Archive for the ‘portraits’ category

Photo of the Day: Strange Doorway

May 3, 2008

Photo Details:
Camera: Nikon D80

F-Stop: f/3.5
Focal Length: 18 mm
Exposure Bias: +0/3ev
Speed: 1/10
ISO: 800

Door, originally uploaded by foolscircle.

Meaghan Falvey, who plays the character of Door in “Neverwhere” over at the Actors Gymnasium, has a number of sequences where she manages to look simply enchanting. One of my favorite touches is the way in which there’s a keyhole is incorporated into the design of her costume and how she manages to pull off the strange steampunk/street urchin look. Anyway, after the dress rehearsal finished, Meaghan was sitting in the… you know, I have no idea what the hell those things are called. You know those silk sheets used by aerial performers? Well, she was sitting in a swing made from two of them tied together at the base.

Anyway, Meaghan looked simply lovely in the light, and so I made her sit still while I snapped off a couple of shots. Seriously, she was trying not to crack up during this sequence, but she put up with my insane demands (“turn away… good, now look over your shoulder at me… stop smiling, dammit!”) and the end result is one of my favorite photos from the set.


Photo of the Day: Leora

February 12, 2008

Photo Details:
Camera: Nikon D100

F-Stop: f/4.5
Focal Length: 24 mm
Exposure Bias: 0
Speed: 1/15
ISO: 400

Leora, Center Stage, originally uploaded by foolscircle.

One of my first photo assignments after I got my D100 was to photograph a party being thrown by the Multicultural Club on Whitman’s campus. While I was there, I decided to try an experiment with my friend Leora: I had her stand near the rotating dance light and not move for about two seconds while I snapped off a couple of low-speed shots.

I don’t know why, but I’ve always been particularly fond of this result.

Photo of the Day: Rob Lok

February 5, 2008

Rob Lok, originally uploaded by foolscircle.

F-Stop: f/4.8
Focal Length: 52 mm
Exposure Bias: 0 Shutter
Speed: 1/500
ISO: 400

Rob Lok, one of the various performers I was on tour with for a while. This was a promo photo we took for him to use at an upcoming festival in China. It was actually one of the easiest shots I’ve ever done: he sat atop a pile of stacking chairs and we just used the light from the sunset; I didn’t even have to adjust the lighting at all with a flash.

A Quick Guide To Portraits

February 23, 2007

Aqua and Kabe, originally uploaded by foolscircle.

Photo Details:
Camera: Nikon D100
F-Stop: f/5.6
Focal Length: 38 mm
Exposure Bias: 0.00
Shutter Speed: 1/90
ISO: 200

Can we be honest? For just one second? OK, here goes: I generally hate taking portraits. It’s because I’m simply not a people person.


I swear.

It isn’t because people will often assume they know more about lighting and poses and start trying to take over the photo shoot. Surprisingly, this rarely occurs when I’m taking head shots; I largely suspect it’s due to theatre people being terrified that I’ll become vindictive and make them look fat. Some of the most problematic shoots can be high school portraits, during which parents can sometimes get more than a little bossy and start telling you exactly how everything needs to go. I’ve generally come up with a solution in the form of a verbal contract explaining how it works: you provide your kid’s wardrobe and chose the location of the shoot (because you have a general idea of how you want the pictures to look), I take the photos and arrange where/how the kid will pose (because I have a general idea of how photography, y’know, works). You’d be amazed at how easy portrait shoots can go, provided you’ve laid down some ground rules.

My favorite portraits are usually those that my friends ask me to take, partially because everything’s so laid back during those sessions and partially because they trust me to make them look good. The nice thing about shooting pictures of friends is that I know what they’re like, which means I can generally find an environment that is as comfortable and fun for them to pose in as it is for me to shoot in. If you have a chance, hang out with your subject for an hour or so and just get to know them a little better. Oftentimes, this will make them a little more comfortable with you as both a person and a photographer; this will generally make for a much more rewarding photo shoot. For this example, we’re going to use my friends Aqua and Kabe as models.

Essentially, Aqua (the guy) wanted to get a portrait of he and his girlfriend in their new leather jackets. I liked the lines on the jackets, so I decided to pose them somewhere where there were other horizontal that would enhance the linear visual without overpowering it.

*Side note*
Don’t choose a location more interesting than your subject. It never works out.

Both Aqua’s and Kabe’s outfits contrasted nicely with the brick and glass background. For the most part, I just sauntered around them and took pictures of them being cute and holding each other. Kabe was feeling kind of self-concious, I guess, and wouldn’t look directly at the camera, so I played it up by having her look at Aqua instead.

After approximately 20 minutes of subjecting them to my lens’s scrutiny, I managed to capture this moment and fell in love with it. I cropped it down so it had a tighter, more polished feel, and the end result was the image at the top.