Monday, April 9, 2012

Learning Curve in Photography

Recently, I was asked to take photographs at the induction ceremony for our High School Athletic Hall of Fame. I agreed, and I was reasonably happy with how I did. I realized that my photography skills, especially in the portrait area, have improved dramatically since I started focusing on this a couple of years ago. Some of what I have learned seems obvious in retrospect.  Find a place with decent light (harder than you might think in a hotel ballroom).
I was lucky there was an atrium and that the event was early enough that I got some decent light. I was glad I didn't have to experiment with reflectors and external light.
I tried for a consistent background without too much clutter (again difficult in the shooting environment). Tried to be aware of glare on the plaques.
And spent enough time with each person to get them to relax and achieve a reasonably natural expression.  On the whole, not too bad.
But, I have a lot to learn! My friend and fellow coast side photographer Betty Ruppel just took the baseball team portraits, including this awesome shots featuring two of my son's teammates.
I love so much about this photograph - the lighting, the expressions, the mood. She took it outdoors at dusk, with an external light, and she tweaked it on the computer. I want to learn how to do that!
But, I guess photography is like any other art form. Practice. Study. Practice some more. Here's a couple of interesting links that I have found lately, which are also helpful.
On posing women in portraits. 
On learning to see the light.
And just added - tips on posing men in portraits.
These three are from the great website Digital Photography School. I'm always interested in my photography pointers. Got any to share?


scrappyjacky said...

I'm always in awe of your photos,Rinda.....I certainly couldn't give you any pointers!!!!!

Jo Murray said...

You did well Rinda. Thanks for the links.

Jo.C said...

Congrats on your two wins. I think you need to put the lotto on :0)
Great photos - I'm not brilliant at portraits. I think I have learnt reading your points thank you.

debs14 said...

When we have presentation evenings at our school I am involved in the photography 'studio' area so I know the kind of pitfalls you may have! Our girls are photographed either holding books or silver/glass trophies. The books are a nightmare with getting the angle right so you get no bounce off the flash. But the best bit of equipment that the guy brings with him is a portable backdrop. Just a stand that he hangs a roll of plain, slightly textured paper from that is just the right width to go behind the person and long enough to be taped down about 2 metres along the floor for them to stand on. Gives a perfect backdrop.

Melissa said...

Great job Rinda!

BTW - just saw that you won a class on Ali Edward's blog - congrats!

alexa said...

They all look great! I have nothing to add - apart from: would you teach me? :)

Cheri said...

Just saw Ali's post - congrats on winning the spot in Amy Tan's class!

The Mann Fam said...

Great job, Rinda!

becky ruppel said...

I think you did great-it's a challenge to get strangers to relax and trust you to make them look good. I have taken a couple of portrait classes online but one of the most valuable resources i've found is a book called "people pictures" by Chris Orwig. Ever chapter is a lesson with an assignment.
Good job Maria!

Karen said...

Sometimes I'm just overwhelmed by all I have to learn about photography! I'm taking an online course now called A Sense of Place. I'm hoping it will help me focus on new ways of seeing the places we visit as well as where we live. I've also joined three local photography groups and am learning a lot from their meetings, sharing, and community.

Sian said...

No, I definitely couldn't give you any pointers!

Congrats on your win from me too

Beverly said...

I think you did a great job on the Hall of Famers portraits. They all look very natural and comfortable.