Portraiture On Location

The time and weather often dictates the schedule when it comes to location photography. Any outdoor setting is going to be subject to the weather so it’s always a good idea to keep an eye on the forecast in the days before a shoot and to have a secondary location in mind.

Good outdoor locations include parks, fields, rivers, stately homes and gardens, ancient ruins, farms and churches.

You can add interest by using bridges, walls, steps and trees either as a backdrop or as part of the composition. Needless to say, lighting isn’t going to be much of a challenge with most of these locations, unless you choose dawn or dusk to take the photos.

Indoor locations that provide a good setting include churches, where you can use pews, doorways and balconies to good effect; abandoned buildings and railways for drama or mood; and the interior of stately homes or grand buildings for elegance.

All of these need proper assessment before the shoot to get an idea of their suitability and to identify any risk factors.

Attention should also be paid to backgrounds and lighting. Indoor locations particularly need to be checked for combinations of natural and artificial lighting and unwanted distractions.

Compressed Perspective 2

Back in July I wrote a piece about compressed perspective and how it can change the apparent relationship between near and distant objects. I couple of photos I took a few days ago demonstrate this further.

You’ll notice in the picture below that one bottle of shower gel appears slightly larger than the other. Specifically, the yellow bottle on the right is slightly larger than the lime bottle on the left.

However, this is a good example of how compressed perspective can fool the eye. The yellow bottle is actually a lot smaller than the green bottle – it just looks larger because it’s much closer to the camera.

Here’s another image showing the bottles side by side.

As you can see, there is a big difference in size! The green bottle is a standard Original Source bottle, whereas the Lemon and Tea Tree is a travel pack size.

In the first picture the larger lime bottle is about a metre behind the smaller lemon bottle. I used a small aperture and manually focussed on a point midway between the two to ensure that they were both in focus, thereby making them appear as if they were positioned next to each other. The illusion is helped by the fact that the proportional relationship between the bottle and label are the same on both bottles.

Night Photography

Every once in a while I like to get out in the evening and take some night shots. I particularly like this shot of a boat on the river near to my home. This was taken on my Nikon D40, a camera I love for it’s simplicity. I often use the D40 when I choose to leave the more expensive kit at home. It’s a highly capable camera despite its entry-level spec.

Needless to say I used a tripod for this shot, with the white balance set to tungsten. I also used a Nikon ML-L3 infrared remote to fire the shutter.