October 2, 2012 at 10:22 am #1085
Have been doing a course at Danebank and thought I’d post one on line. Since we see lots of lovely ladies I thought I’d post a gentleman for a change.October 2, 2012 at 10:23 am #1087
Ian can you repost this for me I seem to be getting it wrong, will speak to you on thursday. ThanksOctober 2, 2012 at 8:25 pm #1088
Here you go, Meg…October 3, 2012 at 10:29 am #1102
I like this portrait, Meg. It shows ‘Brian’ as you might really see him if you happened to be in the same room, rather than as someone posing for their portrait. You immediately start to wonder what he’s thinking about, how he’s feeling, etc. In other words, you start to relate to him as a person, and not as the subject of a photo.
The side lighting is very nice, and I like the way it falls off across the background, but still gives some searation. I assume this was in natural light, near a window? It certainly looks ‘Rembrandt-ish’, with gentle chiaroscuro modelling the forms very pleasingly. (You can say that sort of thing to an Art graduate, can’t you?!)
Of course, it’s not the sort of composition that would wow a club photography judge. They’d probably say it was too central in the frame, and perhaps that it should fill the frame more. But I think, as a quality fine-art portrait, it’s fine, though I might have put his right eye where the diagonals actually cross – rather than just on one diagonal – or perhaps just above that point vertically? And, if this is where he lives / works, I might have hinted at a bit more detail in the room, to include some sense of place. (But that starts to turn it into a different image, and we should stick to what you actually did!)
On my screen its just a tiny fraction on the dark side – but I wouldn’t brighten it much, as you’d spoil the introspective feeling and quiet atmosphere.
As I’m looking at this, it’s growing on me. I start to have lots of feelings and impressions about what Brian is like. And isn’t that what a real portrait should get you to do? Excellent!October 3, 2012 at 2:13 pm #1107
Great comments Mac and you can say”Rembrantish to a an arts grad. But just to put you right it was taken in a studio setting with one Bowens Studio Soft light angled to the side. I agree that some of his shirt has been burnt out/lost and agree that perhaps a reflector would have given more detail to the side. I agree that a club judge would not be keen on it, but I’m not out to please them,(most of the time). Though I guess we are all looking for cricitcal acceptance at some time or other.
I think your right he is perhaps a tad too square in the frame and probably would have improved the photograph by cropping either side a little. I like the idea that place is neutral and that it leaves the view wondering about the sitter and the photographer. But thanks for the comments I always appriecate comments on my work.October 3, 2012 at 2:24 pm #1108
Interesting that it’s lit with a softbox. When I wrote the comments above, I found myself about to say that perhaps the light might have been a little bit higher, and then thought that might have been tricky if the source was a window! (And I couldn’t zoom in on the catch lights to work out what the source might have been.)
Anyway, you did a good job with the lighting. I like the chiaroscuro; I don’t know that you need fill light, unless you want to hint – but only very subtly – at a bit of form around his left ear. As it is, I just see the lighting as naturally contrasty. But then I don’t know the ‘rules’ that judges go in for about portraiture! 😉October 3, 2012 at 3:29 pm #1111
Now I might be getting this wrong Mac,or getting egg on my face. To me when I say a soft box I mean a Bowens Light withe the white diffuser over the lamp, thats a soft bos isn’t it? Yeah the ear does need a little hint of light I agree.Perhaps I may try burning or dodging it out.But that may (forgive the pun) make a pigs ear of it.
As to judging and rules of portaiture competitons Like you I have no idea at all either.October 3, 2012 at 3:40 pm #1113October 3, 2012 at 4:54 pm #1116
More like the top one but bigger and squarer in format Mac. But thats the general idea.October 3, 2012 at 5:01 pm #1117
Yes, I get the idea. There are all manner of light modifiers. In effect, yours sounds as though it works rather like a softbox – soft, diffuse light (as long as it’s fairly near the subject) and somewhat directional. I guess it may or may not be silvered inside. The effect on Brian is like a softbox – or a north-facing window, or one with a gauze or muslin or net curtain across it. Same idea – diffuse the light so the light looks big from the subject’s point of view – the shadows then don’t have hard edges.October 3, 2012 at 5:17 pm #1120
With your keen interest in portraits Meg. so sadly neglected in clubs today–would suggest–start at very basic for lightin . Books from library-work up to the more dramatic stuff. Try a small flash subdued coming over back of right shoulder. Try and post a very old image showing this–try!!October 6, 2012 at 4:24 pm #1185
Thanks for your post Ken I always like to see your work and how you achieve your shots. I am at present taking a course at Danebank on studio lighting for portraits. On the course we have moved lamps around the model to create tension and drama as well as subtle lighting. So thats why I apprieciate comments from yourself, Mac and the others from the CPS Site and Phototalk forum. So I will continue to pick your brains Ken, Mac etal. Bailey and Snowdon and Lichfield (it may take centuries) but watch out!!!!October 6, 2012 at 5:51 pm #1193
Meg >>> Would you remind me again who the Dane Bank tutor is that runs the lighting course?October 6, 2012 at 6:33 pm #1194
Its a chap called Ben Pickles, hes’s recently graduated from MMU or Slaford University.It runs on a Monday night from 7:00pm -9:00pm, He’s very good. You of course know Chantal Bradburn who is a fantastic photographer and art history teacher.The course on studio lighting for Portraits runs for five weeks, think the next one is just before Christmas or may be after the New Year.October 7, 2012 at 7:54 pm #1213
It’s interesting to read Ian’s comments on Meg’s picture. Quite a lot different from my comments on the other side when I criticised the hand. I’m surprised Meg is still speaking to me. It’s interesting how different people see a picture. Ian has made me look at the photo a bit deeper and I understand what he’s saying about the what it says about the subject. Sorry Meg.
It sounds an interesting course that I think I would probably have liked to do. It could do it in January, but I’m going away early in February so would miss the end.
- This reply was modified 6 years, 4 months ago by Pete Robinson.
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