Posts tagged ‘Photograph’

March 28, 2011

So, show me your colour scheme . . .

What colour is your furniture?

What shades are your walls and your curtains?

If you’re looking to invest in a family portrait to hang on your wall, these are questions you need to ask yourself.

I know what you’re thinking: “what have my curtains got to do with photography?”. Well, you’re going to hang those photographs somewhere aren’t you? If you choose a location and clothes that don’t work with your decor, you’re going to get those portraits home and note, with immense frustration, that you don’t have anywhere to hang them. If you don’t hang them, you can’t enjoy them. Simple really.
Imagine that your home decor is all in autumn colours – russet reds and burnt oranges for instance. Then imagine that you all wear beautiful pastel colours, well coordinated of course, to your session. The two won’t mix well.

So, in what sort of tones is your house, or the room you want to hang your portraits in, decorated?

Once you’ve asked yourself this, and found the answer, you need to discuss the answer with your photographer.

One of the reasons I like to meet clients in their homes is that it gives me an opportunity to see their living environment. I can get a feel for their style and their decor. All this information helps me to advise them on the most suitable locations for their session and give them more tailored clothing suggestions. I can also visualise and develop a concept for their session that will work better for them. In short, it takes some guess work out of it for me, and helps me to give my clients a more satisfying result.

So, show me your colour scheme . . .

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March 22, 2011

Raccoon eyes to model looks

I’m writing this post for those of you who use automatic cameras – either the sort that’s small enough to fit into a pocket or an SLR/DSLR that you only ever use on auto. And, when I refer to the ‘subject’ of the photograph I’m assuming that you’re photographing a person ;p.
There are a couple of problems that come to mind when I think about taking photographs outdoors in full sun. Firstly, if your subject is in full sun, especially in the middle of the day, you’re likely to see harsh shadows on the face. With the light coming from overhead, shadows are thrown under the eyes and nose. These are generally quite unflattering and won’t give you the results you might like. You may also find your sbuject squinting in the harsh sunlight, closing up their eyes and scrunching up their nose. So, here are a couple of tricks you can use to counter these problems.

little boy in full sun

Little lad photographed in full midday sun. Just look at those shadows!

The first is to get your subject to move into the shade. Look closely at the shade, though. Is it dappled? If so it too might be leaving odd looking shadows on people’s faces. Look for nice, even shade. Trees or building overhangs can be quite obliging. Once you’ve maneuovered your subject into a good patch of shade, try taking your shot. Be aware that if you there is a lot of light visible within the camera frame, behind or around your subject, the camera may under expose the skin leaving the person looking a bit dark. This is because, even though your camera may be fairly sophisticated, if used on auto it doesn’t know exactly what in the frame you want properly exposed. So, the software will take a sort of average of all the light that it detects within the frame and expose for that rather than specifically for your subject’s skin. You can get around this problem by framing very closely, filling the viewer with your subject’s face, or you can try using the flash on your camera to fill in the darker portions. Try both and see which result you prefer the look of.

Boy in the shade

Here he is in the shade of a tree.

The second way to avoid the harsh shadows that full sunlight can produce is simply to find the sun, and turn your subject’s back to it. You may find again that the camera is exposing for a lot of background light. The solutions, again, are to crop in ¬†closer, or try adding some flash. The beauty of turning your subject’s back to the light, though, is that the light will catch in their hair giving a beautiful glow that is very attractive.

Little lad backlit by the sun

Here's the little lad backlit by the sun.

Both of these options should eliminate the problem of squinting by ensuring that your subject isn’t trying to stare into the sun.¬†There are other techniques used by professionals to produce good results when photographing outside, but I hope these will prove useful to you. Feel free to comment below or ask further questions and I’ll be happy to reply.

– All these photos were taken on a Canon Ixus 700 compact camera.

March 12, 2011

A photo for today.

Just a photograph for the day. Mr one year old has been sitting very happily in the sand pit, all by himself, playing.

Baby in the sand pit

 

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