Archive | December, 2010

Finished Portraits

12 Dec

Taken at the German Market hosted in Birmingham. I tried to get the subjects relaxed by talking to them, and I also managed to get a few where they weren’t aware I was taking the picture. I used the following settings:

  • White balance: shade
  • ISO: 400
  • Aperture priority
  • Spot metering

For this first picture I should have increased the aperture size by 1 f-stop to reduce the depth of field slightly, and the composition is incorrect. The subject is neither in the centre of the frame, nor does she fit into a third of the frame. There is too much information in the picture, detracting from the subject.


This second image is a lot crisper on the subject, but she is not facing the camera. Nonetheless, there is a better use of the rule of thirds. The leading lines of the steps bend towards the bag she is holding, and cause us to momentarily ask what is in the bag. Contours are soft, and the brown tones blend the subject with the background, making us focus on the facial area, and the paper bag.

This image I managed to get just before he realised I was taking a photo. The subject is happy and relaxed, and maximum concentration is on him. It is an expressive picture- despite the hustle and bustle behind him in the market, he is very calm. I managed tofind a slightly higher vantage point from the subject so that I could capture the people behind and below him.

This image is in focus, and the background is not cluttered, but I feel that it is not correctly composed. The sparkle of the lights behind add another dimension to the trees, and give you a clue as to what time of year it is. Again, the similar tones in the trees and on the coat of the subject make you focus on the face.


This is my favourite image, as the subject is crisply in focus, and in a natural (for her) pose. Leading lines from the steps sweep behind the subject adding to the attitude of the subject, who was unhappy about her portrait being taken. The subject is looking away, following the lines of the steps, and the unifying brown tone throughout helps us think that she is blending into the background. It follows the rule of thirds, with the face in the central area.



11 Dec

Just found a fab little app online- it’s cheating a little, but it makes a big difference to photos. You can download it for iPhones and whatnot, but you can access it on your computer as well. If you upload a photo, the tiltshift software will alter (and you can manipulate also) the area of focus. You can also alter saturation, colour and contrast, and vignetting, but I haven’t for these images. For example:

And here is my altered image, you can see the difference:

Obviously this software is no substitute for taking pictures correctly, but it produces an interesting effect. Here I have had to printscreen and copy into Paint to get this image on here, as the image doesn’t save (or I can’t work out how to) on computers, only displays.

Oh, and here is the website:  Enjoy!

Portraits- context

8 Dec
  • How can a portrait become more of a collaborative act between the sitter and the photographer, and how might this improve a portrait of them?
  • The photographer needs to build a rapport with the sitter, so that they can become more relaxed. Some people don’t like having their photograph taken, and may fall into conventional poses, look bored or rigid. It is the photographers job to put the sitter at ease to coax out a natural pose. Also the sitter needs to tell the photographer how they would be most comfortable.

  • How do you feel about having your photograph taken? How would you like your photographer to behave towards you?
  • I personally don’t like having my photo taken by other people, as I’m quite self critical. However, if the photographer is encouraging and positive, and can direct me as to what they think the photo should be like, then I can cope

  • What could the benefits of working with children be?

Children have no inhibitions , and can completely be themselves around the camera. Some of the time, children may get carried away with what they are doing, and completely forget that they are having their photo taken.