Sunday, November 9, 2008

Portraits and Lightroom

So recently a friend of mine finally convinced me to try out Lightroom 2.0 to post process my photos. I usually don't like to heavily process my photos just to keep things fast and simple (and real), so I used Picasa 100%. But after doing the wedding photography album and watching my friend's wedding album, I decided to give Lightroom a try. It's not so much about making your photos look fake/unrealistic as it is more about enhancing the elements that are already present in the photos and using post to draw attention to those elements. Recently I had a quick portrait session with a friend from my brother's church, so I figured I'd experiment a bit with Lightroom on those photos. Some photos I went wild with the post, some I was more conservative. Overall I just wanted to explore what I can do with Lightroom, what I like, what looks good, etc. Hope people don't mind :).

The portrait session itself was interesting as well... I haven't done portraits in a very long time, not since my previous victim (I mean model) got married and I did their engagement photo session. So I tried to get comfortable with portraits again, trying out different poses, different angles, etc it certainly helped that the model's sister was also there as an assistant holding the reflector and just helping out (she wanted to learn photography so I've been teaching her what little I know). The session started a bit late in the afternoon which meant I got a few good hours of nice light, then came golden hour which has always been a challenge for me doing portraits (i.e. making sure the skin tone looks flattering instead of really orange). I first started off with the easy shots, tight close ups using the long telephoto lens. Usually this is the easiest thing to start with as you don't have to worry about posing and background nearly as much since you just focus on the face. You just have to make sure your timing is good and she has a good smile on... then just click away! As I got a bit more comfortable, I swapped out to a 10-22 super wide for some environmental portraits which is much much more difficult as I not only have to worry about her pose, exposing for the environment, and controlling the distortion caused by the 10-22. In the end, I got a few shots that I liked, but overall I didn't think it was a great session for me, poor posing and poor interaction with the model, not enough to get her engaged and relaxed. Anyways, a big thanks to both the model and her sister. Here are some shots from the session.