I was lucky enough this year to be invited to attend Dale Neill's portraits course. Having done Dale's macro photography class a couple of years ago, it was fun to go along to another class.
Fun and informative, I learnt a lot of basic principles I'd overlooked. It's nice to be able to fill in these knowledge gaps when you're just a self taught photographer. I've often shot on instinct not really understanding why a photo work's (or doesn't). I think I have a better grasp of it now....
Sometimes it's the most obvious things that eludes us the most, and all it takes is someone to come along and point it out to us...
(Click on the photograph to unlarge)
This shot of David was my favourite headshot during the weekend. Love the soft lighting and shadows and the specular highlights. As much as I like studio lighting (when done properly), you can't beat the natural stuff.
Note to self: Watch DOF!!!!! I shot this at f2.5 and I only just got away with it. The depth of field at this distance was no more than about 3-4cm. The left eye is just starting to go out of focus. Anymore and the shot would have been lost.
This shot of Sarah was originally taken in normal portrait format, but I decided it looked more interesting when I flipped it horizontally. The rim lighting of her face works as a landscape I think (like sand dunes perhaps?). I also added another 2degrees of rotation to give the illusion she was lying on her back. Breathing...
The next couple of exercises was to team up with a class member and shoot a few environmental portraits.
I was lucky enough to work with Bruce who was a great sport and more than willing to try a few crazy ideas with me. Thanks Bruce!
Sometimes you get lucky and a shot comes out even better than expected. Like this photo of Bruce leaping. I knew the shot was going to work to some extent simply because of the leading lines formed by the columns.
"X" marks the spot, right? But I needed something more dynamic to cut across the frame to breakup the formality.
Nice jump Bruce. Great extension!
The next group of shots I can't take credit for because it was set up by Dale for us to practice. It was a really good exercise because I don't believe I've ever taken pictures quite like them before. Once again, thanks Bruce for being a good sport and being the subject. Glad it was you and not me mate!