and you have a new portable pop up backdrop for portraits :-)
In situations of low light or cloudy days a brand new silver reflector will almost be like a mirror to add some great catch lights in the eyes. What is so beautiful with reflectors is that what you see is what you get vs flash. This image is about 20 years old shot on the wonderful Polaroid Polapan B/W chrome film, loved it!!! I keep using old images for fun these days if I can. Show how great results we could get straight out of a film.Happy shooting, hope to see many of you around Europe in February.
Today I will do something NEW! I will post an image and NOT tell how it was done until Monday! One of the best exercises a photographer can do is to look at images and try to figure out how the image was done. I'm loving going though some old images these days. This image of MaryLyn is from 1984 and nothing is done to it since, except scanning it. All I will say today is that it is ZERO retouch involved, no Photoshop, not a double exposure :-) Please check back on Monday for the answer, and have a nice week end:-)
PS. Some of you with good memory might remember me telling it in seminars in the 90's?Everybody else feel free to post your answers :-)
PSS. Monday Dec.21, 2009. The answer to the trivia "How this image was made" is posted under the image:
So the day have come for the answer to this trivia. First of all I want to thank you all for the many great and clever suggestions, posted here, on FB, Twitter and in DM. I think my favorite suggestion has to be Alexandre Argy in Paris, France. He writes: My guess : "you have a very bad lab ! :-p" It's a key to the answer in that comment as you will see as you keep reading.
To the image, Yes it is a sandwich of two slides, but that don't answer how that partial, bent film strip pattern got in there. 3 images in a sandwich was a great guess. Image number 1( MaryLyn on on the bottom of the image) is taken outside on a hillside with the very last golden light of the day, a little blue sky behind on the top of the image. Shot on Ektachrome 100. Image number 2 was shot in the studio with white clothes on a white background and multiple tungsten spots. Shot on a Nikon F3 and with Ektachrome 160T film. So to the filmstrip mystery, my lab used to buy in the Ektachrome 160T in long rolls like 17 meters? and cut and load them in the length of 36 exposures. Somebody obviously must have let some light in at a point and that way we got some film edge exposed unto the shooting area of the roll for a few frames as in the white image. I was working at The Osmond Studios at the time, and was sure glad it happened on a personal shoot.
Well to an interesting part of the story, this image was never intended and planned, it was shot as two individual images, which I both liked on their own. A couple if years later I was standing at a light table in Norway to order some prints from several slides. Some how by coincidence this to shots ended on top of each other on the light table. WoooW, I liked it lots, took them out of the individual frames, put them on top of each other in a slide frame. ( Sorry, I don't dare to take it apart and scan them individually to show you.)
Yes, a "coincidence" but how many great images haven't come about because of coincidences and accidents? BUT it happened because I was doing something, that is an important part, not just thinking " I should do something!' Thank you all so much for responding, reading, being great friends and photographers, I sure enjoyed this and I'm already planning my next retro, trivia post. Have a great day everyone.