Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Portraits 11/52: Natural-light home studio

A "model" literally walked in to my home today just when I was thinking about whom to shoot for this week project. After the family session last week, I don't want any snapshots. I want properly setup and posed pictures with cooperative models. I couldn't be happier that Dan brought Emily to his study session. And she is so pretty, and her white dress is just perfect for my vision!  I just tried the natural light setup with self-portraits earlier, so perfect timing.

Technical stuff:
This week I'm trying out a new natural light setup.  I found out why my natural lighting was not good enough in my living room. The light was too strong. I need to diffuse that window light and I need a reflector.  Today I put the model a bit far from the window where the light is already soft enough that a diffuser is not needed. I put a reflector (white cardboard) on the opposite of the window with the model in between so that both sides of the face are properly lit.  Reflectors from many angles is the key!!

Important things for this look
   - a diffuser (curtain or white organza or some white sheer sheets and hair clip to hold them up against window)
    - reflector(s)

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Replacing color in photoshop

Friday, March 15, 2013

Portraits 10/52 Cooperative family

Meet baby Vera and her parents.
Both KHMA and Ma Yu are so nice and very cooperative. If I got good pictures today, it's because of  their cooperativeness (starting from taking the clothes off the baby to flipping/handling the baby in difficult ways again and again to get me the poses I want), their willingness to get good pictures and their trust in me that I know what I was doing.  It was a successful photo shoot. I can't thank them enough. Their are professional customers too. They know solid color bedsheets and clean backgrounds are good for photos, and knew to change into the right clothes without me needing to request. They made my life easier and made me a happy photographer today.

Still, I could have done a lot better. Need to have more poses, different styles, more props, different outfits, outdoor, tiny feet. I left my sketch of poses and shoot plan on dinning table right before I left my house, Duh!!  What's the point of all that preparation and sketches if I don't remember to bring it?  And I forgot to bring my prop woven basket too. Jeez. Now I learned.  Next time.  I did managed to bring all the  needed gear with me though. It's unbelievable how much my thoughts can get scattered when adrenaline was rushing though my body during the shoot.

Now onto technical stuff... ....
I shot some frames with 430EXII on 2x2' softbox on ETTL. Did I mention enough that I hate ETTL?  I should have just taken a few manual power setting and get it right since the beginning and use it for the rest since my camera's  manual setup of f/4 and 1/200s should kill the ambient enough already. I think spot metering v.s matrix metering also affects ETTL, not just the regular in-camera metering. I love their huge sliding doors with diffused coating that gave me enough soft natural light. The background could be cleaner; but of course, it's a home and not a studio. So I just hope that it gives a feel of being home with family instead. LOL.

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Portraits 9/52 Family, friends and dogs

The thing I love about taking picture of Indian people is that they have a cool look naturally. No need to tell them not to smile or to give me a serious look. They have naturally intense gaze that "search" into the lens.

One of these two men is from Madrid. His wife asked me a lot about my project. She's actually more interested in me as a person than my project.

Farmers' market again this week. It was a cloudy day with peaking sun from time to time, so I can't pass the diffused light at the market even though I made up my mind not to go to market again this week.

This family eating Gyros looked so warm and fun that I had to take their picture. Seeing big family always reminds me of home. 

The black version of Chopper. Really! Doesn't he look like Chopper, my cat? So cute.