This lovely lady is my cousin. We don’t often have the opportunity to see each other, so this photo session was extra special. Natasha had never had glamour portraits before, so I hope she had just as much fun as I did!
Archive for 'Project 52'
I had the pleasure of photographing this sweet little man when he was just 6 days old. I can’t get enough of his itty bitty baby fingers and toes and his sweet little baby nose. There’s nothing quite like snuggling with a newborn. I look forward to photographing baby Ryland again soon… they change so quickly! Congratulations again to his lucky mama and daddy.
Alex was fun and a breeze to work with! We seemed to have a connection where she knew what I wanted her to do before I could even say it. We shot these on location at The Pint Off Whyte in Old Strathcona (check out what they have happening this May long weekend!). I had a fantastic makeup artist to work with, Lindsey Waddell, who I would recommend to anyone in a heartbeat. Her work is amazing, as you can see.
I got to have complete creative control over the entire shoot from start to finish, and was was happy to explore a few different lighting techniques.
Oh, and if you work for Stella Artois, I am available to work on your next print advertising campaign.
I’ve been shooting, but neglecting to post. This is a catch up weekend for several things, including blogging. It’s a good weekend to spend indoors anyway, with temperatures below -20. I’m outside long enough to walk the dogs, then it’s back inside for teas and coffees.
A few weeks ago, my younger brother was in town. He plays on the University of Manitoba Bisons basketball team. They were here in Edmonton to play against the University of Alberta Golden Bears. Ian was here for just the weekend, and a lot of his time was spent with the team, but Ian was able to have brunch with Cody and I on the Saturday, and I was able to snap a few quick pictures of Ian before he had to head back for a team dinner.
We ran to the back of our building into the parkade for our photo shoot. All of these images are lit using a 60″ umbrella. Here is a sampling of Ian’s grasshopper abilities.
Wow, the week really flew by! I couldn’t believe it was already time for another shoot. For this week’s shoot, I wanted to work on a basic portrait, and play with the Inverse Square Law (for an in-depth explanation with examples, head on over to Zack Arias’ blog where he explains it all with examples.) and see the different lighting effects I could get with a fully open umbrella and then a “poor man’s softbox”, where the umbrella is closed down half way.
My good friend Carmen agreed to be my model for this shoot. I was actually surprised when she agreed so readily, as she is not a big fan of being in front of the camera. I can identify with that, I always feel a little awkward when I’m in front of the lens instead of behind. Carmen had just returned from a visit to Chile almost 2 weeks ago. She left sunshine and warm weather and came back to a ridiculous amount of snow and cold. We both thought it would be a good idea to shoot indoors. Carmen offered her place, which worked out really well. Her condo had ceilings high enough that I could easily raise my umbrella to comfortable height (about 10′) and we had space to move around.
When I arrived, Carmen was in the middle of baking cookies – for me! I’m eating one as I blog this. T-A-S-T-Y! I really do enjoy having friends who bake and a boyfriend who cooks, as I’m not very handy in the kitchen.
Carmen said she felt a little awkward just standing in front of the camera, but I couldn’t tell when I was going over the photos. Lesson learned: When you have the opportunity, play music and goof around more. Now I just need to find a speaker set that I can plug into my iPhone so I can be my own DJ.
We first started out with an open umbrella and Carmen stood in front of a window with the curtains drawn. The sun was already well on it’s way below the horizon and the print was fun, so it was a good starting place. For this series of images, I had the umbrella fully open so it would light both Carmen and the background. I had Carmen stand about 7′ away from the background and just about 3 or 4′ from the light. Flash power was at 1/4, ISO 200, shutter speed 1/60 and f 5.6. The umbrella was directly in front of Carmen, and I was shooting immediately below it.
Next, I wanted to move to a neutral background. Conveniently, she had a wall that was completely bare of anything with the exception of a light switch. I shot most of these images vertically instead of horizontally because I didn’t want the light switch in the frame, or a flower arrangement poking into the other side of the frame. Again, I started off with an open umbrella. Distances were relatively the same as above and all camera and flash settings also stayed the same.
I then closed down the umbrella half way (a “poor man’s softbox”) and moved it in a bit of a semi-circle to be off to the side. I also moved it about 1/2 a foot closer to Carmen. By closing down the umbrella, I was able to achieve more directional lighting, a slightly more dramatic look, and took advantage of the Inverse Square Law, which basically states that light falls of the fastest close to the light source and more gradually the farther away the subject is from the light source. Since I wanted to start making the background darker, I moved the light to be closer to Carmen and used a more directional light source. Because I moved the light closer to Carmen, I had to stop down my aperture to f 6.3. Not a “real” f-stop, but all I needed was about 1/4 stop less light.
I wanted to see if I could make the background even a little darker, so I had Carmen take a step or so closer. The beige background is now almost black. We also wanted to see if the fact that Carmen wore glasses had any effect on the amount of light that was getting to her eyes. Carmen took off her glasses for a few of the pictures. I was happy to see that the glasses didn’t cut down the light, and I was also happy I didn’t have too much glare to contend with from the light reflecting in her glasses.
Here, you can see the difference between a fully opened umbrella (left) and an umbrella this is partially closed down (right).
Here you can see the set up. first is the umbrella fully open, next is the umbrella partially closed down. The OneLight workshop really taught me that you just need a minimal amount of equipment to have a portable studio. As Zack Arias said in the workshop, “What is a studio? It’s 4 walls, a ceiling and a floor”. Have light, will shoot!
Thank you, Carmen! For being a fantastic model and for the tasty cookies! I really enjoyed seeing you after you’ve been gone for so long on holiday. You are a kind and caring person and I really do appreciate you stepping out of your comfort zone and being willing to help me out on this project.
Project 52 is a toned down version of Project 365. My goal is to take and post a photo (or series of photos) a week for the year. The only two rules I have for this project are:
- No iPhone pictures
- Off camera lighting must be used
For the first week, I had planned a photo shoot with one of my good girlfriends. We ended up getting a huge dump of snow, and driving was not recommended unless you owned an SUV or something with 4×4. Since we live on opposite ends of the city, we decided to postpone our shoot for another day in the name of safety. Luckily, Rascal’s first birthday had just past (for those of who who don’t know, Rascal is the dog my boyfriend and I got from a rescue society last year). Rascal got birthday portraits. This was a little more difficult than I had originally anticipated.
For starters, she wasn’t interested in sitting very still.
I tried giving her a bone to chew on, but it’s not the prettiest thing to have in a picture. At least she stayed still though!
She mellowed out for a few minutes.
Showing off her profile.
And now a shot from the front. She’s so pretty.
I should have quit while I was ahead, but I really wanted to have a picture of us together. The trials of trying to get a puppy to understand how a timer on a camera works. She wasn’t focused or in a cuddly mood (what a capture. Timing is everything), and kept trying to chew on my hands when I held her. Then I finally thought I should use treats. Which resulted in her being too focused on the treats and not at all interested in having her picture taken.
Finally I got a few shots I was happy with. Happy first birthday, Rascal.