Black and White (Atlanta+Portraits+Photography)

So its becoming crunch time at Gwinnett Tech. Me and fellow second year students are beginning to feel the pressure, the heat, what ever you want to call it. Its getting down to our final 5 months a program that we have spent the last two years of our lives honing our crafts.  This semester we are doing commercial photography; which is product photography and architecture. We are also in a portfolio and an internship class. The portfolio class has been a thorn in my side. But, honestly it’s for the best. I have been pushed more this semester then I ever have. And that shows in what I am about to post about.

I have been really loving the one light set up, Back in late November early December I did a take on Red Riding Hood (pictured below) that I did the one light set up. Recently most of all my portraits if they weren’t natural light, they were some sort of one light. In fact the other day I wast at my aunt’s house, photographed my cousins and used my flash off camera to the left side, being held by my lovely assistant mom, haha. I didn’t use an umbrella in this instance, even tough I brought one just in case but I didn’t feel like I needed it. And that is a thankful moment might I add. I am getting tired of doing the natural light thing, and want to do a little bit more of a dynamic lighting so I am now at least using a flash, either on or off camera. Red_Ridding_Hood_Tiffs-13

Anyways, what I am getting at is the few most recent portraits that I have taken. I was tasked with an assignment to photograph for your “Speciality.” Well my specialty in this one course is going to be portraiture. I plan on instituting some of the ideas that I have for this part of my portfolio over the next few months. Most of which will be two or three “series” that I plan on doing. One will be of fairy tale characters in dark manner. yes there is an inspiration for that, and I will not go into it.  The other one will be what will Call “Ages.” I haven’t decided if I want to strictly do older elderly people like you will see in the portraits to come, or if I want to do a mixture of all ages.  With that said, continuing with the one light set up. I am decided to take portraits of my parents.

Both of the set ups were something that I threw up in my family room after checking a light kit out from my school. Brought it home, set up my two light stands that I own, through a metal pole across the top that I had lying around (duck taped the crap out of it to make it stay) and threw a black sheet over it. Threw up just one of the lights and tried various lighting techniques, which might I add are still a lot of hard work, especially to remember them!

section E portraits-10The first subject was my mom, I went with a one light as I have been saying. I wasn’t really concerned with the technical side of it, but more of the “impact” aspect. And apparently that is what this accomplished. I had posted up on my facebook pages that I run and that I belong too and it got rave reviews. Everyone said it was an impactful image, no matter whether or not I had done it “technically correct.”

I then did a picture of my dad. Using the same set up, the same type of lighting, just having him positioned a little bit differently. This one was a smash it for some reason. not complying, not at all!  This was more of a side lighting attempt, It worked but not as good as it could have. i Use a diffuser that I had to reflect light back on to his left side a little bit and the rest was the magic of post processing.  

portraits-30I will have to say that I love these portraits. Not some of the BEST that I have ever done, but definitely some good ones, that send a message. The first one, of my mom is a more serious tone, I think that’s why it’s very impactful. The second one, of my dad, is more of a light-hearted, “what you see is what you get, and I am happy just the way you see me.” The smile does wonders for this image, I think at least, shows his personality. I had taken another one, that I think showed his personality even more but I hadn’t worked that one up and I will save it for another day.

I printed these two and a bunch of others out on a contact sheet and went to talk to my professor the other day and showed her these images, She apparently compared them, in a way to something that Richard Avadon had done. He did a series of images with a white back ground, bringing simple mid-western Americans; dirty, working-class, busy mid-western Americans. She stated, and it is true that when you put them on a white background you have the capability of seeing everything and it helps tell the story, display the message. So, since she suggested this, off to Walmart I went after checking out a light kit from school, and then home to set up.

I ended up doing basically one of the same setups as before this time with white back ground and I can definitely see the difference between the two. The funny thing too is that you see with the black back ground he has a light-hearted fun look, with the white background, he has that angry, “the heck are you looking at” attitude, which I think says my dad all over! I really enjoyed going these portraits and hope to do more.

Section_E_Final_DadI hope you enjoyed my post, I know it was a lot of reading, I apologize, I just had a lot to say! Oh, and I start my Gwinnett Braves Internship tomorrow, look for me doing the “Spotted!” feature all around the ball park. I will try to have a post up about my experiences with those at least a Bi-Weekly basis! Till then!

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2 thoughts on “Black and White (Atlanta+Portraits+Photography)

  1. I thoroughly enjoyed your post finding it most informative. The portraits of your mom and dad are wonderful and especially meaningful. Enjoy your internship. Aunt Carol Ann

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