Final Portrait Image

To get my portrait image of a stranger, I asked my flatmate to speak to her friends and find out if they would like to have some portrait photos taken. They said yes so I ended up taking photos of Hannah and Lewis, my flatmate’s friends.

Taking photos of them proved rather difficult, because I said that I would send them the images for their own use afterwards, so they kept moving to see the photo after every one, and this meant I had to keep re-adjusting the focus. If I were to do this again I would make sure I told them to stay in the same spot and let them know they could view the photos at the end.

Before my photoshoot, I did a little bit of research into existing photographers, and the following images are ones that I liked and wanted to take aspects from:

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Andreas Jorns: This photograph was taken by Andreas Jorns, and it features Rembrandt style lighting, however the ‘triangle’ of light on the left side of the face isn’t really a triangle, however, I still like the image and think this is quite re-creatable. The image its self, while being in focus, seems quite soft, and I think this is due to the short tonal range.

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David Bailey: This photograph was taken by David Bailey and it also uses the Rembrandt lighting technique. This photo has quite a high contrast and I’m not sure this is something I would be able to recreate easily (although we managed something similar in our workshop- see my previous post).

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Rembrandt Harmenszoon van Rijn: After hearing the term ‘Rembrandt lighting’ and finding examples of it in lots of images, I decided to actually find out who this Rembrandt guy was. From my research, I found out that he was a painter in the 1600s and often lit subjects from a 45-degree angle so that half of the face was illuminated, and the other half only had a small triangle illuminated. I tried to recreate something along these lines in my own photographs.

These are some of the photographs that came out of the photoshoot I did:


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Some of the props and poses of the photographs are quite strange, and the reason for this is that I wanted the subjects to both feel comfortable with a stranger taking their picture, so I let them choose how to pose for the most part.



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There were a few pictures where I instructed them, and I think they were just as successful as those where the subjects had more freedom. These last two are the ones that I instructed more, and they display more of the Rembrandt lighting technique because I was able to keep the subjects still while I rearranged the lighting.



This is my final image of Hannah, and I feel like this is the most technically sound as the focus is on her eyes, she is centered in the frame and there is a small triangle of light on her left cheek, while the rest of that side is mostly shadowed. I also put the image into black and white because from my research, I feel like black and white works really well with this lighting technique.

Portraiture Workshop 2

This week in our workshop, we were given images by photographers and had to try to recreate them. The photographer I was given in my group (with India Hicking and Scott Bentley) was David Bailey. This was the specific image we were trying to recreate:

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The first few images we took were very poor quality. We were not aware of how to accomplish the Rembrandt lighting style so the lighting is really off. Also, to get the photograph with a plain background we ended up taking it in a really badly lit place. These are the first few images we produced:



The following images are after we asked how to reproduce the lighting technique, and these are all much better. To accomplish the Rembrandt lighting, we positioned the subject near a window and got him to rotate until he only had a small amount of light catching on his right cheek.

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This is the final image from this week’s workshop:


I think we captured the Rembrandt technique very well here, as there is an almost perfect triangle of light on his right cheek, and the rest of the right side is dark. I also think we replicated Bailey’s image pretty well, although there is much more contrast between light in dark in his photo. I tried increasing the contrast in our image but it didn’t look very good so I left it relatively normal.

Portraiture Workshop

In this weeks workshop, I worked with India Hicking to take some photos of strangers in preparation for our portrait brief. The first images we took were not that great:

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The first two images are close-ups, and because we found it quite nerve-wracking we took these very quickly and consequently the focus is slightly out. If the focus wasn’t out, I would’ve really liked them. The third image was taken and we were under the impression that the aperture was quite low (around 2) but the depth of field isn’t as shallow as we would’ve liked so we changed this later on. So overall I liked the framing of these three images but because we rushed they aren’t as technically sound as I would like them to be.

I absolutely love these next images:

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I think my favourites of these images are the last two, the girl was quite shy at first but opened up and became more confident and I think this makes for a better image. The focus is also much better on this set of images compared to the last ones, although it still might be a tiny bit out as I think they are all focused more on her nose than her eyes.

This week I will be going out and taking images of strangers off campus.

The Found Object


In our workshop in week 4 we experimented taking still life photographs in groups; I was in a group with India Hicking and Jen Dennison. Below are some of the photos we took together.


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I really like how these two pictures turned out, they are the best out of the dozens that we took. I like the first one because of the chiaroscuro lighting that we managed to accomplish. I think that one way we could’ve improved the first image would be with a sharper focus, as we were quite rushed to take that image at the end of our session, so we didn’t notice that the focus was just marginally out. I also like the second image, and we took this earlier in the session. I like that we managed to perfectly flag out the background, and subtly reflect some light onto the darker side of the cheese to light it up perfectly. I also like the colour scheme, as purple and yellow are contrasting colours and opposite each other on the colour wheel, so they look nice together. This is why we decided to take the picture on a black backdrop, so as not to distract from the colour harmony.

After this workshop I decided to do some research into still life photography, especially of flowers.


Firstly, I found this image by Richard Murdock. I like the theme of flowers and I know I can access flowers to take picture of for my final photo because there are some in the media building. I also like the colours shown in this photo and how it is on a black background, I think a black background really lets the subject speak for its self and does not take anything away from it.

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Another photograph I found was Frederick Sommer, who takes pictures of found objects and scenes, and this is one of my favourite photographs by him. I like this because of the soft lighting, and the contrast between the light parts in the centre and the dark parts around the edge, it really adds to the feel that the image is glowing. I also like that Sommer has used fake flowers like I did in my practice photos, because I feel like I can relate this to my own work.


I decided to keep with the theme of flowers within still life and found Ambrosius Bosschaert the Elder, who is an artist from the 15-16oos, with a very cool name. Although he is not a photographer, the concept of still life came from art, and during his lifetime the camera didn’t even exist, but his art will have inspired still life photography in later years. This painting is again of flowers and has a slightly different lighting style to my other pieces of research, the lighting here is more direct, but not front on as there are still some subtle shadows on the right. Again the light seems very soft and makes the image look soft. This is a very complex and busy image, and I don’t think I could recreate something with this amount of flowers in because I really would not know where to find them, but still I do like how busy the image is.


Final Still Life Image

The following are images I that took for my found object project this week, that I decided weren’t up to the standard I would’ve liked.

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The reason I didn’t like these images was that none of them are lit how I would’ve liked. I quite like the lighting on the subject in the third image, but I did not flag the light to make the background darker, so the black background appears very grey which I do not like. The lighting in the second image is not terrible, the subject is very well lit, but its just not as dramatic as I’d like.

The following two photos were part of my final few that I liked, but aren’t my final image.

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I liked both of these images, but the one on the right is proably my favourite. The purple and yellow compliment each other because they are opposite on the colour wheel, and the blue is one of purple’s analogous colours so fits well too. The image on the left was just experimentation with more props, but I like the composition of the image which is why it made it into my final favourites. It also has more shadows which I like because it adds depth to the image.

Lastly, here is my final image for my ‘Found Objects’ project.

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The reason I chose this image as my final image is because I think it displays the best lighting, colour scheme and composition of all of my images.

I managed to flag out the background so that the black stayed a dark black instead of turning grey. I also had the light source to the side of the subject so that one side got most of the lighting, but to make sure that the other half of the image was also visible, I reflected a small amount of light onto the other side.

The colour scheme I have gone for in this image is a split complementary scheme, with a light blue, purple and orange. At first, I just had purple and blue, but I think that the orange batteries really add a pop of colour and to the image.

I also think that the batteries help break up the composition a little bit. Without them, the image was very perfect and aligned, but they are dotted around randomly and I really like what this adds to the image.

Finally, I prefer the subject on the black background because it does not distract from the subject; it is just dead space.