If you are just starting out in photography, and you are like I was, you just want to photograph everything. You want to photograph your kids, your dog, your yard and everything around you. You will soon find yourself taking photos of your food and maybe try to get your first wildlife photos. As you add new lenses to your kit, you will try other styles and types of photography. Continue reading “Developing Consistency and Style in Photography”
So in my last post I talked generally about style in photography. As I develop as a photographer I am noticing my style in portraiture is a combination of lighting and post-production. I light using speedlights. I enjoy speedlights because they are versatile and very portable. My general setup if using a white backdrop is one light to illuminate the background and then 3 lights for the headshot or portrait You can see a basic diagram here. I do not have two striplights at the moment so a use one striplight and a Rogue Flash Bender XL or another Westcott softbox.
This is a general idea of the type of setup that I use. You need to illuminate the background to get a pure white. I find the three light setup on the model provides nice even light and good catchlights in the eyes. Here is a sample of a self-portrait.
Now let’s talk a little about style here. Part of the style is the high key pure white background. One thing I am sure you will notice is the cut off head. I always cut off the tops of the heads. Check out Peter Hurley, professional headshot photographer, to find out more about this particular style. Also note that this is a portrait shot in landscape orientation. I really like this for portraits. Again this is part of a particular style. Now I posted this on a couple of sites and on one I got the comment that the colours were too cool and blue. Now that is exactly what I was going for so that made me happy. I did not want this photo to have warm tones at all. I was thinking of headshots for medical professionals, doctors, nurses, chiropractors etc. I wanted the “scrubs blue, antiseptic type look”. This look was achieved in Photoshop. I also took out some of the wrinkles from the shirt and did some minor skin touch ups to the face. What I was going for here was a headshot for a working professional. I will definitely keep on practicing and trying new lighting set-ups. After all that is what photography is all about – lifelong learning. Next up the dark, moody style, fine art portrait.
So what is style in photography? Style can be defined as, “A particular, distinctive characteristic mode or form of execution, construction, appearance of a visual work which can be associated with a particular person or group of people.” (dictionary.com). In his article Defining Style and Finding Your Own, Ming Thein lists those elements that he believes make up style. Continue reading “Style in Photography”
When it comes to portraits and headshots, post-processing and retouching are often hotly debated topics. Some prefer their portraits straight out of camera with little to no retouching or post-processing while others retouch extensively. We have all seen those before and after post where a number of people will state that they like the before photo better. Often this is a result of over-processing and giving the model a plastic or unrealistic look. Continue reading “Portraits, Headshots, Fine-Art, and Post-Processing.”
“There is a giant chasm between the taking and making of an image. This notion is what sets apart the amateur from the professional in my mind.
Anyone in today’s world can take a picture or a video clip. You point the camera, hit a button and see what the processor pulls up for you. The art (for lack of a better word) of taking a photo is being in the right place, at the right time, and getting lucky. Continue reading “From Enthusiast to Photo Maker”
A photography enthusiast is just a hobbyist on steroids! It is someone whose hobby really has become a passion. These are some of the traits that I think an enthusiast has. By this time they have a really good understanding of the basic fundamentals of photography – exposure, composition and lighting. They most certainly shoot in Manual mode most of the the time and experiment with different creative exposures. Continue reading “So what is the difference between a hobbyist and an enthusiast?”
When you get your first camera you are a photo taker. Most likely you will set your camera on Auto and just snap away. At the very beginning, setting your camera in Manual or one of the semi-automatic modes would probably be a frustrating experience. You want to have fun and take photos. Taking photos has been made easy with the new range of DSLR’s and point and shoots, and the various camera phones. Continue reading “From PhotoTaker to Hobbyist”
The above slide is my take on how someone develops as a photographer. And with each step on this journey your skills as a photographer continue to develop. Now as I have mentioned before, some never get beyond the photo taker stage. Perhaps it is because they don’t want to. They are happy just snapping away on special occasions. There is also the possibility that they are just not very good at it no matter how hard they try to improve or they just don’t know what to do to improve. But let’s just say that the photo taker wants to improve and develop photography as a hobby. What does he/she have to do to get better? Continue reading “Photography: What Do I Need To Do To Get Better?”