Monthly Assignment #2: Natural Light Portrait

NikolaiNikolai Darth SLRPosts: 19,033Registered Users Major grins
edited December 14, 2011 in Assignments
You all know him (and if you don't, you should :deal ).
You all love his work (and if you don't, you probably never saw it :wink )
And now you have a chance to learn from him. :clap

This month we will be shooting portraits, and our guide, expert, guru and teacher is no one else but Yuri Pautov himself!

We're going to learn a lot. This class will cover a lot of aspects, from basic shooting technique to exquisite "Yuri Pautov" signature post-processing to applied psychology.

It's not gonna be an easy task, but I'm sure the end results will be rewarding.

Speaking of the end results…
Just like in our previous assignment with Master Ken, there are specific tasks you need to perform in order to successfully "graduate" from this Class. These tasks are:
  • Interior portrait - by the window, clean b/g
  • Exterior portrait – "by the wall"
  • Exterior portrait - blurred background (street, field) or no background (skies, sea)
I'm sure Yuri will come with some advanced tasks, but at least we have some concrete goals right off the bat.

This is the thread where you post your questions, entries, etc.

And now, without any further ado, I give you Yuri Pautov and the Natural Light Portrait! :barb
"May the f/stop be with you!"
Star*Explorer: on Dgrin, home; Master Class: open;
Class is in session, My Facebook, @DarthSLR, #NiksTips
member: NAPP, PPA, partner: Adobe
Comprehending life, universe and everything - one pixel at a time
«134

Comments

  • Yuri PautovYuri Pautov Major grins Posts: 1,918Registered Users Major grins
    edited September 13, 2007
    Ma 2.1
    Hello, dear DGriners and guests!
    First of all let me say my 'Spasibo' ("Thank you" in Russian) to Nikolai, who kindly gave me this chance to share some of my thoughts, my knowledge and technique with you. And, of course, Spasibo to DGrin!
    Some brief bio.
    I live in Voronezh, Russia, 500 km from Moscow with my wife Galina. Our daughter Anna is 28. I have been taking photos since my childhood. In 2002 I have pressed the trigger on my first digital camera – Sony F707. Later I changed it to Sony R1.
    In photography I prefer portraits. In portraits I prefer women's portraits. Finally: my English could be much better if I'd spend much more time abroad… Forgive me in advance for my mistakes.
    My photo gallery can be found at http://pautov.viplast.ru

    As you already know, the subject of our class is 'Natural light portrait'.

    One can read in books that the main purpose of taking portrait shots is to
    1) show the character, or
    2) to create a character.
    In my case (I mean women's portraits), its showing or creating a Beauty.

    We all know that 'photography' word itself means 'light writing' (BTW it was for discovery of photons that Albert Einstein received his Nobel Prize, not for his famous theory of relativity), so we will talk about the light.
    The word 'Portrait' comes from the old French verb 'portraire' – to portray, to picture…
    So we will also talk about what we need to picture – compositions, backgrounds, foregrounds…
    And, definitely, we will be talking about models!


    Table of contents

    Part I. Preparations for shooting
    They include:
    a) Inspecting all gears that we need:
    1) camera
    2) tripod (for some shots)
    3) remote (for some shots) – but if you don't have remote, you can use camera's timer
    4) reflector (for some shots)
    And, of course, afterwards,
    5) computer, photo editing software (I use Adobe PhotoShop)
    b) Finding a person to photograph.
    c) Choosing time
    d) Choosing place
    e) Choosing dress


    Part II. Shooting.
    I try to use A priority while shooting. I also use tripod and remote for indoor shots and outdoors if the weather is dull. I try not to forget to use different points of shooting. From the ground. From above. I never stop talking with my model during photo session. I feel how silence is killing something between me and my model. And this ‘something’ is very important.
    I use full zoom (135 equiv), but sometimes I use wide angle.


    Part III. Editing

    I tell apart Editing and Preparations for publishing.
    If I have RAW (mainly) files I use my Sony software (Image Data Converter SR) to make jpg files. Usually I add sharpness (up to +30), have some work with white balance, EV and tone curve.
    During Editing I try to work with some skin disturbing things only. Instruments used:Patch tool, Healing brush. I try to save edited photo as closer to the original as possible.

    Part IV. Preparations for publishing

    I like this part of photo work most of all, but frankly I always don’t have enough time for it.
    I have a secret. I use some software, which helps me to get interesting results without spending much time. First I crop a photo. It is always a matter of taste. Then, depending on what I am going to do – web or print, I resize the image. And then I use my secret weapon.
    It is called ‘optikVervelabs Virtual photographer’.
    It is free downloaded from
    http://www.optikvervelabs.com/

    Sorry, but it is only for PC users.
    These PhotoShop plug-ins gives me an amazing instrument for creativity.
    I also often use Harry Behret’s method (as I call it, Thank you Harry!).
    1.Ctrl+J – duplicate a layer
    2. Choose ‘multiply’ blending mode
    3. Filter-> Blur -> Gaussian Blur (4-20)
    5 Set opacity to what you need

    That is all.

    Later I’m going to make some posts with details of things listed above . Some of these posts may have tasks for your homework.
    I will be waiting for your questions, because it is easy to me to answer concrete questions then to ‘write a book’. Of course, we will have some discussions during our Master Class.
    To be continued,
    Yuri
  • Yuri PautovYuri Pautov Major grins Posts: 1,918Registered Users Major grins
    edited September 13, 2007
    MA 2.2 Backgrounds
    I. Preparations for shooting

    d) Choosing place

    I try to pay much attention to the backgrounds. That is why when I drive my car, or walk along the streets, I always look for interesting backgrounds. Interesting colors of the wall and interesting texture of the door may attract my attention. Interesting building, or a part of a building. I make a ‘frame’ in my mind and look through this frame, zooming and stepping aside, imagining my model standing here or there, sitting or bending forward. I keep all these places in my mind. And I always try to work up the route of our photo session.
    If we make indoor shots, our background readiness will be useful too. You’ll not waste your time looking for a place to shoot.
    Please, pay attention to the light. The background that you have found in the morning may not work in the evening.
    Choosing the background, try to find the one without horizontal /vertical lines, especially if those lines will be at model’s head level.
    Here are some examples.
    1. Ballerina portrait with theatre indoors background
    537.jpg

    2. Colorful background
    1396.jpg

    3. “Dark” background
    1358.jpg

    4 Wood
    1636.jpg

    5 Arch
    4674.jpg

    6 Street / alley
    4254.jpg


    So, the task for your homework will be choosing “A background for a portrait”. Look around and take some shots of such places. Tell us why did you choose them. Who will be photographed using these backgrounds?
    [FONT=&quot](man/woman young/old and so on)[/FONT]
    As usual, I am waiting for your questions.
    [FONT=&quot]Yuri[/FONT]
  • InvectiveInvective RedHead with a Camera Posts: 113Registered Users Major grins
    edited September 13, 2007
    Yuri, you have been one of may favorite posters since I first joined. No matter how busy, I always try to keep up with your work! I am ecstatic for this assignment! :D
    "The fool doth think he is wise, but the wise man knows himself to be a fool."
  • george-1george-1 Just a Grinnin' Posts: 48Registered Users Big grins
    edited September 13, 2007
    So very timely for me!
    A friend has asked me to do some publicity shots for her band, I am estatic that this assignment has come along at just the right time.

    I'm especially excited to learn Yuri's secrets, although from viewing his work I think the secret is hard work and talent.

    Looking forward to learning.

    Thanks, Nilolai, for this assignment.

    --
    George
  • pathfinderpathfinder Drive By Digital Shooter Posts: 14,043Super Moderators moderator
    edited September 13, 2007
    I am really looking forward to this months session, as are scads of other admirer's of Yuri's work, I am sure.thumb.gif

    Nik - any possibility of holding this course for longer than 4 weeks since so many of us are going to be in Glacier for one or two weeks?
    Pathfinder - www.pathfinder.smugmug.com

    Moderator of the Technique Forum and Finishing School on Dgrin
  • NikolaiNikolai Darth SLR Posts: 19,033Registered Users Major grins
    edited September 13, 2007
    pathfinder wrote:
    Nik - any possibility of holding this course for longer than 4 weeks since so many of us are going to be in Glacier for one or two weeks?
    Jim, we do not *close* classes per se, so you can always play later mwink.gif
    If there is a real pinch, we'll think of something deal.gif
    "May the f/stop be with you!"
    Star*Explorer: on Dgrin, home; Master Class: open;
    Class is in session, My Facebook, @DarthSLR, #NiksTips
    member: NAPP, PPA, partner: Adobe
    Comprehending life, universe and everything - one pixel at a time
  • pathfinderpathfinder Drive By Digital Shooter Posts: 14,043Super Moderators moderator
    edited September 13, 2007
    OK - that works for meclap.gif
    Pathfinder - www.pathfinder.smugmug.com

    Moderator of the Technique Forum and Finishing School on Dgrin
  • evorywareevoryware Major grins Posts: 1,330Registered Users Major grins
    edited September 13, 2007
    Wow! Last months assignment really excited me about still life photography. But this; this is what I'm really interested in and Yuri's shots have been extremely motivational for me. I have a few questions but I'll wait till I have some pics.
    Canon 40D : Canon 400D : Canon Elan 7NE : Canon 580EX : 2 x Canon 430EX : Canon 24-70 f2.8L : Canon 70-200mm f/2.8L USM : Canon 28-135mm f/3.5 IS : 18-55mm f/3.5 : 4GB Sandisk Extreme III : 2GB Sandisk Extreme III : 2 x 1GB Sandisk Ultra II : Sekonik L358

    dak.smugmug.com
  • Antonio CorreiaAntonio Correia Always learning Setubal - PortugalPosts: 6,181Registered Users Major grins
    edited September 14, 2007
    Popular party on the street in Moita, Portugal.
    With bulls. Uuumm ... I don't like that kind of parties !ne_nau.gif
    But people I'm working with told me to come and make some shots.

    I had in mind, as usual, the assignments and the opportunity arose after a sandwich of beef and bread with a cold bear.:D

    I thought that these two young ladies, one younger than the other, were a good target. I told them that I was going to shoot them and I asked a young man to hold the flash on the second shot, the one on the left, the 430 EX with the ST-E2 on the 350 D.

    At the first shots, I had a reflection on that red. Look at the right photo please, where there is a small reflection just above the head of the young lady. I was holding the flash with my left hand as higher as I could.mwink.gif

    Then I told the assistant to move to my right and then click, click.
    Well ?! ...ne_nau.gif How do you like it ?
    195553788-L.jpg . . . . . 195560957-M.jpg
    ...
    Today is Sunday. I will keep posting here.
    196429772-L.jpg ... 196437718-L.jpg

    On the left picture it is obvious that I have used the flash off camera holded by an assistant. I asked the model and he was cooperative.
    The one on the right was a "surprise" shot but I have thought it with that back scene in mind.
    196442179-L.jpg

    In this shot I also used the flash off camera. The scenario is the natural one. I consider these pictures as portraits because as we can see, the gentleman owns the plain and is very proud of it ! :D
    May be this is not your idea Yuri. may be you just want more uniform backs, more neutral, like the man in uniform ...
    All the best ! ... António Correia - Facebook
  • dlscott56dlscott56 Major grins Posts: 1,320Registered Users Major grins
    edited September 15, 2007
    Yuri, first of all thank you for taking the time to do this. Your photography is incredible and if feel quite honored that I will be able to participate in this assignment. As with last months assignment, I know that I will learn a lot and my photography will improve.

    And now ... on to your first homework!!!

    Here are several places I was thinking about that are easily accessible to me so that I can go back to them many times for re-shooting.

    I chose this one because I thought it would be a peaceful, natural background, with little to detract from the model in the foreground.

    196000820-M.jpg

    I thought this one had some interesting elements with the curved stair and railing in the background. There is a window nearby to provide some natural lighting, although this shot was taken in the evening so there was little light coming in.

    196000883-L.jpg

    Not sure about this one it just seemed like some elements that could be used. The fireplace could be lit for some added effect. I'm just now noticing your comment about avoiding horizontal and vertical lines so this one may not be any good.

    196000739-L.jpg
  • Yuri PautovYuri Pautov Major grins Posts: 1,918Registered Users Major grins
    edited September 17, 2007
    MA 2.2.2 Backgrounds. part 2
    Backgrounds. Part 2.
    Choosing a background is a very important part in preparations for portrait photo session.
    Keeping some ‘true’ backgrounds around you in mind will help you a lot in taking portraits. These will be ‘tried’ places. Because the mistakes you’ll make (with horizontal lines of a picture’s frame hanging on a wall and coming off the head, for example) will correct your collection of backgrounds.
    Simple background is always needed. Simple background will never take away attention of your photo’s viewer. Simple background is so to say ‘the support’ of the main subject in the photograph. Your Model, or the Hero of the portrait.
    Your background may be a part of a wall. With its texture, its color. Or an old metal or wooden door. Dark space. For example, your garage without lights, when looking into it in a dull day. Blurred perspective. And so on.
    We remember the rule of ‘taking white on black and black on white’. That is why try to have several different simple backgrounds.
    Adding details to the background may have several purposes. Background’s lines (elements of landscape or interior) may ‘lead’ viewer’s look to your model. This is a secret of your composition. And it is important to disengage yourself from the content. Leaving only lines and forms in your mind.
    Details may also say something about the profession of the portrait’s hero. About his surrounding. They create a mood. Blue sea, flowers in a vase, old building for example.
    Background is a matter of taste. Your taste.
    In other words, background may become your ‘corporate identity’.


    And so, we will continue our homework called ‘Backgrounds’.
    I’ll be glad to see several backgrounds chosen by you with trend from simple to the more complicated ones.
    Again it will be fine to read your comments. Why. Who will be a Hero of a portrait with this background? Young, old, male, female and so on… Whom do you see with this background?
    Strange, but paying much attention to the background may help you in choosing your model!
    Creating a pose. Choosing a dress.
    Your background makes you 'see' your model!

    So, its your turn.

    To be continued,
    Yuri
  • Antonio CorreiaAntonio Correia Always learning Setubal - PortugalPosts: 6,181Registered Users Major grins
    edited September 17, 2007
    This is a photo where the background, not choosen by me, plays an important role.
    The young boy belongs to the background and is involved in it. makes part of it. He couldn't be anywhere making such a shot with his mobile.
    This picture tells a story. What is he shooting ? On a tree ? ne_nau.gif
    Hope you all like it. I do. :D
    195574890-M.jpg
    All the best ! ... António Correia - Facebook
  • Yuri PautovYuri Pautov Major grins Posts: 1,918Registered Users Major grins
    edited September 17, 2007
    My backgrounds
    I will also 'play the game'.
    I took my camera and made some shots not far from the place where I work - SPARTAK multiplex (6 hall cinema, cafe, two coffee houses, bowling, billiards and so on..), choosing backgrounds.
    1 Indoors. I will use it on a sunny day. Maybe with a reflector. I choose several parts for standing and sitting on a stairs model. Wall’s texture is original, so I will put my model not far from it and won’t blur my background much using DOF. I can make close-up portrait as well as full-length one. Age doesn’t matter.
    5370.jpg

    2 Outdoors. These mirror windows can become original background! Must be careful with all these vertical lines.
    5371.jpg

    3 This small building has several solid colored parts. I can make half-length portrait of models with bright or dark hair.
    5372.jpg

    4 These door and stairs are interesting for full-length photo. Can play with DOF, using the street perspective of model on a stairs. Also interesting gray background.
    5373.jpg

    5 The street lamp with blurred street background is interesting. Such a street detail…
    5374.jpg

    6 This building is interesting itself, but could also be a wonderful background for a long legged blonde… Especially with ground point of shooting.
    5375.jpg

    7 This building of an old factory is also interesting due to its perspective, detail’s repetition.
    It may be good for close-up and full-length portraits also.
    5376.jpg

    What do you think?
  • Antonio CorreiaAntonio Correia Always learning Setubal - PortugalPosts: 6,181Registered Users Major grins
    edited September 17, 2007
    Yuri.
    Your approch is quite different from mine, I think. ne_nau.gif
    I don't look for the place to photograph people in.
    I do have some difficulty getting the models. Just a few moments ago, I asked someone and she told me may be yes, may be no.
    Then, I asked directly: Well, yes or no ? headscratch.gif KISS ! :D
    The final anwser was NO.

    So, I try to get people where they are. Like in the shots I have posted here before.
    I have asked and people said OK.
    Then, I took the chance and went ahead.
    As you can see, I have quite different backgrounds for quite different persons/scenarios/situations.
    In the pilot I have choosen the background. Clear, uniform, linear.
    The other pilot, near his plane. Association, story, involvement, participation, ownership.

    I am sure that certain people here will have more difficulty than the others.
    Let me put it this way:
    If you go to Vietnam - and this is my experience - people sometimes or most of the times, turn their faces because they don't like to be photographed. May be an European like me bring to their minds other memories ...
    But, for example in Burma, Myanmar - a terrible militar dictatorship - you meet people smiling and very happy to be photographed, the same happening in India where, it is possible they ask you to be with them in their own pictures ... :D

    In Portugal, it is getting more and more difficult to take pictures of people in the street.
    I have been to the States once and I have not - I was not addicted to photography yet - that kind of experience but I suspect that tacking pictures of people is very difficult, mainly in the great urban areas.

    Russia ? Never been there. Yet.:D

    That's it for now.
    thumb.gif
    All the best ! ... António Correia - Facebook
  • Yuri PautovYuri Pautov Major grins Posts: 1,918Registered Users Major grins
    edited September 17, 2007
    Thank you dlscott56!
    dlscott56 wrote:
    I chose this one because I thought it would be a peaceful, natural background, with little to detract from the model in the foreground.
    I like this background. At the same time must say, that if you are planning to use your photo for web, all these leafs will make your photo very 'heavy', because your portrait will have a lot (!!!) of details on the background. Of course if you won't blur them, using DOF.
    Another thing is green color. Yes, it depends upon the light, and the point of shooting, but somehow the green color will be on the model's face. Mainly because of green surroundings.


    196000820-M.jpg




    dlscott56 wrote:
    I thought this one had some interesting elements with the curved stair and railing in the background. There is a window nearby to provide some natural lighting, although this shot was taken in the evening so there was little light coming in.
    Yes, its really an interesting place. You can place a model on a chair. As you understang, the model's dress must be appropriate. But this round thing on a wall - green wreath? It may become a part of a composition, leading OFF the portrait.
    The stairts are also interesting. But these dark things on 7-8 stairs level. And also a chair. I like a wall -it can be used for close-up portrait. Age and sex doesn't matter.

    196000883-L.jpg
    dlscott56 wrote:
    Not sure about this one it just seemed like some elements that could be used. The fireplace could be lit for some added effect. I'm just now noticing your comment about avoiding horizontal and vertical lines so this one may not be any good.
    I like this brick background. And yes, this painting can disturb the composition, while the vase can balance it. For example, the model, leaning on this white thing on the right with vase on the left. The dress must be 'classic' as vase!

    196000739-L.jpg
  • Yuri PautovYuri Pautov Major grins Posts: 1,918Registered Users Major grins
    edited September 17, 2007
    Yuri.
    Your approch is quite different from mine, I think. ne_nau.gif
    I don't look for the place to photograph people in.
    I do have some difficulty getting the models. Just a few moments ago, I asked someone and she told me may be yes, may be no.
    Then, I asked directly: Well, yes or no ? headscratch.gif KISS ! :D
    The final anwser was NO.

    So, I try to get people where they are. Like in the shots I have posted here before.
    I have asked and people said OK.
    Then, I took the chance and went ahead.
    As you can see, I have quite different backgrounds for quite different persons/scenarios/situations.
    In the pilot I have choosen the background. Clear, uniform, linear.
    The other pilot, near his plane. Association, story, involvement, participation, ownership.

    I am sure that certain people here will have more difficulty than the others.
    Let me put it this way:
    If you go to Vietnam - and this is my experience - people sometimes or most of the times, turn their faces because they don't like to be photographed. May be an European like me bring to their minds other memories ...
    But, for example in Burma, Myanmar - a terrible militar dictatorship - you meet people smiling and very happy to be photographed, the same happening in India where, it is possible they ask you to be with them in their own pictures ... :D

    In Portugal, it is getting more and more difficult to take pictures of people in the street.
    I have been to the States once and I have not - I was not addicted to photography yet - that kind of experience but I suspect that tacking pictures of people is very difficult, mainly in the great urban areas.

    Russia ? Never been there. Yet.:D

    That's it for now.
    thumb.gif

    Antonio! Thank you very much!
    We will be talking about engaging a person to portrait a little bit later. Please, look at our table of content. And now we are talking and making our homework with Backgrounds. This is a practice, which, I think may be useful to all. The fact that you dont have a horse now must not be a barrier in learning how to ride it, if you want to, yes?
    Such a practice must lead us to automatism, which will work even in street photography with its suddenness.
    Thank you again,
    Yuri
  • Yuri PautovYuri Pautov Major grins Posts: 1,918Registered Users Major grins
    edited September 19, 2007
    MA 2.3 Time, Place and Dress
    Preparations. c), d), e)

    TIME , PLACE AND DRESS

    Of course, we are talking here about preparation period, when you have an influence on what is going on.

    I prefer morning and evening time. But if the day is dull and the light comes from ‘everywhere’, it is your time for street / outdoors portraits. If I have to photograph at daytime and the sun is hot, I choose ‘shadow’ places. Big buildings, for example. If you see that there’s not enough light (overcast day), and you must use, for example, 1/50 or more exposure, just take a tripod with you. If you have a remote for your camera, take it also, because small camera vibrations can cause blurring of your final shot. Yes, you can use timer instead of remote, but in this case the model’s great emotion can fly away while your timer will count 3,2,1.
    We have already talked in previous posts about the meaning of backgrounds and I am waiting for your homeworks and your questions.
    Don’t know about the places you live in, but here in Russia, when women are preparing for some outing, they ask themselves, often aloud, the same great question: ‘What to put on?’ Of course, this is also the question of the model. When I have a talk with my model before our session, I ask her to avoid white dresses. Don’t know about your cameras and lenses, but white dress is a killer for my SONY R1. Yes, we can make portraits with white dresses (wedding photography), but if you have a chance not to do this – take it. Now I will tell you a secret: “The more ordinary dress your model will have – the more your portrait will look like a snapshot!” Ask your model to take several kinds of garment. I often even use naked shoulders of the model in the photograph (cropping dress afterwards) to make the portrait unusual.
    I also ask my ‘models’ to be modest with their make-up.
    And so, with all this knowledge, we are ready to find a model for our portrait work, what do you think?
  • Yuri PautovYuri Pautov Major grins Posts: 1,918Registered Users Major grins
    edited September 20, 2007
    MA 2.4 I b) FINDING A PERSON TO PHOTOGRAPH
    Engaging a person

    I understand that this post will be the most ‘polysemantic’ so to say.
    Of course, some methods or tips which can help a photographer in one country (Russia, where I live, for example) can be used with some caution in another (Germany), or cannot be used at all (Saudi Arabia, or Egypt). So, taking into consideration that we live in different countries with different traditions, I nevertheless think that I can share with you some of things I do here.
    At least, in case you’ll visit the city of Voronezh, Russia, where I live, work and take photos, you’ll know what to do :-)
    I myself use different approaches, and the people could be either unknown or known to me.

    Sometimes I see my future 'model' but I notice that it's not the right time or place for my approach. In this case I try to become acquainted only. I have my business cards with me, with my photo gallery address and phone number.
    I think that such a card (with email, web, phone and your name and maybe your photo) plays an important role.
    And my friend Vladimir – a pro photographer, who worked in Israel, Russia and other countries for a long time agree with me.

    Unknown.
    The overwhelming majority of my portraits are of unknown to me people, whom I meet on the streets, at café, hospitals. With some of them, after our sessions, I continue relations and even have some new friends.
    I tend to walk around looking at the people around me with a friendly, open look, filled with interest. And when I see a 'potential' model, I never hide my emotions. Yes, I understand, it is hard to make a first step and start talking.
    And the fact of talking with unknown person itself might be strange in your country. But… If you have a friendly look, REAL interest in your eyes, no ‘Stone in your bosom’ as we say here, then why not make this first step?
    Model’s eyes are of my special interest. You might have heard the term “Yuri’s eyes”. It is true. Exactly eyes attract my attention first. And people feel this.
    Whatever you do, you’ll have eyes contact with your future model first. And in my case, I have A FEELING. Name it intuition but I think that EYES SAY ALL!
    What to do next? Depending on your feelings.
    You may draw aside your look, if something tells you ‘Oh, no…’
    Or,You can make a first step.
    I am keen on psychology, and though it is not my profession and I have no special education, I’ve read and read now a lot of books.
    Reading some psychology books will be my advice to you.

    There is an approach of ‘triune sentence’.
    1 part ‘I understand that…’
    2 part ‘still/ but/ at the same time….’
    3 part ‘It’s you to decide though’

    In the first part you say that you understand your ‘interlocutor’, in the second – what you want. The third pass the decision to the one you talk with.

    For example
    I understand that it looks strange that I start talking with you, but I am an amateur photographer and after I saw your beautiful eyes, I imagined what a wonderful photograph portrait could be done, if you don’t mind. It is you to decide, though.
    (Book: How To Deal With Your Acting Up Teenager Bayard, Robert T)

    After your first steps of conversation, you can receive one of three answers: 'Yes'(Or so) / 'No (or so)' / 'Later' (or so) Must say that I have received 'No' very rarely – must be only five or ten times. I often heard 'Oh, I am not that photogenic…' – that's an encouraging answer, and it's my turn to say that its not true…
    It was not easy for me to stick to people in the streets, when I started. But I did it.


    It is very important: you must have REAL FEELINGS and you must LOOK INTO the EYES.


    Known

    We are not alone on this planet. We have co-workers, neighbours. We visit the same places with the same maintenance staff.
    At list, sure you have your relatives and friends. You have relatives of your friends. And so on. Try to talk to them and ask to be your models.
    More shots, more practice – more experience…

    I usually give my 'models' CDs with photo session's results. And present them several 30x45 cm prints. If you are not so 'rich' :-) you can limit yourself with CD only.
    And…
    I always have a model release with me, and ask to sign it. I try to do this before shooting…
    Yes, you can also do this later, before posting/printing. But you must HAVE A RELEASE.

    HOMEWORK: Find yourself a model, who will help you to take portraits.



    To be continued,
    Yuri
  • Antonio CorreiaAntonio Correia Always learning Setubal - PortugalPosts: 6,181Registered Users Major grins
    edited September 21, 2007
    198408024-M.jpg

    A militar with a militar background.
    All the best ! ... António Correia - Facebook
  • Yuri PautovYuri Pautov Major grins Posts: 1,918Registered Users Major grins
    edited September 24, 2007
    MA 2.5 Part II. Shooting. 1.
    Part II. Shooting

    1. Some words about the ‘atmosphere’ of shooting.

    So, we have our backgrounds, our model is ready for photo session. Let's do it!

    I try to use the places with less people around. Not to embarrass my 'model'.

    I often tell my “models” that the first 100 shots of our photo session can be easily deleted. This is because the model is not relaxed enough. After 100 shots he (she) usually gets tired of the photographer and of the procedure itself. This is what we were waiting for! Sometimes even some gymnastic exercises are needed to overpass model’s tension.
    I once photographed a girl and whatever I did, I couldn’t make her be natural. She was full of tension and pretense . After 50 shots I said: ”Thank you”, put my camera to the bag and pretended that I’m going away. (She had a sigh of relief, as I heard :-) I stopped on a halfway and returned back to her. “I understand that you are tired. But may I take some more 10-20 shots? I just want to try another pose in a doorway.”
    She was tired of me and I had to do my best to get her agreement. But the results justified my hopes. Relaxed model!
    Compare these two:


    2138.jpg





    and


    2140.jpg





    Later, my friend and pro photographer Vladimir, asked me to introduce him to this ‘model’. As a result her photos appeared in a popular magazine.

    The calm, friendly atmosphere is very important. I always talk to my models. I have a lot of funny stories. I TRY TO BE INTERESTING to my models. On the other hand, of course my models are very interesting to me. Their life positions, interests, views.
    I am sure the if your ‘model’ feels your REAL INTEREST, then he or she becomes natural.
    Sometimes I use some tips, for example, ask my model to multiply 14 by 6, or count all the legs of all the chairs in the room during shooting. Sometimes ask to remember the last kiss…


    Again, I am waiting for your questions.
    Yuri.

    To be continued.
  • Yuri PautovYuri Pautov Major grins Posts: 1,918Registered Users Major grins
    edited September 24, 2007
    Spasibo, Antonio
    A militar with a militar background.

    Spasibo (Thank you in Russian), Antonio!
    Surely he just shoot something special!
    You found an interesting background for your photo!
    It is blurred enough not to attract much attention, but at the same time we can recognize something military...
    Thank you again for your work,
    Yuri
  • Antonio CorreiaAntonio Correia Always learning Setubal - PortugalPosts: 6,181Registered Users Major grins
    edited September 24, 2007
    You are absoletelly right about what you have been saying but as you know, all depends very much of the social context.

    How many pictures of Americans do you see in this assignment ?mwink.gif
    How many peopel don't care for beeing in the net ?

    See what I mean ? I do have written about this before.

    Today I am going to shoot a baby, 1 year old, Maria Luisa. She is quite a model. She doesn't care about me at all ! Fantastic. That's what I want ! :D

    The other day I asked a 40 years woman who is working with me to make a session. She told me that we would do so in December when she will be 41 and she had to go with someone else. May be she thought I could rape her !:D
    Another woman just told me: what for ? To the net ? No way.

    Huuummm may be I have to ask some guy around here, like the photos of workers I shot some time ago.

    But because there are so few new pictures I dare post here 3 I shot last year. Excuse me for doing so.

    I have been re-treatting these pictures yesterday.

    How do you like them, I mean ... the pictures. mwink.gif

    199298852-M.jpg . 199417505-M.jpg . 199442769-M.jpg
    All the best ! ... António Correia - Facebook
  • Antonio CorreiaAntonio Correia Always learning Setubal - PortugalPosts: 6,181Registered Users Major grins
    edited September 24, 2007
    Natural light with the help of a flash :D
    Family in the stairs and look who is there.
    199959623-M.jpg . 199958252-M.jpg
    All the best ! ... António Correia - Facebook
  • InvectiveInvective RedHead with a Camera Posts: 113Registered Users Major grins
    edited September 24, 2007
    Took my neighbour into the backyard. We were losing light fast, and I have no reflectors. I used the white wall as much as I could to eliminate shadows. It was fun regardless!
    Robin01.jpg

    Robin03.jpg

    Robin07.jpg

    A couple of goofy ones...
    Robin05.jpg

    Robin08.jpg

    And my personal (and Robin's) favorite.
    Robin02.jpg
    "The fool doth think he is wise, but the wise man knows himself to be a fool."
  • Antonio CorreiaAntonio Correia Always learning Setubal - PortugalPosts: 6,181Registered Users Major grins
    edited September 25, 2007
    Yuri !
    Talk to us ! :D
    Come on. :D
    Say you don't like the pictures:cry, say you do like themiloveyou.gif, whatever !ne_nau.gif

    Don't be ashamed rolleyes1.gif
    rolleyes1.gifthumb
    All the best ! ... António Correia - Facebook
  • Yuri PautovYuri Pautov Major grins Posts: 1,918Registered Users Major grins
    edited September 26, 2007
    Invective wrote:
    Took my neighbour into the backyard. We were losing light fast, and I have no reflectors. I used the white wall as much as I could to eliminate shadows. It was fun regardless!

    Spasibo (Thank you) for your work, invective (sorry for such a form of address, cause I don’t know your name).

    If you don’t mind, I’d like to ask you to
    1) Put numbers for your photos in a post.
    2) Post not more then 2-3 portraits at once
    (But I don’t want to limit the number of your background photos at all :-)

    [FONT=&quot]So, six photographs.
    [/FONT]Sure, you yourself can find some mistakes here. Look!
    #3 and #5 have some 'things' (borders?) going out of the head of a model.

    #1 also has a line, made by the white plywood(?) edge and deep green tree. This line also cross the head of your model.


    #2,#4 and#6. Yes, 'shoot white on black and black on white'. But! White background for close up portrait in your light conditions (no reflector, lack of light) will EAT the brightness of your model. Thats why we loose some details in dark areas. I think that using white background with low light was the main mistake.

    If you can disengage yourself from detalis and see only form and lines, you will find dark circles on eye's places on #2 and #4. Not enough light.

    Yes, the last one is better - you managed to find some light to the face (PS highlights of shadows, or real light?:-) Just a joke). We see shadows of the jacket and even jersey's shadows on the skin.
    Yes, background plays REAL role in that last one.

    Invective! Some additional comments.

    1.As I can see, you didnt use zoom here. The first photo seems to look wide angle. I try to shoot at 100-120 (Equiv. 135). Playing with F stop (setting it to low number), you can add much to your portraits by DOF, opticaly blurring the background.
    2. The same (vertical level) point of shooting. Try to change it during session. You can change this point by placing your model - for example offering a seat, or you can put your camera higher or lower.

    3. If you model has different size of eyes, try the smallest to be closer to the camera. For example, you can ask your model to turn her head to the right (3/4) but look at you (to the left)
    4. I'd make another crop of the last one, but that's another theme...
    5. There's some tips about eyes PP but thats again another theme, we will talk later.
    6. Try to make some distance between the model and the background (just one/two steps. Not always)



    That's my critique and comments.

    At the same time I must say that the artistic part of your photos are of very high level. I FEEL your potential!
    Again, Thank you VERY MUCH!
    Waiting for your next part of portraits,


    Yuri
  • Yuri PautovYuri Pautov Major grins Posts: 1,918Registered Users Major grins
    edited September 26, 2007
    MA 2.6 Part II. Shooting. 2.
    INDOORS portraits

    HOMEWORK. Take some indoor portraits BY THE WINDOW. While taking them, please, take some more photos with wide angle, or from another point, so we could see what’s going on around: where is your window, any reflectors, where is your point of shooting, where is your model. You may ask someone to take a photo of you, taking photos :-) Post here your best results - two or three portrsits.


    Please, pay attention to the light. The more ‘divided’ light will give you details not only on that side of the face, which is closer to the window, but on the opposite also. On the other hand, the contrast between the different light coming to your model’s face from left and right brings some drama to the portrait.


    Try to make several photos with different poses. En face. ¾ from left / right. Some shots from above. Let your model look into your camera. Let her/his eyes will be the magnetic center of the composition. This will demand a good work with light from us. Model’s eyes must be visible in your portrait.


    Yes, there will be a problem with dark eyes. Besides, this contrast window light can make the second eye invisible. Change your point of shooting in this case. Change model’s pose.
    You may look at some ‘window light’ portraits at my gallery


    yuri.pautov.ru

    and pick up some poses there.


    There is a trick in post processing, which helps a lot in case of dark eyes. Add a new empty layer to your photo. Using a white pen, paint on eyes (iris, or the whole eye, but inner part so to say). Change blending mode of this layer to ‘Soft light’. Set opacity to 20-30 or what you need. You can also use the color of the eyes instead of the white color to paint.

    My homework.

    So, this is me with tripod, remote and SONY R1. I am looking to the live preview and asking my model to turn her head a bit. You can see here a background I choose sometime ago.

    5397.jpg

    From another point, showing live preview to you
    5395.jpg

    As you can see, this is a sunny day with a lot of light. It is reflecting from the walls, floor. I decide to use my reflector. Meanwhile, the reflected light is on me…
    5398.jpg
    This is a light reflecting from the wall and from a reflector.
    5399.jpg

    As I told you, never stop talking while taking photos… Silence is killing…
    5396.jpg

    And, in the end this pair:
    That is what I want you to show me in your home work.
    Environment
    5400.jpg

    and result.
    5394.jpg

    Sorry for my English. Your questions, please.

    To be continued,
    [FONT=&quot]Yuri[/FONT]
  • InvectiveInvective RedHead with a Camera Posts: 113Registered Users Major grins
    edited September 26, 2007
    Spasibo Yuri! I will take all of this and head out again! My name is Lindsay, I don't mind Invective though! :D

    Spasibo (Thank you) for your work, invective (sorry for such a form of address, cause I don’t know your name).

    At the same time I must say that the artistic part of your photos are of very high level. I FEEL your potential!
    Again, Thank you VERY MUCH!
    Waiting for your next part of portraits,


    Yuri
    "The fool doth think he is wise, but the wise man knows himself to be a fool."
  • Yuri PautovYuri Pautov Major grins Posts: 1,918Registered Users Major grins
    edited September 28, 2007
    MA 2.7 Part II. Shooting. 3.
    Shooting outdoors.




    HOMEWORK 3.
    Make some outdoor portraits, using your backgrounds. Choose two- three best ones and post here.






    That’s my homework:

    1 Me, taking photo with bright background
    5415.jpg
    2 Result
    5413.jpg
    3 Me, taking photo with darker background
    5416.jpg
    4 Result
    5414.jpg

    Again, I am waiting for your questions and homeworks.
    [FONT=&quot]Yuri[/FONT]
  • drcarldrcarl Major grins Posts: 104Registered Users Major grins
    edited September 30, 2007
    I am waiting for your questions and homeworks.
    [FONT=&quot]Yuri[/FONT]

    ...as am I.

    I'm glad we have a month (and a lifetime).

    Your English is certainly better than my (our) Russian; bravo!

    Though I have not shot nor posted anything today, I admit that I enjoy reading your posts aloud, with my attempt at Russian accent.

    Your content is very inspiring. I like to seeing your neighborhood, and you feel like a kind man to me.

    Thank you for sharing with us...

    :ivar (keep it coming):ivar

    -- dr carl
«134
Sign In or Register to comment.