Going into Studio Portraiture
It’s almost 2014 and before the year 2013 ends, I’d like to share some more photos.
For most of my two years in photography, I’ve been a “natural” light photographer. And the word “natural” is with quotation marks to mean someone who doesn’t know how to use artificial lights. For the most part, it didn’t matter as I’ve shot landscapes, macro (artificial lighting would be useful here) and travel photos. However, when I bought my first off camera flash, the Nissin Di 622 mark II (with wireless TTL), a new world opened up for me. Not only can I control the direction of the light, I can also stop down more and lower ISO to decent levels (think ISO 100 to 400).
My mother and father on Christmas day. The backdrop is a white fabric my mother brought out and pinned to the patterned curtain underneath it. The dog between my father’s leg is my shih tzu who found the feel of a fabric good and slept there.
Photography has always been about light, not photographing the dark and pushing everything up until it looks good. In this regard, the use of flash (and the reflector, umbrellas and flash controller gifted to me or bought after) really ushered me into a new world in photography. With the decrease in my out-of-town travels and the general feeling of been-there-seen-it-photographed-it on most of the places we go to, the avenue for a different type of photography really excited me. (And me getting excited about something is really expensive. On the good side, flash and light modifiers are not as expensive as buying a new lens or camera).
My second cousin. She’s only two years older than my mother but is weaker and more sickly. She said that she wants to have her photo taken so that she’ll have a nice photo to be displayed in her casket when she dies (a bit morbid for Christmas day).
Despite going for a studio-type portraiture, I have no intention of going commercial (or professional – in the sense as paid). Photography is an expensive hobby but the work does not pay much. I’d have to keep my current job and do photography only as a hobby. Besides, studio photography is more static than travel photography and landscapes. Everyone will be seated and posed while you take shots with pre-arranged lighting. I know it can be excited but given that I need to have a studio (and a large one at that), it will be too much of an effort.
What I do plan on doing is environmental portraiture with my friends on our trips. All I need is to find a way to reduce the weight and volume of the flash and modifiers for traveling. I think it will really be awesome to get a lit portrait on top of some high cliff overlooking the sea or in a white sand beach in some less-visited island.
One more thing I like about doing flash photography is the higher than normal keepers. With available light pictures, many are not useful due to camera shake (not a problem with flash as I shoot manual with shutter speed of 160 to 200), shadow falling on the wrong part of the face (lighting is positioned) or out of focus (with lens stopped down, DOF is much deeper).
I was really amazed with the A4 prints I made with these portraits. The colors, the details, wonderful! I think they’ll make good A3 prints or bigger too. I’ve printed several to display in our house (our house in the province) and to give as gifts to the portrait subjects.
I know that some of these pictures are not properly posed or the subjects are not properly dressed but this is just the beginning of my foray into this type of photography. I’ll experiment more with posing, clothing and lighting for more artistic photos in the future.
That’s all for now and HAPPY NEW YEAR! May our 2014 be more blessed than previous years. Keep on clicking.