Portraits: Scott and Megan

First up, sorry for not having a post mid-week, I've had family visiting all week and have been trying to entertain as well as keep up with photos.  I will do a make-up a post for the weekend.

My brother, Scott and his girlfriend Megan were visiting us for the first time in our new place and they were excited to get some new couples portraits taken. I was happy to help them out and we headed over to Point Pleasant park to find a cool place for photos.

Traffic (and my navigation skills) put us a little behind schedule and we were losing light pretty quickly.  I did a few photos with the reflector but I wasn't getting the quality of light that I needed and the sun kept diving behind clouds every once in a while, keeping me from getting a good reflected light.  It was time to bust out some flashes.

Setup shot of the lighting, complete with a voice activated lightstand, Scott!  Photo by Jess Lingley 

I did a few portraits of Megan to get my feet wet with the flash and using the Ezybox softbox I got some pretty nice results.  I took out the 50mm prime lens after getting a couple wide angle photos and dialed it in to 1.8.  I got a really beautiful focal range on Megan's face, allowing her eyes and cheeks to be in great focus, but by her ears a beautiful bokeh was forming.  I used natural light on this shot as the sun peeked back out from behind the clouds.

The Nifty Fifty is at it again, giving a really nice plane of focus at a great focal length. 

Having gotten a few really nice images of Meg, I turned my attention to getting some couples shots.  We found a really cool structure in Fort Ogilvie where I set up some really dramatic and artistic light to really focus attention on the couple.  I think it turned out okay, but after seeing the results from a bare flash head I think a beauty dish would provide even more drama while keeping the light even where it needs to be.

I processed the image through Nik Software to add some punch to it and I really like the result!  As a couples photo it does seem a little dramatic, but it's eye-grabbing!

Scott and Meg have so much fun together!

Finally, we got some really nice sunset photos after putting a warming gel on the flash.  The Ezybox was used again on this shot to really pop some warm, smooth light on Scott and Meg.  The result is a really simple, but dramatic portrait with sunset lighting the background and smooth wrapping light on the couple.

I look forward to getting these printed, I think they'll look absolutely awesome in frames!

Cheers, More tk...

Wednesday/Thursday 500px Cool Finds

So I've been a little slack with posting, but I've been getting pretty busy at work.  Frankly, this is a good thing, as the days go by much smoother when I'm working on three projects at a time.  As far as my blog goes however, it's time for my 500px Cool Finds!

I haven't uploaded a whole bunch of stuff onto 500px but I have found a few really cool users with awesome style.  Please click through to these pages and have a look for yourself.  If you're a 500px member, follow them and favorite some of their work if you feel the same way I do about it.

First, let me introduce Peter Bjerke .  Peter is probably new to 500px as at the time of this writing he has an affection rating of only 26, far less than he should!

I particularly like the way Peter uses depth of field and muted contrasts to give a style that's vintage and classy.  His lighting is bang-on as well: very dramatic and attention grabbing.  

Peter's also got a couple photos that just grab your eye and won't let go.  I'd say my personal favorite is the shot above with the deck of cards.  I didn't even know that you could get them that evenly spaced in mid-flight!!

One of the things I've been looking for in the "new" uploads of 500px each time is a great set of portraits with amazingly dramatic, contrasty lighting.  Miguel Colinet of Örebro, Sweden delivers this in his very evocative portraits containing great detail work. 

It's pretty obvious the guy knows how to control light.  I just love that harsh-yet-creamy look that he's able to put on a subject by using the right kind of light modifiers.  In addition, that spotlit backdrop is just spectacular.

The other thing that Miguel has down is the art of posing.  Have a look over his page and see what I mean.  He's got some absolutely fantastic portraits, and I can't wait for him to upload more!

I will try in the next day to get another blogpost up by tomorrow, but I've been pretty busy trying to clean up loose ends after our big move to Halifax.  If my entries are a bit more sporadic, don't worry, I'm just settling in.  I do have at least two portraits to shoot in the next two weeks, so expect to see some posts from those!

Cheers, More tk...

Wednesday: 500px Cool Finds

I spend the bulk of my time on 500px looking at other people's work.  I find it's a great source of inspiration and fantastic works.  I really enjoy watching something go from the 'Fresh' section to the 'Upcoming' section and then finally to the 'Popular' category.  

I decided this week to showcase some of the highlights of my browsing.  Luckily, embedding photos through 500px is pretty easy so I'll be able to show loads of great works.  I might even make this a regular Wednesday copout blogpost!

My rule is that I won't post photos that have made it to the 'popular' section of 500px, rather those that I have found by looking through 'Fresh' or 'Upcoming' images.  Let me Explain: I want to showcase those works I found that deserve to be seen as much as those that have already had a tidal wave of traffic (by all means, feel free to check out the main page of 500px, just be prepared to be blown away).

The image at the top of this post is an absolute gem.  I really like the sense of space, and looking at it sends me back to my teenage years spent hiking around my hometown of Welsford, making it to the top of a mountain and just relaxing for a while.  Props to Dane Schmidt for an awesome photo!

I think what I like best about this image is the light.  There's a really great sense of warmth and comfort that I get from sunsets that look like this.  

Another beautiful work.  I'm really digging portraiture now and I've been spending time looking for images that point me in a direction that I'd like to take.  This is one of those images, with simple but elegant wrapping light, a dead simple background and a wonderfully simple colour palate.  

Finally, the odd image out, Solitude by Thomas W.  It's only the odd one since it's not a portrait, but man is it ever cool.  I don't know where this structure is, but I'd really like to get photos of it for my own portfolio!

Cheers, more tk...