As you all know my first portfolio project was all about the family farm and I used one of the tobacco barns as my backdrop for all five photographs.
Earlier that year we thought the farm was going to be sold outside of the family. I rushed and made as many photographs as I could to preserve it for myself and family. This is a portrait that I took of my mother standing with the stairs to her bedroom behind her.
Even though my cousin and her family ended up buying the farm and transforming it back to it’s glory days, well, the house was too far gone to save. It had to be torn down and their new house is now standing on the original homestead’s foundation.
I am so glad to have this photograph as well as all of the others I took at that time. But there is more. Friday, May 31, a small tornado went through the farm property and several large tree limbs fell onto the old tobacco barn that I used in my portfolio. I cannot tell you how glad I am that I spent so much time there working on my project. The barn will be missed, but I have no regrets because it is preserved in my heart and in my photographs.
Meet Elizabeth, my youngest daughter and most willing model. I still like this portrait a lot. I really love her eyes! However, I do see where improvements could have been made. First, I have her body facing the softbox. This is causing the light to strike her shoulder and chest making them brighter than her face. This causes your eye to bounce between her eyes and her shoulder. Another way that I could have solved this problem is to have blocked the light from falling onto her shoulder with a piece of mat board. Second, I would not center her in the frame. The composition could be improved by placing her on the right side with her eye on the third.
The next portrait needs all the help it can get! Everything from above applies here as well. I have both compositional and lighting issues. What do you guys think about her head being so tight in the top right corner? Her eyes really do have no where to look do they? Any other suggestions?
I thought I wanted a hobby, but it did not take me long to realize that a hobby was not enough. I was looking for a new beginning. Not in a mid-life crisis way, but in an ‘I want this next chapter of my life to be different, exciting and equally fulfilling’ way. I spent a lot of time on YouTube and Creative Live trying to learn. Please don’t misunderstand me here. I love both of these resources and still use them and always will. There is just so much information out there that I found myself trying to learn things that were over my head before I had the basics. I needed a structured environment like RCC to make significant progress in a short period of time.
Therefore, it was just not enough especially when everyone you know is asking you to take pictures for them. In this blog I want to look at some of my early efforts (of course, for me, all of my efforts are early!) and critique them. Not to be critical of myself, but as a learning exercise and also to see how far I have come in my education. It is my desire for you to join me in this quest for further education.
I had a lot of fun creating these images and owe Madeline a lot for being such a good sport. I was using fashion magazines for inspiration and wanted to explore geometric shapes.
If I were to take this top picture again I would separate her from the background just a tiny bit and maybe turn her back shoulder towards the camera a touch. I would have her lean towards the camera to drop the front shoulder to create a slight angle with her body.
For this image I would bring her head forward and chin out and down. Her hands are too large in the frame because they are closest to the camera. I would really try to make her eyes more the subject next time. Now I know that the shiny tinfoil on her fingers is competing with her face and could be careful not to let that happen next time.
I would welcome any ‘Dhanrajian’ critiques so please share your ideas for the benefit of us all.