This isn’t the first time I’ve posted a photo of Katie S. but I can’t help it. This photo was taken years ago and Katie was one of my favorite subjects.
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. . .
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
After finishing our “normal” outdoor and studio sessions, Emily asked if we could get together for a few photos when winter set in. Being inexperienced with taking outdoor portraits in cold weather I said, “Sure.”
And it theory it was a good idea. In practice, I found that I got only a few photos before the cold January day turned her face from rosy red to red. So much for winter portraits on a cold day. But even in bad conditions, it’s hard to take a bad picture of a good subject like Emily.
(Incidentally, my weather source tells me that it averaged 4 degrees celsius and reached a high of 10 degrees. That’s cold!)
Canon 5DI 1/200s f/3.2 ISO100 100mm
This photo was taken near Sitka, Alaska, a few years ago. At the time, Jon was working for an adventure company and we got the royal treatment when we visited. And I liked Sitka, except that it stayed in the 50s the whole time we were there. (July!)
I’ve been a little wordy in the photo blog lately. So I’ll spare you today. This is Elise B in a relaxed moment in my studio a few years ago.
Canon 1DII (?) 1/250s f/8.0 ISO100 58mm
I took this informal portrait of a waitress at the VooDoo BBQ restaurant on St. Charles Avenue in New Orleans. She wasn’t the least bit self-conscious, as I think you can see in this photo. I was.
And it occurs to me that when I am self-conscious as a photographer, I am not conscious of other, more important considerations than me. For example, if I had been totally “focused” on the task of getting a decent portrait of this young woman, I would have checked the full frame. I would have removed the styrofoam cup behind her. I would have tried to frame the photo so there wasn’t a distracting bright area in the upper left corner of the photo. And I would never had tried to take a portrait with a 1/50 sec shutter speed.
Why was I self-conscious? Well, I don’t normally take semi-posed photos of people I don’t know. And I had 5 of my photo/media students sitting at the table watching me.
Like so many other subjects and places I’ve photographed, I’d like to have another chance at the VooDoo BBQ restaurant.
Canon 5DII 1/50s f/3.2 ISO1000 50mm