Saturday, July 24, 2010

Exercise 1: Portrait, scale and setting

This exercise was designed to help me consider composition and weight of attention on face.  At different scales, different parts of the body need to be taken into account.  I invited a friend Lee to be my sitter and planned four scales - 1) face cropped close; 2) head and shoulders; 3) torso, arms and hands; 4) full figure.

Preparation involved finding the right place for the evening light with some interesting background.  I gave Lee a glass of Cava to relax him, although he is very confident in front of a camera and briefed him as to what I wanted to achieve.  In hindsight, I think that starting with the full figure and moving into the close crop would have been less intimidating for most subjects - having a big lens in one's face is always rather disconcerting.

Although I got a handful of passable shots from this shoot, I was disappointed with how I handled it.  I had not planned the variety of poses sufficiently and did not give enough assertive spoken direction.

I also noticed that there was some dappled sunlight coming through the foliage but I failed to move Lee to somewhere else.  As usual I rushed through and felt very self-conscious.

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