Thursday, June 3, 2010

Assignment 1 : follow up photo

After completing assignment 1 and getting feedback, I realised I had not quite accomplished what I had wanted and the tutor had suggested; a photo of the subject being herself rather than projecting an image. Hence, I arranged another shoot, this time of the model Katy, at the computer wearing tights with a ballet dress ...

First there was the technical side to set up. While the position of the model was quite straightforward, the lighting was not; I wanted to photograph the interior with the view through the window likewise perfectly exposed. This was not easy to arrange as the lighting differences between interior and exterior, the dynamic range, was too much for the camera to handle. Flash was used and by the end, two flashes were bounced off the ceiling to give more light. It was found that a smaller aperture (f11 or less) was required to block too much window light as the shutter speed was more or less fixed at 1/200'th of a second.

Direct artificial light on the subject's face would have resulted in shadow though increasing the illumination of the monitor might have helped here. Colour temperature within the photograph was determined at the start using the White Balance feature that involves photographing a white card.

Apart from the technical challenge of photographing the subject by a window on a bright summer's day, the real purpose of this session was to produce a likeness of the subject that did reveal something of her beyond the image she has learnt to project. Of course, this is not unique to the subject, we all have personalities that we project onto the world and to find the face we had before we were born, is effectively impossible. However, I do feel that the images I made of Katy during this session were more "honest" than those made before. The image below is a franker example ...

Unfortunately, the lighting here casts shadows although this could be photoshopped out.

I do not see myself continuing to photograph Katy as she and her family are likely to move away soon so that Katy can attend acting school where she has won a place. Sessions were not easy to arrange and on this occasion it took a long time to get her to wear the clothes I wanted; her apparent reluctance might have been the result of my trying to produce images which show her as she is rather than what she seeks to become.

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