My trainer from the gym was kind enough to sit for me for portrait practice with a more cooperative model than Tisen or Pat. We did simple head shots with the same lighting (well, continually adjusted as I tried to figure out what I was doing) throughout.
There were two major challenges to this session. First, I had a hard time not over exposing my model. In particular, his skin kept washing out and I found his teeth were blowing out. I had my lights turned down as low as they would go and I kept stopping down, but I was still struggling. I tried changing the shutter speed to reduce the ambient light. It did not help. I finally moved the lights back to reduce the intensity, but I was still blowing out his teeth.
Here’s the thing, I know very well how to control exposure. If there is one thing I know extremely well, it’s how to get the exposure I want in ambient light. But for some reason, when I feel pressure of any kind, I forget something critical. On St. Patrick’s Day, it was sync speed and then my lens hood. This time, it was something as basic as my ISO setting. It never occurred to me to look at what I had the ISO set on. It wasn’t until reviewing photos that I discovered I was on ISO 400! How on earth can I forget something so ingrained and basic?
I remind myself even if I never get the photo I want, at least I’m exercising my brain. It would be nice if exercising my brain were as effective as lifting weights in the gym–I’d love to see some evidence of muscle development.
Thanks to post processing, I was able to recover most of the data in the blown out teeth and salvage the photos. Several are usable for things like a LinkedIn profile or maybe a business card, but they’re awfully boring.
The second challenge (in case you thought I forgot) was Tisen. He practically attached himself to Kory while he was in the apartment. At one point, Kory was poised to sit down and Tisen was standing in front of him with his gaze fixated on a part of Kory it’s not polite to look at. Kory froze and was afraid to move.
When I called Tisen to me, he tucked his tail and sulked off to hide under the desk. As soon as I stopped calling him, he was right back to facing off with Kory. At one point, he put his front legs in Kory’s lap like he wanted to be petted but kept growling. I’m not really sure what he means by this, but my best guess is something like, “I’m willing to be friendly to you, but I’ve got my eye on you.” I guess if I am going to have any more models coming in, I’m going to have to teach Tisen better manners.
- Portrait Model (nomadicmainstream.com)
- The Not-Quite-Self Portrait (nomadicmainstream.com)
I wish Sasha got attached to her toys like Tison does. I buy her new toys all the time. She plays with them for a minute and then it just sits there and she ignores it from then on.
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