Week 5 means it’s been 10 weeks since we started down this path. Good gah, where does the time go, for real!?
Sometimes I look at other photographers’ portfolios and their Facebook pages and interviews and Twitter uploads and all of their photos look flawless. You know what I mean? It’s as if every time they snap their shutter sheer perfection is pooped out the other end (you’re welcome). I’ve decided to forgo this route because the secret I know (and surely you do, too) is that to look flawless all the time takes time. Instead I am all for the snapshots that go unedited and are uploaded to Facebook and Twitter and elsewhere that say “No, I’m not perfect and neither are you so come join my club!” You know what I mean?
A bit random, I know, but for whatever reason this image made me think of that. It is a simple and oh so beautiful photograph that is less than perfect. But, that, in my humble opinion, makes it all the more perfect. It’s a headshot. That’s all. But, it’s so much more. Do you see it?
I love the connection this little girl is making with the lens. I hate when people are looking just slightly off from the camera. I want them either connecting directly to my lens (I always ask children if they can see themselves or see my eyeball through the lens (they can’t)) or with someone/thing else around. Also, her smile is so relaxed and genuine. The way this image was composed is balanced and pleasing to the eye. Lastly, the use of the light in this image is just perfect. I love how her face is lit while her background fades away into darkness.
This photo was shot with a wide open aperture which is why both of her eyes are not in focus (her left eye is softer) so watch out for that. And, the color in this image is the slightest bit too red.
In Photoshop I used the dodge (lighten) and burn (darken) tools to darken her background and lighten her face. Then, I used levels to give it a bit more boost in contrast. Lastly, I dropped the red in the overall image just a tad. The changes aren’t much, but they do help.
(Again, I’m operating from a non-calibrated laptop so take this edit with a grain of salt. By the way, did you see my (oh so boring) post on calibration software here?)
This is the type of image that is a timeless framer. You know the kind I’m talking about? The pictures that you frame and/or blow-up on some gorgeous canvas and never take down. Even when the kids are old and grown-up this image has literally frozen their current stage of life in time in the type of way that will never wear a frame out.
I love the way this artist shot into the sun and nailed the exposure. I also love the soft way it was edited.
Typically you don’t want to center the horizon unless you are going for a symmetrical look (like when mountains are reflecting off water), but for this image it works. Notice how the sun rests in the top corner while the reflected light rests in the bottom corner giving it all a nice balance.
The only thing I would have changed in this image is straightening the horizon.
You know how I feel about crooked images. If it doesn’t obviously lend to the photo and make it stronger it just makes it look … well crooked. So, using the crop tool in PS you can quickly do a little straighten. And, if desired a little crop, too.
Oh man how I adore a photo like this. It is truly a photo that is worth a thousand words. Snuggled in bed, reading, legs all lined up together, the light low, the bed unmade. This is the type of life we all long for. The question is do we relish in it when it’s happening? This artist surely did. So much so she had the presence of mind to grab her camera and save the moment forever.
She wrote to me “my shutter speed had to be really slow (1/50) due to the low light so I rested my elbows on my stomach, took a deep breath in and snapped.”
The result? Art.
I adore everything about this image and would not change a thing (gasp, right!?).
As a teaching moment let me say one thing: Note how this artist used the available light to produce this image. The available light, even if it wasn’t much, was actually quite beautiful. So often we want to take a photo of something happening, but our child (or whomever/whatever) is in the dark. There is no light hitting them. Our cameras cannot function without light. The light hitting the book, the light hitting their leg, the light falling on the bed and subtly on the room beyond is simply beautiful.
And, lastly, note how she kept part of one person’s head in the shot to help frame the image. And, the legs sort of go in and through the image to serve as leading lines.
It’s just a beautiful image.
Week 5 in the books!
It’s Friday and Easter and Spring.
Feeling so very grateful …