August 01, 2014, 03:32:30 AM

Author Topic: Portrait of my nan, help!  (Read 1982 times)

CJRodgers

  • EOS M2
  • ****
  • Posts: 195
    • View Profile
Portrait of my nan, help!
« on: August 09, 2012, 12:03:28 PM »
Hey guys,

I know this is a bit cheesy but I have a huge family and we all love our nan so much. I want to get an amazing portrait of her sometime soon. Shes getting pretty old and I really want to capture what an amazing person she is. This is my first go with almost zero post processing.Hopefully I will have many more opportunities to re shoot, but what could I do better? Im going to her 87th bday party in 2 weeks :) Composition, posing, post processing our all things im thinking of.  Im thinking i need a nicer back drop?

canon rumors FORUM

Portrait of my nan, help!
« on: August 09, 2012, 12:03:28 PM »

nightbreath

  • 6D
  • *****
  • Posts: 456
    • View Profile
    • Свадебный фотограф в Днепропетровске
Re: Portrait of my nan, help!
« Reply #1 on: August 10, 2012, 01:04:58 AM »
Nice work  :)

Next time, if I were you, I would think about light (direction, quality, amount) and composition (it's not neccessary to be so close) a little bit more  :)
Wedding photography. My personal website: http://luxuryphoto.com.ua

Enrico

  • Guest
Re: Portrait of my nan, help!
« Reply #2 on: August 10, 2012, 02:22:21 AM »

I am not a portrait expert, but I would like to add a few ideas that might be worth considering.

Of course you should go for the head and shoulder portrait and as nightbreath said - consider light and composition. Perhaps use existing light from a window etc.

I would also take photos from a distance when she is doing those things that come to your mind when you think of her. Perhaps serving the birthday cake, laughing when taking part in a discussion giving some grandchildren a hug etc.

When I look back at photos from previous generations and even pictures of my grandparents (that would have been around 87 if they still were alive) they all are kind of arranged. IE "normal" portrait style. Nothing wrong with that, but as the years go by my memories of them (and expecially those I never met) are that portrait photo... It would have been much better if the person was captured in a situation typically for him/her.

There are some photos of my granddad, holding me as a kid, dressed up for a portrait etc. But the one I appriciate the most is when someone captured him (without him knowing) when he is fishing. He is in that moment and you can really notice the difference in his face, eyes etc. In terms of lightning, composition, sharpness etc etc the photo is crap... but that doesn't matter.

When I show my kids photos of my granddad, it is fishing photo that shows most who he was (at least to me). He worked in a mine, so he was not the dressed up suit guy, unless a funeral or wedding or a portrait shot...





CJRodgers

  • EOS M2
  • ****
  • Posts: 195
    • View Profile
Re: Portrait of my nan, help!
« Reply #3 on: August 10, 2012, 04:16:43 AM »
Thanks guys,

Yeah im not really a fan of the light in this, its creating too many hotspots and the skin tone makes them hard to remove in photoshop. If its outdoors I will look to use a flash and umbrella or if its very cloudy then that would be ideal! I think your right, although I want one like this but maybe not quite so close and not so centered, I do want some candid, unaware of the camera too. Wish me luck!

trygved

  • Power Shot G16
  • **
  • Posts: 49
    • View Profile
    • Youngblood Photography
Re: Portrait of my nan, help!
« Reply #4 on: August 10, 2012, 06:57:01 AM »
Definitely!
Careful not to overexpose.
When shooting a subject with lighter skin and hair, you're safer off under exposing a smidge.
And I personally never go into portraits calculating how a subject will be framed.
I grab a good handful of focal lengths and framings. Whatever feels right.
In the photo, your nan seems comfortable having a camera in her face. That's half of it right there!

Good luck!
FUJI X100S

Menace

  • 1D X
  • *******
  • Posts: 1314
  • New Zealand
    • View Profile
Re: Portrait of my nan, help!
« Reply #5 on: August 10, 2012, 07:01:49 AM »
Good luck.

I'd consider a darker back drop and maybe not such a tight crop - window lighting as suggested is a cool idea too.

Also do consider an outdoor setting - maybe a few candid shots whilst she is busy doing something she loves i.e. playing  with grand kids or baking etc.

Enjoy
1Dx | 5D III
85 1.2L II | 100 2.8 | 400 2.8L IS II 
24-70 2.8L II | 70-200 2.8L IS II

paul13walnut5

  • Guest
Re: Portrait of my nan, help!
« Reply #6 on: August 10, 2012, 07:41:19 AM »
I wish I had a photo this nice to remember my wee granny by  :'(

If you want a technical appraisal, I would go along with the change in perspective as mentioned before, I would even go quite wide, 50mm equivalent, 35mm eqivalent, your gran had a kindly face and whilst this image will bring you happy thoughts it wouldn't really tell anybody else about your gran.

I like environmental portraiture, does your gran have a favourite or personal room with her own photos on the wall? sideboards etc?  Grans usually have really interesting rooms full of memories and textures and fabrics and patterns, cool ornaments etc.  It would be great to get a nice image like that, the image of a family woman, surrounded by a lifetime of memories of her own.

Rather than a formal posed image why not just get images of her at a family get together, my gran had a comical way about her, telling stories, sharing the gossip, her eyes could tell you 1'000 opinions.

I just feel that there is no personality in your image, if your Gran is anything like mine was she'll have an opinion on just about everything and be happy to share it, get some of that personality out.

I personally think that studio portraiture and formal poses are very sterile and cold, and for such a personal and intimate subject you should try and get away from that.

Maybe a more even light (softbox would be ideal, overcast window or outside light perfect, little tiniest bit of fill flash to get the catchlight.

And remember to tell your gran you love her, I'd swap all my camera gear and an arm and a leg to have the chance to do that once more.


canon rumors FORUM

Re: Portrait of my nan, help!
« Reply #6 on: August 10, 2012, 07:41:19 AM »

CJRodgers

  • EOS M2
  • ****
  • Posts: 195
    • View Profile
Re: Portrait of my nan, help!
« Reply #7 on: August 10, 2012, 08:01:23 AM »
Ah thanks guys, some great tips. I will probably use my 35L next time. I only had my 135L with me and the room was really small so I couldnt back up. I wasnt expecting to take pictures so I didnt bring anything else, but then i couldnt resist the temptation to get it out of the car!

Just for a laugh, here is one i got a second later after saying something daft. I just want to capture some of this personality now in a shot that isnt missing half of her forhead! I think the tip to slightly underexpose is good too. Possibly the pale skin and grey hair and white backround threw off the exposure. Ill try and hunt out some softer light next time.

canon rumors FORUM

Re: Portrait of my nan, help!
« Reply #7 on: August 10, 2012, 08:01:23 AM »