There are many ways to picture happiness but I would choose the look on Evie’s face from this Thanksgiving’s celebration to illustrate it. It’s hard to know what she’s thinking, but in the arms of her loving great grandmother, it can only be good things. . . .
While going through my Aunt Betty’s photo collection, we came across this portrait of her sister (my aunt) Phyllis. I was struck by the beautiful, Rembrandt lighting. I also like the sepia tone of the print. I remember reading that toning was more about preservation than it was about creating an effect. Of course, it would be decades before color film would be introduced when this photo was taken – the early 1920s.
Three other things strike me about this photo. First, the aspect ratio is very odd by today’s standards. I have cropped this photo a bit and the original was narrow and tall. Why? I don’t know. The second thing that I noticed was that Phyllis’ right hand is blurred, no doubt because the photographer had to use a slow shutter speed. Old films were slow and required several second exposures. Finally, I am impressed with the perfect condition of this photo. It was properly processed and then properly preserved.
Who will be looking at our photos 90 years from now and writing commentary?
In my continuing effort to get more people to see my students’ photos, here’s another great portrait, done by Kendra Gortmaker. Her subjects are her daughter and husband and she used availably light to make this photo. Here’s Kendra’s web site.
This is a first in my photographic career: I tried taking photos of a child in the studio. But this is not just any child; it is John, son of Kelly, one of my second year photo students.
At first I thought John was going to be a tough customer but thanks to Holly, another one of my second year students, John managed to look my way and give me a great pose. I’m not sure that this was a life-changing experience for me but would love to have another chance to take photos of John.
Yesterday, in the process of sifting through the photo collection of my aunt Gladys, we came across this photo and it made my wife laugh. There aren’t many photos of me that aren’t posed. But this one appears to show me as I really was. Waiting in the Roadmaster with tousled hair, I look a little like an eager puppy ready for another ride.
I don’t know who took this picture, but it is a great candid photo from a wonderful angle.
One of the highlights of our trip to Japan in 2004 was a visit to the Japanese pre-school my son Brian worked at. The children we saw that morning behaved much as you’d expect children to behave anywhere, though I saw one big difference – these kids didn’t appear to be as fearful or suspicious of strangers as our kids seem to be.
It was recess time when this photo was taken. As we stood and talked to one of the administrators, I noticed this young boy leave his pals on the playground and walk up to the open doorway to watch us. I turned the camera towards him and instead of turning away, he continued to watch me with intense and friendly curiosity.
Canon 1DII 1/320s f/4.0 ISO400 145mm
My nephew’s new born son Ethan was only a few weeks old when we visited him for the first time. I wish all portraits were at simple as this one – both subjects were easy to pose.
I intentionally used a narrow depth of field so that most of the photo would be out of focus. I shot this in available light in Derek and Alicia’s kitchen. An assistant (my wife?) held a white sheet of paper to the left of the hands to provide a little more light. I also used a soft focus action in Photoshop to make details in the photo less distinct. Finally, I applied a sepia action to the picture.
I am told that this picture has considerable meaning and symbolism but I guess I’ll admit that all I was trying to do was to get Ethan’s grip reflex on his father’s finger.
Canon 5D f1.2 1/640 50mm 1.2L iso640