Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Portrait Assignment #4

I have really enjoyed this class. It was nice to have a deadline and an excuse to shoot people. I'm going to try and find something free to replace it and I'll start posting that on my photography blog.

Meanwhile, here are the results from the last portrait assignment. I had to shoot the whole thing when I was out of town. It turned out to be okay. Especially for the first piece of the assignment.

Set 1: Photograph someone you know well, talk with them to develop ideas and plan two different shots to show the light side and the dark side.

This is Bob. Bob is my teaching mentor. He was the band teacher at my first teaching job in an urban school in Columbus, Ohio. Bob encouraged my ideas, encouraged me to get my masters degree, encouraged me to submit my lesson plans to educational fairs, basically encouraged me to be a much better teacher than I would be today. He's a dear friend and I love getting to see him and his wife. I decided to use him as my model for the assignment. My concept was that this is how I see Bob - his light side.

And that this might be how some students see him. Especially misbehaving students.

Teacher Comments: Macy, great concepts and you did a beautiful job of putting all the elements together. #1 is a pleasing photo, nice soft light and pleasant expression. You might try pulling the subject away from the background and even tilting the camera so the lines aren't so horizontal. The lighting and B & W conversion add so much drama to #2! It's a great example of how basically the same shot have such different impact by altering the light.

My Response: It's funny that she thought they were the same shot with different light. Really, I took the first shot in full shade on the East side of Bob's house and the second shot in really contrasty light on the South side of his house. I did like how the B&W turned out. The color version of this shot wasn't "dark" enough. I like the idea of tilting the camera so the lines aren't horizontal. Horizontal lines aren't always good in pictures. One horizontal line, maybe. But not so many.

Set 2: Choose one other idea from the list and create a specific image for it.

The teacher made a list of portrait concepts in the lesson this week. One of them was a series of shots that tell a story. This is my favorite thing to do and I was thrilled when I caught these pictures of G-Man that I posted earlier this week.

Teacher Comments: The Peek-a-Boo is so cute! The series works really well, although you might want to keep the same crop on the right image as the other two. No reason to broaden the shot. The lighting and tones work very well, and capturing the expressions is priceless!

My Reaction: I can see her point about the crop. Though, I used an action that I have that creates blog boards because I was in a hurry and didn't have my usual templates available. I like the wider crop on the last shot. But it would also look cute with all of them the same.

Set 3: Shoot a photograph that involves movement, either by the subject or by moving the camera.

This one took a ridiculous amount of time shooting and editing to make it work. I still struggle with shutter speed and knowing which one to choose to get the shot I want. (I need to read Understanding Exposure again.) My friend Carol was very helpful in lifting G-Man to the top of the slide again and again and again while I tried to figure out what would work. G-Man thought it was great.

Teacher Comments: #4 is very dynamic and you did a great job with the motion. 1/3 sec is very slow, and difficult to do, but you pulled it off. Think about clothing and color and tonalities. This could be very dynamic if he was in more primary colors instead of the neutral tones. Overall, terrific images!

My Reaction: Thinking about clothing would have been nice. It's something I should think about more. I'm so worried about getting enough shots to work with, that I don't always worry about clothing. But the photographers that I love really think about stuff like that and in some instances will charge a fee to pick out clothing for children for a photo shoot. But I digress...it was unfortunate that G-Man's shirt and the slide at the mall were the same color. It still looks cool, but a pop of color would have looked neat.

Other Comments:
- I like it- it almost looks like a watercolor painting the way the color streaks.
- I love this too. It looks like abstract techniques on a painting! Very cool.

Interesting that my least favorite of the ones I posted got the most comments from others. Ah, well.


LL said...

love all that you're learning and SHARING. it's helpful to hear this stuff.
i JUST got your message. I'll call later this morning.
or I'll email now....

Jen said...

I love the little boy peekinking mischieviously behind that chair! So darling!

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