18 November 2013

People Pictures: Exercise 1

Last October, I made this really extensive list of goals related to photography in 2013.  Well, 2013 did not go as planned---which led to some loss of motivation, loss of heart on the matter.  I actually did accomplish about half of those goals though so that is good, right?  I am starting to work my way through a book called People Pictures by Chris Orwig.  It is not a technical skills book, but more of a creativity focused, pushing art and comfort kind of book.  The focus is on creating authentic portraits.  My favorite subject is people.  I love all types of photography really, but what speaks to me most are portraits that tell stories and evoke emotions.  And that is also what I want to shoot.  So the book is going to really stretch me.  Some exercises are simple, some are rather involved.  Most of them involve taking photos of people (weird), and a few are more introspective exercises.  I hope to share my journey on here, but there are 30 exercises, and they are not ones that just happen in a day--so it may take me years to work through it all.  But I am starting :)  Basically, it is really intimidating because I will be taking photos of people that -oh are not my son :)  I am hoping to grow in three ways through the exercises.  1.  Getting myself more comfortable and confident behind the camera--thus learning how to make subjects relaxed and real. 2.  Getting better at "making" photos, not just "taking" them. 3.  Creating photographs that do what I mentioned above: "Tell stories and evoke emotion."  So if you know me well and live within a two hour radius, I may be asking to take your photo...be kind, I am nervous too!

Exercise One was pretty simple.  The goal was to make a very basic portrait with a ten minute time frame.  Shoot at the lowest aperture for the lens choice, and manually focus.  I forgot about the manual focus prompt when I was shooting, but did not go back to redo.  I chose my friend Leslie who was visiting for the day.  In reality we spent about 5 minutes because we had a 5 month old and 2 year old present.  I placed her in the corner of my stairwell because it was simple and I liked the light and how it produced heavy shadows.  She says she is not photogenic, but I think she looks beautiful.  The second one is her real smile, which I love.  I think we were talking about how she posed for a mutual friend doing a photography session in...uh.."special circumstances." ;)

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