Tag Archives: portraits
This week I went to pick up the newest addition to our family, a German Shepard puppy and while I was there I spent some time shooting dog portraits. I have never really shot “dog portraits” other than the few photos of our first dog. Photographing pets is something that I really love and found that if you follow them around for a while you can really capture some beautiful moments. There is an element of surprise that comes with every frame especially with dogs. They will run from invisible chasers, they will lick you, and occasionally you end up on the wrong side of a dog pile. After a while they usually treat you like a pack member and just go about their business… This is when the magic happens.
This group of dogs were no different. Gladius is a pure breed GSD that whelped her first litter of 6 puppies on February 24th. It wasn’t without difficulty, one of the puppies was born with out a birthing sack and had to be stimulated for over an hour to survive. Another puppy lost a toe in the early chaos. The breeder (my uncle) poured his heart into these dogs and because of this everyone of them survived. Nine weeks later I was able to photograph all of the dogs including mother and grandfather. Here are my dog portraits.
I would love to hear your thoughts.
I know I am a bit late updating my blog. I had a lot around the house I had to do and put this on the back-burner for a few days. I am excited to update though because I finally got it; My Portrait lens. It is the Nikon Nikkor 85 f/1.4D. I had put in an order for the 85 f/1.8G but I grew impatient. I am so glad I purchased this lens though. Here is just a few images from this week (received it on Wednesday, so these have all been shot in the past 2 days!). I know I will be using this lens more and more throughout my work. It just has a distinct look that is hard to create using any other len. I also decided to try something a little different, I am used a few Nik filters on some of the images. They are plug-ins that are used in Lightroom to create highly stylized photos or to mimic film. Let me know what you think.
My first image taken with my new to me 85 f/1.4D
Lila on the Blue Ridge Parkway.
Lila on the Blue Ridge Parkway edited with the Nik plug-in.
A quick snap shot of Melody and Lila with my new 85 f/1.4D portrait lens.
Another snap shot of Melody but processed with the Nik plug-in.
This week the YogaSlackers Sam and Kathryn made a stop in Asheville and gave me the chance to do some out of the ordinary portraits. The YogaSlackers are a group of my friends that have found balance in slacking. They travel the world doing expedition style adventure races, teaching yoga slack lining and acro-yoga, as well as just doing good.
Initially I had big plans for portraits in the yoga studio with high ceilings and hardwood floors. When I found out they decided to move the workshop they were doing outside it was time to get creative. After spending a few hours watching them set up and start teaching I knew what photos I wanted to capture and just where to photograph them. My house sits quite literally on the side of a mountain and we have a HUGE window that faces east. Every afternoon when the sun sets I watch as the mountain to the east is basked in this beautiful enveloping warm light. Every afternoon I think to myself how can I use that in a photograph. The only problem is the light is available for about 10 minutes before its gone and the mountain is lit with only the afterglow of the sky. After dinner I quickly set up my lights and got to work. It was no easy task, I had one light mounted 10 feet up in a tree, another on a tripod behind my subject and the last was nearly tipping over due to the rental breeze we had. In the end the photos came out great (although I wish I used a little less fill) and pretty unique.
I also got a fun photo of my dog enjoying the early afternoon sun.
Another busy week, this time working my real job. I love my real job because I get to travel to places around the south east. Since the winter I have been working on a project to help me take better street portraits. Walking around these mid size cities I photograph people that are the salt of the earth, people that are full of character. Typically I only shoot film. I love film; maybe I am nostalgic, maybe there really something there that cannot be recreated with a digital camera. Thats up to you to decided, but I — I love film.
There is just so much dimension between the grain structure, the retention os highlights and shadows, and the feel of the cellulose in your hand. If you’re a digital photographer and have not really spent some time with film you really need to give it a go. There are many great labs that will process and scan for you if you don’t have a scanner. These guys are one that I would recommend. The other benefit of shooting film is it generates questions making it easier for me photograph people in these cities that I visit. Usually I am walking around with a Mamiya RB67 which is a LARGE camera. It shoots negatives that are about 2.2 inches(!) x 2.7 inches.
I like to shoot color film and when I do its generally the new Kodak Portra 400 but most of the time I am shooting black and white. Lately I have been on an Ilford Delta 100 kick but my favorite flavor of film differs with when or what I am shooting. Coming from Digital Delta 100 gives you that smooth look with just a peppering of grain. It makes the transition easier. If you really want that gritty film look though you should look at some of the more traditional films like Kodak Tri-X. It is worth noting that all films will obtain different looks depending on what they are developed in but that would make for a lengthy blog. If you have questions contact me and I will do my best to answer them for you.
Back to my street portraits.
Shooting street portraits are interesting to me because not only are they difficult but you never know who you might run into. I have met the very angry “don’t photograph me” type, to the gentle “I could be your friend” type. Generally I look for people that are waiting around, maybe for a meal or some money or maybe just waiting around for the bus. Everyone of them has a story too, you can see it in their weathered skin, their deep eyes, or in the way they wear there clothes. This is an on-going project that I will probably be working on for many years. I will be putting up a gallery to showcase some of the different people I have met along the way in the near future.