Saturday, May 5, 2012

I Found A Model!

     More like a guinea pig, really.  I'm glad he's male.  And he's not really a model.  But who cares?  It's practice time!

     I kept thinking, "If I'm to take portraiture for myself, I'd much prefer males."  It's probably my non-conformist mind talking.  Beautiful as they may be, it's always female portraits that gets shown a lot; it's getting sickening.  I also think males are easier to work with.  But enough of that.  I'd rather focus on practicing instead of day-dreaming.

     The good thing is that he's my co-worker (I have a day job) and he seems to be fine taking my random requests.  I simply brought my camera to work and asked him to sit/lie/stand on a spot, as I take pictures.  Of course, it's an unspoken agreement that I give him copies of whatever I can come up with.

     And then comes the bad.  This was a wake-up call.  Taking pictures of myself seems to be easier despite dashing in front of the camera all the time.  At least, I can still take all the time setting up stuff and just hit the shutter button when I'm ready.  It's different when another person is my subject.  I find myself uncomfortable having him to wait too long just for me to get things done... for just one picture.

It took me about 1 minute before taking the first shot.  As it shows, he's almost forcing a smile due to his back already aching, being in this position.  The light came from the ceiling and it was adjusting his head to get that shape, that we both struggled with.

     Of course, I can only come up with what I currently know.  I verbally expressed that it's my first time and I know very very little about photography.  I was just hoping I could just come up with good snap shots.  So instead of experimenting, I'd rather stick to what I know this time.

Chicken Warmer
It was a bad idea to experiment this much when I'm still wet behind the ears.  I tried using a chicken warmer, hoping I could control the source of light more.  Came post-processing and I can not fix his complexion if my life depended on it.

     What surprised me is when I uploaded them on my computer.  The shots thought were promising ended up disappointing me.  Meanwhile, the shots I ignored at first glance (on my camera's LCD) were the ones that got my attention for good.  Now I wonder, "Am I really this bad just relying on luck?"  This session upset me 'cause it made me realize how far I still am from what I want to become.  I know I can't be a can-shoot-them-all guy, but I could at least have had good results, I did practice a lot.

Just My Luck
On my screen, this was the worst I thought I came up with.  I used the harsh light reflected from the window to the floor.  It was a happy accident that I see split-light.  And I loved the shape of the catch light.  I was glad I didn't delete this in-camera.

Ran Out Of Ideas
I was about to turn my camera off, when I realized there's one more source of light that I haven't used.  There's strong light bouncing off the floor from the left, while there's a softer light bouncing off a huge building in a distance at the right, through our tinted window.  Although I aimed for dramatic lighting, I'm a bit happy with this shot.

     At the end of the day, my "model" was pleased with the pictures I gave him.  I'm not happy with it, but his reactions to my work lifted up my spirits.  It's not over yet.  I promise to be better the next time I take his pictures.

His Favorite
I chose the B&W for variety.  But he chose this to be his favorite.  Oddly as it is, this was the most rejected picture I took as viewed through my camera's LCD screen.
Thank you, Mar.

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