Portrait Assignment...

Discussion in 'The Professional Gallery' started by gapinthevoid, Oct 25, 2005.

  1. gapinthevoid

    gapinthevoid TPF Noob!

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    I have a portrait assignment coming up that I have to shoot. I live/go to school in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan so with the seasons changing I have to work with what available light I have since I don't have access to a studio. My main question/issue is that I'm going to be using my friends as models and I dont want to end up with "senior picture" looking images. My professor said we could do traditional or informal portraits, but since I've never really attempted this before, I was wondering if I should just go at it like I usually do when I capture my friends... without them knowing, but knowing.. You know what I mean?

    The class is a color class using slide film, so any help or suggestions or sites I could check out (I've already hit the library) would be awesome.

    Thanks!
     
  2. Christie Photo

    Christie Photo No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Could you be a bit more clear about this portion of you question? There's not much these days that's not included in senior portraits.

    Wow. This would be a bit frightening for most seasoned portrait photographers. First... BRACKET a bunch. I realize students are on a tight budget, but it's gonna be cheaper than a reshoot. I think you still have leaves on the trees. I use the overhead folage as a giant go-bo (go-between) to block the light I don't want to include.

    Remember... cool colors receed and warm colors project. Consider this in choosing backgrounds and clothing color.

    I hope this helps.

    -Pete
     
  3. Tally Ho

    Tally Ho TPF Noob!

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    If the prof said informal or formal it sounds to me like you can't get it wrong! Whatever you shoot is OK with him so shoot whatever you want.

    Slide film is VERY unforgiving. I cut my teeth on Kodachrome and Ektachrome at my photography classes in the early 1980's and your exposure MUST be right on. However I have discovered that Ektachrome is a little more forgiving than Kodachrome, especially on the overexposure side. As someone suggested, bracket when in doubt. A hand held meter would be wonderful to have along on this shoot.

    Tally Ho, Da Ho, Don Ho, Heidi Ho, Gung Ho, Heave Ho or Cheng Ho.

    P.S. So what is wrong with "senior pictures"? It take TONS of hard work and talent to get a really pleasing senior portrait.
     
  4. gapinthevoid

    gapinthevoid TPF Noob!

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    I guess what I meant was I want images that are more intimate than just a, "Hey, this is who this person is when they're posed and have lighting done around them." I guess more informal than formal/traditional. Does that make sense?

    I'm definitely going to bracket, so thanks for being one more person to give me that advice. A lot of students blow that one off, but from the professors that I've talked with and now you saying that I should bracket, I'll make sure that I do it. I have a few rolls of 36, so it's not like I've only got one roll to do this with (thankfully!)

    And thanks for the suggestions about the outside environment and about warm and cool colors and their properties. Very much appreciated.

    I think it has something to do with the name Pete... all the Pete's I know are extremely helpful. :)

    Thanks again!
     
  5. gapinthevoid

    gapinthevoid TPF Noob!

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    there's nothing "wrong" with them, I just know that that's the angle everyone else is going to take and i want to do something more intimate.... or something... haha.

    I've got Ektachrome and have loved shooting with it for the rest of our assignments. Everyone else likes the Fuji Velvia stuff, and for some reason I just don't care for it. I've been doing really well with my exposures thus far and will definitely be bracketing when I attempt this assignment. My prof is very forgiving if we "mess" things up -- as long as we can explain socially/philosophically why we did what we did, we can make our images work.

    Thanks!!
     
  6. Christie Photo

    Christie Photo No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I had a few more thoughts about you assignment. Portraits are seldom shot on reversal film because of the expense of retouching chromes and the likelyhood of making multiple or enlarged prints. But, it will show just what you did with the camera.

    Even though the vast majority of portraits are made on negative film, my goal was always to do EVERYTHING in the camera. Not just cropping, but any warming of tones (filter), softening of the image (diffuser), and even vignetting (the ol' Leon's).

    As for composition, I THINK what you're asking about is how the subject is posed. MOST portraits show the subject interacting with the viewer, looking into the camera. Another approach is to have the subject interacting with something else in the composition, like a prop of some kind, nature, or even another person. So give that some thought. Think about the person you are portraying and how you invision this person. If the person is... say... "spiritual", how can you convey that in your image? What enviroment do you place the person in? A chuch? Forest? By flowing water? Or if the person is "outgoing".... hmmmmm. Carnival setting? Bar?

    I think you see what I mean.

    I hope this is more helpful than it is confusing.

    -Pete
     
  7. Meysha

    Meysha still being picky Vicky

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    Hmmm I'm not sure if you're old enough to drink yet (weird american laws ;-) )... if you are give them plenty of wine!! (though not too much) That'll help them losen up and they'll be more relaxed and willing to do poses they wouldn't normally do.

    It sounds like you and I are doing the exact same assignment at the moment.
    Mine is a portrait assignment, using slide film, but we also have to photograph them in different lighting conditions to show the effects of colour temperature.

    Slide film is a *****, but when the exposure is good the results are stunning!
    I just took a bunch last night of my sister in a bubble bath with candles and I think I used half a roll just making sure I'll have one photo with the exposure right.
     

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