Portraits in Monochrome
As you all are aware, I hardly ever photograph people and blog about it. This is truly a step out of my comfort zone. As I photographer, one hates one’s picture taken, and sometimes this does not always give me confidence to use people as a subject. Inanimate objects, scenery and even milk splashes are easier subject matters for me. Although I may not always come across reserved in my normal life, there are times that I am. I prefer my own company, have less to reason to fear of upsetting folk. You can’t upset a waterfall, or flower or car trail lights. Asking people how sit or stand point their eye’s, move here or there can be a bit tricky. It is all about management of people. I have been a manager in roles, and glad in some ways that I do not have such a responsibility at this time.
I have moments of being gregarious and outlandish, and simply having child – like in behaviour. I am known to have fun however I can be serious, terribly sarcastic. Letting yourself go in front of a camera, and it doesn’t look like you, the image has you looking twice as plump than you actually are, and do ‘I really look like that?’?? I hope when I take pictures of people I would like to bring out some of their character and not being to rigid or posed. There is surely an art to this; getting them to feel natural and not so self-conscious, hopefully using the beneficial light to help the model, and hopefully they are compliant…..
My partner Reuben was my model for me today. A reluctant model, ‘I take to long in setting up’ etc, etc. I managed to persuade him to sit for no more than hour. He brought his stop clock with him across the landing into my studio come office.
The Ice Breaker
‘No more than an hour’. I chatted to him, asked him what designs he had in mind for his guitars and built up a little relaxing conversation, every now and then prompting him to look here or there, use a reflector, or stay put while I took a short time (always of the essence), in sharpening up the focus on an eye. Talked about chocolate cake and cups of coffee, and the excitement of having a roast beef dinner later.
I used a very shallow depth of field (even thought he sat around 6 feet away) using a 100mm f2.8 L USM macro lens, at around 1/25 – 1/40 of a second, with a little exposure compensation. I asked him to say sushi – after watching some British actress on the news a while ago and what she had to do walking the red carpet in Hollywood. Apparently she had to say sushi when facing the cameras whilst walking down the length of the carpet. What you might say….well cheese brings out silly grins and Wallace and Gromit impersonations, sushi just makes you purse your lips and expose you teeth, hopefully without bursting into laughter 😀
The session lasted about 40 minutes with around 50 pictures, of which I chose around 36, and processed 8.