There is nothing particularly unique about this photo, other than the subjects, who are unique. And this is no doubt one of those photos that has much greater meaning to me and my family than it would to the casual observer. For this is my son Brian and daughter-in-law Katie. And they are expecting their first child (and our first grand child) in late May. And it’s a girl!
I like this photo so much I may have already posted it, though I’m guessing it is a color version. Though the colors are good in the original, there is something about this soft sepia version that I like. Of course, what makes this a good portrait is the subject, who is every bit as real, pleasant and happy as this photo implies.
Incidentally, I write about this photo, as well as others, on my “Better Photography Blog.” Just click here.
Canon 5D 1/160s f/8.0 ISO100 67mm
This blog is decidedly apolitical. If there is any political content, it is so subliminal that even I am not aware of it.
That aside, in the USA we just finished conducting our once-every-four-year presidential contest and the incumbent won. In South Dakota we conducted our state legislative races and Jeff, the subject of this post, was one of the candidates. In his race the incumbent won, too, which means that Jeff, the challenger, lost.
I have never known a candidate for office who believed that he or she wasn’t good and right for the office they were running for. And I imagine that when you lose, you wonder if what you believe about yourself is true. I also know that good candidates invest not only some of their money but a good part of their heart and soul. The money can be recovered, I suppose, but a loss must cause wounds that are otherwise slow to heal. All of that makes me grateful for people like Jeff who take the risk of being a candidate.
I gladly accepted Jeff’s request to capture a casual portrait to be used in a political mailing. My motive for saying “yes” wasn’t political. My reason was that I believe that Jeff is a good and genuine person whose cause is public service. It’s hard to go wrong taking portraits of people like that. . .
Here’s another portrait from the archives (2007). This shot is of Gabe H. and the location is a short distance away from the abandoned farms that I have posted several times in this blog. What made this photo special to me was the subject: Gabe was relaxed, happy and, being a country girl, in her element.
The timing was right, too. This is a beautiful field of ready-to-harvest wheat and the setting sun was strong enough to create excellent backlighting. To balance the sunlight, I put the camera in Aperture Priority mode and used a shoot-through umbrella and a Canon flash running off of a Canon IR transmitter. This lighting set-up is very user friendly and does a good job lighting Gabe, especially her eyes. Because South Dakota is a windy place, using an umbrella lighting set-up outside is risky. But on this particular evening it was calm and quiet.
I could return to this field on the same date at the same time for a decade and not get the conditions I had on this evening in July. I certainly believe that good timing is the essence of good photography and this photo may be evidence of that.
Canon 1D Mark II 1/160s f/4.0 ISO200 59mm
Several of my studio photography students spent most of the day yesterday getting face paint applied and then documenting their efforts in the studio. The makeup artist was Alli, who is also a talented photographer. The subject of this portrait is Valerie, who is a talented photographer, too. And she is a natural in front of the camera.
Canon 5DIII 1/125s f/8.0 ISO200 70mm