Tuesday, 30 April 2013

More portraits of friends, this time with a better lens

I have been experimenting more with the light and asking friends to be my models. So this is from a few weeks ago on a trip down to Devon. The best moment of the weekend 'weather wise', sunny, dry and warm. As opposed to the rest of the weekend, rainy and cold. This is for the weather talk! 

This series of friends portraits is different from the last one because I am using a better lens - a 50 mm. It makes a big difference as it allows to focus more on the subject and throw the rest out of focus. 

This is my friend standing in the shade. I wanted to try and soften the effects of the direct sunlight by asking her to stand under a tree. What I didn't realise though is that the tree hardly had any leaves so the shades of the branches are quite visible on her face. Although the quality of the image is not perfect I like her smile and facial expression of happiness. She is by the way smiling to her daughter, opposite her.

She is now out of the shade and onto the sun with no cover so the effects of the direct strong light are too visible. As it is late afternoon and the sun is going down, the light although strong is not coming from above but directly from the front. So she is not squinting a lot and the shades under her eyes are not too dark.

The shades of the branches on this one are less distracting as she is looking into the shade and that creates a sort of a darker band around her eyes as a sort of space where her look is absorbed.

I like this one very much as it creates the impression that the 'girl' in the photo is being in a dreamy or contemplative state.

To finish off, here is our usual companion Scomer the dog, bathing in the sun with his feet in the river. Although this can be considered overexposed as a result of shooting into the sun, I like the halo created around him. It resonates with a feeling of happiness and warmth.


  1. Hi Laura - lovely photos showing our beautiful early evening stroll.
    The angelic halo effect in Scomer's photo certainly does not reflect his behaviour on that day (!) but creates a magical feel to the photo.
    I really like the way the 50mm lens allows you to place such focus against a blurred background, and I wonder if this could be accentuated further by creating a composition where the background is of extreme contrast colour to the foreground figure/object - for example, a figure in front of some really bright colours.
    My favourite of your 'friend' shots is the third one - a very natural looking side shot and while the shadows from the branches are there, they are very soft.
    Keep clicking and look forward to seeing the results of your next assignment!
    Nicky x

    1. Hi Nicky,
      Thanks for your comment, it was a lovely evening stroll. I will try your suggestion of strong contrast between background and foreground. I like the third friend picture as well - the natural looking one, as the model is not posing and looks absorbed by some thoughts or feelings.
      All the best