DPS Assignment: Mid-day Portraits

I have been meeting my goal of participating in at least 2 DPS weekly Assignments- WOOT!! It can be kinda hard to find time with the craziness of now being a business owner and still working full-time at the law firm. As much as I wanted to participate in this week's assignment- LOW ANGLE- it is a technique I use alot and feel that I challenge myself on almost every photo session I do- Simply put I LOVE the low angle perspective. 

The upcoming assignment for DPS forums is Portraits, but not just any portrait- MID-DAY PORTRAITS. Why mid-day you ask? Well, the sun is brightest at midday which can make for some extremely unflattering and washed out pictures, making assignment tougher. To top it, this assignment had a few extra rules- it had to be a mid-day portrait using at least one of 3 techniques discussed in a blog post (http://digital-photography-school.com/3-tips-for-shooting-portraits-in-bright-sunshine) :

1) Find Shade- I both found shade under a tree and created shade using a large white floppy hat

2) Use a fill-flash- I used fill-flash on a few images and was pleasantly surprised- I would have never thought to use flash on a bright sunny day at 3 in the afternoon!

3) Use a reflector- I skipped this one- hey I used one more that I had too already & we were technically trespassing :)

We went up to Kneeland with my friend Buda (my pretty model) & the dog. I have been wanting to shoot in Kneeland for quite a while but never have the time or drive to make it up there. So I decided to do the portrait shoot up there thinking the scenery would be prefect & make for some awesome images- I was right!! We stopped at the schoolhouse & the adjacent field/barn for these images:

The first thing I went for @ the school- THE SWINGS!!! It has been forever since I have been on a swing & it felt great! It also felt a little dreamy, swings generally remind me of elementary school. I wanted to re-create my dreamy feeling in the image so I left the model a little blurry as if she too were dreaming. I love the way the light is hitting her, illuminating the edges & making her almost glow.

I really love this image also- I wanted to try and be more creative by keeping the subject out of focus and picking another focus area- in this case the flowers at the bottom of the frame. Practicing the whole "give your subject space to look into" thing!!

I took this image as an after-thought. I really loved the barn in front of her and the grass in the field. I processed this image quite a bit to get the right antique feel to it- I used saturation, antique effect, and highlights to make the grass stand out & look sun-kissed. 

 I was trying to vary my shots between vertical & horizontal. I post-processed this image mostly using the saturation & highlights tools. 

And last but not least- my entry for the assignment! No. 1 thing I learned about field portraits- be prepared to do some grass pullin! There was a ton of grass between her face & the camera I had to pull up to get a clear shot. I really love the play between the shadows created by the hat & the light of my fill-flash- It illuminated my model just enough without overexposing the rest of the image. I also was very happy with the lines created  toward the top of the image from the hat folds & the rolling hill in the background. 

This assignment made me sooo friggin nervous you can't believe! I can't image having someone pay me for portraits- what happens if they all turn out shitty? Even without any pressure from my model or for specific results it was still pretty crazy for me. I think I kept my mouth shut the entire time & didn't give Buda any directions on how to pose other than the occasional "sit there" or "lay here". Thank god she is such a great friend & model- it just came naturally to her! Next time I need to just get over the nerves & communicate- without such a great friend & sport this session could have turned out quite badly!! THANKS BUDA!!!

Location: Kneeland, CA by the Schoolhouse
Date/Time: 6/20/10 @ 3pm
Subject(s): Portraits
Notes: All images post-processed in IPhoto adjusting definition, highlights, saturation, and sharpness.


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