Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Advanced Pro: Assignment #1

My experience with Brooke Snow's Lifestyle class was amazing, so much so that I am now taking her Advanced Pro class. Let me set the record straight: I am no where near going pro and that is not the plan. My goal is to take amazing photos consistently and to have those photos shine, heck, glow of energy and beauty.

My submission for Assignment #1 is as follows. As you know Brooke, I have been struggling to be consistent with my 50mm f/1.8 lens. These shots were all captured with my 50mm lens. Upon review of the images, I could see there were certain situations where the images were not tack sharp; it is safe to say I am still working through my relationship with this lens...ugh!

This image was taken with me lying on the ground with my daughters looking straight down at me. I set my focus point at the intersection of their cheeks; is this where you would have focussed to? This image seemed sharp to me; your thoughts? Some of the other images had one girl in focus and the other a softer focus which was very confusing for me as I consciously tried to focus at the same spot for each image.

For this shot, I stood on a step stool but wished I had a ladder. While this shot does not have her smiling, I still like the image. At the time, she was looking past me to see the football players practicing. She was waiting for me to get ready!

When I shoot Madison, I am often frustrated. She has ideas and I have ideas and they are rarely the same! LOL As well, Madison is usually SO stiff in front of the camera. Your posing tips were SO helpful to me...and to her! Had I not read your posing tips, I am quite sure I would not have posed her in this position but she was definitely the most at ease I have seen her in awhile in front of the camera. However I would have preferred to be more camera right and would like to reshoot the image with me positioned further camera right.

The next 2 images I liked for different reasons but I was curious in hearing your thoughts in positioning 2 people who have a large difference in height. When I had the girls side by side, I felt uncomfortable standing so far away to accommodate my vision with the 50mm lens as I wanted to see the details on their faces and strands of their hair. I shot them sitting in each others' laps, sitting back to back, lying down and so on. When I repeat this shot, I would remember to tell them to not put their hands on their faces as I find it distracting. Your thoughts?

Again, the hands are quite distracting for me. Would you sckooch my youngest closer to the same plane as my oldest when we is on top? Danielle looks like she could fall off!

Below are the answers to your questions!

Where I would normally would have played it safe by picking a tried and true location, I picked a location that I have long overlooked, the football field beside the playground. Usually I take pictures AT the playground ON the equipment. Until I read the phrase "pick a NEW location" I honestly do not think I would have thought about the football field! Why would I? It is a giant field of grass, lush cushy grass mind you with 2 uprights flanking the ends. When I truly looked at the location, I realized the football field was nestled in the foothills (so glad I was visiting my Mom! :-) )

As I brainstormed my Shot List, I realized that I did not bring the right props or even enough props. I had brought a chalk board that I never used as the girls started to become antsy over the shoot which was a clear sign to wrap things up. They were good for 45 minutes though :-)

Exhausting the location was a challenge for me, one that pushed me out of my safely bounded box in a FANTASTIC way! The challenge showed me that I can indeed deliver quality shots in a seemingly "boring" location. Thank you very much for showing me this concept Brooke!

Regarding the Shot List, it helped me think of how I wanted to position the girls. However my challenge is having them understand the lingo I was using or having them mimic the modelling positions I was demonstrating to them. For the most part I stuck to the plan but as they began to lose interest, my plan began to morph. By preparing the Shot List, I knew the images I wanted to capture but when my vision was not realized in some shots, I began to feel discouraged. It was a roller coaster of emotions for me - those images that "worked" had me feeling ecstatic and those that didn't, unnerved me.

Thanks Brooke! I look forward to hearing your feedback!


Rebecca said...

These pictures look great! I had some trouble adjusting to my 50mm too. Keep practicing and you will learn to LOVE it!

Jill said...

Virginia, your photos are looking wonderful. Your practice is paying off. Keep up the work. So happy to be in another class with you!