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One of my dearest friends, the beautiful Valerie, was my next guinea pig subject for my lunch time portrait practice. Still working on mastering the manual controls of the Canon S3IS, we ventured to a nearby park and took some images by the lake and on the playground.

Lighting was difficult this mid-November day, as the sun was beating down despite the chilly temperatures; hence, the sunglasses and gloves. The park has trees, but little open shade, so finding a place to compose the images proved difficult. Most of her pictures turned out with big blown out splotches on the side of her face.  As you can see, I attempted to minimize that result with the black/white treatment I did here.

My photoshop skills were coming along, though still very novice at best. If I remember correctly, we took over 250 photos in the span of about 45 minutes, so I had lots of images to play with, though not all of them were keepers.

Lessons learned from this shoot:

  • This park sucks for taking pictures in the middle of the day
  • A reflector might’ve helped, placed opposite the sun, to avoid blowing out pieces of her face facing the sun
  • Posing variations were better, but on many shots I composed the shot way too tight. If I’d wanted to print any of these images at sizes other than the 3:4 ratio the camera gives, I most likely would’ve been cutting off significant portions of her face.
  • Still too many “look at the camera and smile” type images.  Really need to spice it up with serious looks, looking away, looking back, hanging upside down, anything other than look here and say cheese!