LCC MA: Portrait shoots…

LCC MA: Portrait shoots…

  • On 2nd April 2009

I haven’t been on here for a few weeks and it feels like a lot has happened. Not only have I been shooting assignments for the MA but I have also been away, shooting a bit of other stuff and then last weekend I was at a conference about War Imagery at the Imperial War Museum-very interesting, met some interesting people and lots of ideas were banging around the room.

MA Portraits assignment (It feels like ages ago that I shot this now)

Looking at these with John last night made me reflect more positively on them that I had initially. I tried to challenge myself by using a lighting kit as well as shooting each set in numerous locations with numerous angles-close-up, mid and environmental shots.

Portraits 1-Sean Ryan

Positives-It was a “pretty good set”. Contemporary lighting and good use of shadow in some of the outside shots. Simple background can work v. well so don’t be afraid of that and over complicate.

Going forward-find a way of lighting a room (to get context of what was clearly an interesting flat). Think about natural light sources in the room and try to replicate this with the lights. Balance the light more so that when there is light in the background it is not drowned out by too much subject light. Try using just tungsten for interior portraits (forgot what I would normally have tried if I wasn’t using a lighting kit!)


Portraits 2-Emma Major

Positives-Great variety. Good use of space (as Homer would say!) in some images. Interesting crops, intensity. Pastel portraits v. contemporary and quite fashiony with muted colours. Extracts her femininity well. A certain style emerges with a sensitivity to subject. Good set

Going forward-photograph lighting set up to remember it. Crop out of the frame unnecessary objects (bathroom mirror). Try straight on portraits-art directors love it. Outside shots-could have used soft light to light her face.

So here are some images from the second portrait I shot of Emma, a long distance runner:


I thought I would take a look at what some of my bathroom series looked like cropped. Here’s the results:



I am pleased with these sets of images although recognise the mistakes as well as the strengths. As with anything of this nature it is practice which will improve my portraiture. I think these images all show  a good control and relationship of/with the subject and there are signs of my own style and creativity emerging. The overall weakness for me is lack of ultimate technical control of the situation in some instances. I was so thankful to be shooting on digital so that I could get an idea of the lighting as I went along. As I said to John in my tutorial I don’t feel 100% confident using a lighting kit but I could work my waay through a situation and have plenty of creative and visual ideas which ultimately will be a great strength once the technical issues are sorted. There is so much to deal with when shooting portraits you can become absorbed in one aspect and forget others so it’s important to try and stand back during the picture making process…