BrickHouse Photo School

Tips, Tricks and Reviews for Photo Hobbyists

Archive for February 17th, 2009

Valentine’s Day Flowers are a Double Treat

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If you were lucky enough to receive flowers for Valentine’s Day you’re in luck because you have a ready-to-go subject to photograph.

Flowers are the perfect photographic subject. Unlike people, the don’t whine, fidget about and you can move them just about anywhere you want.

Fresh out of ideas? Try these:

  • Close-ups: If you have a macro lens, flowers are a create subject to explore. Get close and exam individual petals or the stamens. Experiment with different aperture settings to see what look you like best.

    Experiment with different aperture values when using a macro lens to see what effect you like best. (Photo credit: Jeremy W. Schneider)

    Experiment with different aperture values when using a macro lens to see what effect you like best. (Photo credit: Jeremy W. Schneider)

  • Portraits: Put the flowers in the hands of a child or your loved one. Try photographs where the flowers are the subject and not just a prop.
  • Still Life: Photograph the arrangement as a whole or set up a whole prop where the flowers are the subject. Design the set around the flowers. Look for different colors to compliment the shoot. Wanna go bold? Shoot the flowers in black and white and study the texture.

Don’t let those flowers go to waste! Use them to explore color, texture and light. Good luck and keep shooting!

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Written by jeremyparce

February 17, 2009 at 9:30 pm

Photo Critique 1: ‘Charlie,’ by Carla B.

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I love critiquing photos. It’s the best way to learn and get new ideas for photo shoots.
Today, we’re going to critique an image made from Carla, a friend of mine in Miami.

'Charlie,' a portrait by Carla in Miami, Florida.

'Charlie,' a portrait by Carla in Miami, Florida.

General Overview:
Carla, first I want to say that you did a great job on this portrait. Considering you only have about two years of experience, you do an outstanding job. I enjoy this portrait because of its relative simplicity. It’s focus is completely on the subject and you captured the subject’s personality quite well, I believe.

You can be very proud of this image.

Improvements
Overall, I would say there are just a few things I would improve in this image. First, the cast shadow coming from the collar to the t-shirt on the right side of the image. This cast shadow is coming from the right-side light source.

How to fix it? Another light on the left side would help or using a disc reflector to bounce some light and fill in that shadow.

Although I like hard directional lighting, this image might be made better by softening up the shadows on the face, especially the shadows coming from the nose, chin and lips. Again, I think a disc reflector bouncing some light back across the face would have made this image very, very sharp.

One more tip: The left ear is partially exposed. I think I would have burned it in just a little more.

Carla, great job overall. Playing with light is one of the best ways to make more interesting images and build a better portfolio.

Thanks for the submission, good luck and keep shooting!

If you would like to submit a photo for critique, e-mail us at submissions@brickhousephotoschool.com

Written by jeremyparce

February 17, 2009 at 12:26 am