Portrait Shoot with Andrew and Rosie, London

london, Photography Technique

If you’ve read my blog or looked around my website you might hazard a guess that I’m in love with photography.

That’s kind of true, but I’d rather say I love is the way the world looks. By that I mean people, places, objects, colours, light etc. There is nothing more magical than a stroll through an area with interesting sights and scenes – at home or abroad.

It’s not just the stereotypically beautiful scenes, it’s also the abstract and even conventionally ugly. Although I’d be lying if I said I didn’t find some people and places beautiful in the traditional sense.

But it’s often more than. It might be that a scene and a moment tells an interesting story about a person, place, or culture. The possibilities are endless.

If you look at my photographs you will find it’s a mix of mostly candid shots of either street scenes, travel destinations or architecture. This fits my interest in simply looking at the world and trying to capture interesting moments.

I’ve done less in the way of traditional portrait photography. In part because I am extremely shy about attempting to direct a model / subject.

However lately I find that I want to work on some projects with people to try and document something about their life, personality, interests, passions, skills etc.

As a stepping stone towards that I decided to spend a few hours with a portrait expert and model to learn some basics of working with models.

I was lucky enough to meet with Andrew from 36exp photography and Rosie; a London based dancer / model.

The session with Andrew was just what I needed. As I hoped, the focus wasn’t on the camera, gear etc. but it was on working with a subject, I got lot’s of great insight and tips from someone who lives and breathes portrait photography.

In this post I am going to share the top 15 or so photographs. However I have 100 or so (from 500) that came out not bad on flickr.

I’ve also been studying photoshop re-touching and I thought it might be interesting to highlight the difference from ‘in camera’ to ‘post photoshop’.

In Camera

Here is one of my favourite shots as it came straight out of the camera in RAW format (i.e. not processed at all by camera / laptop)

Post Lightroom (basic developing)

Here is the photograph after basic processing in lightroom. Note I normally process the highlights, shadows, clarity etc. a bit more aggressively in lightroom, but as I didn’t want to affect Rosie’s skin much I kept it to minor adjustments:

  • tiny adjustment of exposure, whites, shadows
  • tiny bit of contrast and vibrancy
  • I also cropped in to 4:3 dimensions

Here we go ‘lightroom edit’:

Post Photoshop (editing / re-touching)

Now for the photoshop edit. The photoshop work is based on a study of re-touching techniques. I’ve kept it relatively subtle, however keeping in mind I am new to this, it may still be a bit off in certain ways. I changed

  • A bit more volume to hair (to capitalise on Rosie’s already amazing hair)
  • Smoothing skin texture under eyes and colour
  • Removing minor blemish and some of the stand out hair strands
  • Adding a bit of light and colour to the iris of the eyes
  • Adding a bit of colour to the highlights in the hair
  • Slight teeth whitening

Here we go ‘photoshop edit’:

For a beginner it takes quite a bit of time to make even small adjustments, do you think it’s worthwhile from picture 1 to 3? Hopefully it’s subtle so that it is still clearly Rosie, but just a tiny bit polished.

Other than the re-touching topic, here some of the other images that came out well. Note these only have minor lightroom adjustments – no re-touching.














I don’t like to focus on equipment; but for any reader that’s interested, I use a simple combination of a Nikon D610 and a 50mm prime lens.

What do you think, how did my first real portrait shoot come out?

Fitness – Break the Rules, Have Fun!

Fitness

If you’ve seen my recent posts you will have noticed I am trying to step up my yoga practice, in parallel I’m also trying out various other forms of training. I’m interested in bodyweight training, callisthenics (e.g. swinging on bars) and a bunch of other stuff.

This post is really just to share a couple of fun things.

Limericks about Tam and Cookie (Writing 201 day 4)

Poetry

cookie

there was a cookie, gold like
the morning sun, with choc chips dark as
midnight comes, so crumbly to see
it’s comforting to me
But wait! – 500 calories, that’s just no fun.


tam

there was a man named tam
who loved a bit of a dram
unlucky for him
life can be grim
his wife was not a fan


BloggingU – writing 201 day 4. Today the prompt word was ‘imperfect’, the form ‘limerick‘ and the device ‘enjambment‘.

The first poem ‘cookie’ came from my state of mind today. This week I’m only eating porridge at breakfast and korean food at night (kimchi, rice, vegetables etc). I like to do occasional weeks like this to give my digestive system good treatment. The side effect is I am thinking about cookies a lot. And of course the perfect cookie would be made of kale and broccoli but taste as a normal one does.

The second poem I wrote after reading the wikipedia on limericks; which describes the ‘nonsense’ funny style of Edward Lear. I realised limericks are popular for amusing topics between men and women, and while I didn’t go into anything too racey, I thought this was fun. Tam is a very ‘scottish’ name and a ‘dram’ is what we call a whiskey. And it’s quite a traditional stereotype that the man in the family would try to sneak in a dram or too at night; all to the disaproval of the lady; who normally controls the house.

A couple of limericks about the form that made my laugh out loud
There was a young man of Japan
Whose limericks never would scan.
When asked why this was,
He replied “It’s because
I always try to fit as many syllables into the last line as ever I possibly can.
– unknown

There was an old man with a beard,
A funny old man with a beard
He had a big beard
A great big old beard
That amusing old man with a beard.
– comedian john clarke