I’ve been taking pictures for about 3 months now, and much to my surprise I’ve developed an interest of sorts in portrait photography. There’s something I like about the careful effort to take very good photographs of people. I appreciate the detailed care that goes into the lighting and the posing.
I don’t have the equipment for doing real portraits. My camera is basically a point-and-shoot camera with a strong zoom lens. That might be good enough with the right lighting, but I don’t have studio lighting gear, and I can’t justify the purchase. Good portraits require shadows, and without studio lighting I have to find them in the real world. But real-world shadows come with real-world darkness, and my camera doesn’t handle dim lighting very well.
Without the camera and lighting, there’s not much point in asking people to pose. What I end up doing is taking pictures of people at parties or on the street and hoping they come out well. To put it another way, I’m trying to take extra-nice snapshots.
Here’s one of my favorites. This is my friend Monica, caught in a thoughtful moment:
There’s something about this photo that works for me. The thoughtful look on her face, the disdain for the camera, the way the fingers of her hand are curled. Probably the most artsy-feminine picture I’ve take so far.
Monica doesn’t like that one. She thinks it doesn’t look like her. I think it does, and I’ve probably seen the side of her face more than she has. But she’s right in a sense. The photo is peaceful and quiet, and Monica is a little more rock-and-roll than that.
She prefers this one:
|Monica in a More Intense Moment|
For some reason, it’s easy to get good photographs of Monica. She photographs well. That’s an important thing for a beginning photographer like me. I need to find good subjects, because I’m not good enough to take good pictures of difficult subjects.
That makes this a lot like street photography, which is all about finding interesting people. With that in mind, here’s a picture of Isaac, who I found selling M&Ms on the street corner near my house.
If you have the bandwidth, click for the big picture and take a close look at his face. Even I can’t take a bad picture of a guy with a face like that.