Welcome to another (Almost) Wordless Wednesday! This year I’m using my Wednesday posts to stretch myself photographically and to really improve my practice – both in terms of my in-camera photography and in my post-processing skills. To that end, I’m participating in the Dogwood Photography 52 Week Challenge. Each week is a different theme, although they run in a pattern – moving from portraiture to landscape to artistic expression.
This week’s assignment is to take a headshot. I have to say that this was really hard for me. If you’ve been around here much, you know that I am not a portrait photographer. It’s just not my thing. I’m fortunate to have a great group of friends who are willing to be my guinea pig.
This is my friend Casey. Isn’t she beautiful? It’s easy to take lovely pictures when you have a beautiful subject. One of the things that I struggle with when it comes to portraiture is cropping. There are all sorts of cheat sheets out there that will tell you exactly how and where to crop a portrait, which for the most part I understand and agree with. I just have a hard time with heads. I get it. I understand why…it just doesn’t feel right to me. Too many years of being a snapshot photographer, I suppose.
After reading a couple of articles about how to properly crop a headshot, I went back and redid cropped the remaining shots. While I didn’t want to admit it, I really think the closer crop is better. What do you think?
These photos were taken after one Mardi Gras parade, after a few drinks, and during the golden hour. It was one of those things where, I remembered that I needed to take photos and said, “Casey! Tina! Pose for pictures!” Unfortunately, or perhaps fortunately, we took a few pictures of Casey and then decided that it was probably time to have another drink and get ready for our next parade. (I’ll con Tina into photos of her good side at a later date!)
Earlier I said that this photography challenge is stretching me both in terms of the kind of photos I take and in my post-processing. For these there were several things that I played around with. I used the soften skin brush as well as the teeth-whitening brush, and in some instances the burn tool and in other instances the dodge tool. I also played around with the tint brush, particularly with Casey’s lips. I also played around with some noise reduction as well. While I am pretty sure my settings were appropriate when I was shooting, I introduced some noise in post-processing.
Interestingly, I’ve owned (or I suppose more aptly rented) Lightroom & Photoshop for over two years, but I’m only just now beginning to really get serious about learning what to really do with LR in particular. I purchased a course from David duChemin about his editing flow & watched the replay of Cole’s Classroom’s Lightroom essentials. I might not be getting much else done in 2016 (besides walking) but I am going to be a better photographer ad editor by the time 2017 rolls around!
Thanks for joining me for another (Almost) Wordless Wednesday! I hope that you’re enjoying my learning and the photos that it produces. Next wee is landscape photography again…this time black and white. I think I’ve got just the place and shot in mind. Can’t wait to see you then!