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This week is portrait week. This week we will be working on Portrait Photography for our Picture Style Week. Portrait photography is all about capturing the essence of someone. If you know the person, it makes it a lot easier. But what do you do if you don’t know the person? If you don’t have any willing subjects this week, take portraits of yourself. 

Pfft. Not doing any self portraits no siree! One week a month is quite enough of that malarkey thank you. Taking portraits of people I don’t know isn’t really an option so this is going to be a Phil and Winnie week.

Day 122 ~ Hidden. ~ if you do not know your subject well or at all, it is important to interact with them during the session to bring their personality to the forefront. You can ask questions and get them talking about themselves, this normally opens them up and relaxes them, allowing you to snap a photo that captures their personality. For my example, I have placed my granddaughter behind the Goldenrod instead of in front of it. The light is reflecting off of the gold and onto her. You don’t have to completely “hide” your subject but often placing something in front of them creates a great depth in the photo.

My first thought was to pin a note up on the door of my pantry saying ‘I’m in here’ and take a picture of it, as that’s where I’d hide if we had burglars break in, but Phil said that wasn’t in the spirit of things, so I asked Winnie to be my model and sit behind some flowers. She put her ‘Queen of the Castle’ face on.

hidden

Day 123 ~ Generous. ~Technically this is not a portrait, which is a posed photo of a person most often from the shoulders up.  I don’t take true portraits because I don’t enjoy the process and most of the time I don’t appreciate the product even when the result is a “good portrait.”  I much prefer candid shots.  In the case of today’s sub-prompt of generous, I’m not even sure how one would go about capturing that idea in a traditional portrait.  So instead, I give you a photo of my husband being generous with dog treats while we were dog sitting for our best friends’ pups. As you look through your lens today, capture a β€œportrait” of someone being generous; or, focus on your idea of what generous looks like. 

So here we go, there’s the prompt, that this lady has put up, and then completely ignored it herself because she doesn’t like it. That made me laugh though, which is always good. I asked Phil to be my victim model for this one, so here he is having a ‘generous’ glass of whisky.

generous

Day 124 ~ Round. ~ Let us not forget Pet Portraits, you knew that was coming didn’t you! As I have no available victims, I mean volunteers, to get in front of the camera, I can always call on Jasper and his best friend, Kaya, to sit for me for a treat.  Using the old pipes that are lying around in the forest, makes for good props.  I also like taking my photos in the forest because I love using dappled light. Find a prop that is round and use it in taking your photo today.

Winnie was up for this one, being a pet an’all, and she loves the cat tunnel I got for her. It took a fair few dreamies (treats that cats are addicted to) to get her in position and sitting still, but got there in the end.

round

Day 125 ~ Action. ~ Take action!  It is portrait week!  Today take a portrait of someone ‘in action’ or doing an activity they love!  If you cannot find a willing subject or model, use yourself!  I love almost all outdoor activities. I chose to show myself in hiking mode.If you so choose, you can also jazz it up a bit by using Rembrandt Lighting for added drama. 

That’s a lot of exclamation marks. I read it in a Sergeant Major’s voice in my head. This from the slightly bonkers lady who posted a picture of herself rock climbing in a cocktail dress. She had leggings and climbing boots on though so there’s that. I chose not to fanny on with Rembrandt lighting, and asked Phil to play his guitar for me. I used a slowish shutter speed to show the movement of his hands, but his head was a bit noddy so it’s slightly out of focus.

action

Day 126 ~ Illuminate. ~ As we work our way through Portrait week lets give Low-Key Photography a try. Low-Key is a way of manipulating the light to illuminate a particular part of a subject. The use of light and darkness creates a dramatic portrait with little equipment. All you need is a single light source and the shadows will help do the rest. The mood and tone will depend on the lights intensity. Here’s how: Position your light source (natural or artificial) so that it falls on part of your subject. Light the part of your subject closest to the camera so that the shadows will fall towards the back of your image. Use a low ISO (less than 400) and a low aperture (f/4 or lower).  You can also process in B&W to increase the dramatic effect. 

Yep, off to my shed studio, where I arranged the black out curtains ( a black double bed size cotton sheet and a fancy dress witches cape) and had Phil sit so the light from one window illuminated him. I also did the B&W as suggested. I really like how this turned out.

illuminate

Day 127 ~ Upbeat. Today, while capturing your “upbeat” photo, play around with rim lighting!  This was MUCH easier than I had thought it would be. We did this in our dark basement where I hung a black sheet behind my subject and propped up a flashlight. Then I put my little girl in front of the flashlight and voila, I captured my upbeat girl with rim lighting!  I was pleasantly surprised to see how easy this technique can be and I can’t wait to see how creative you all get with this idea today too!  My only frustration with my photo is that I didn’t get as much of a profile of her face as I had imagined but, maybe next time, I’ll play around with a couple (or three) flashlights to help with that lovely rim lighting behind her.  Portrait lighting can take a bit of practice so be patient, have fun, and enjoy the process! 

To be honest the picture she used wasn’t a great example, and proved that the technique isn’t as easy as she would have us believe. I knew I wanted Winnie for this, and it was just a matter of waiting for her to sit in her favourite spot in the conservatory, which she did but then proceeded to give herself an all over lick-bath which took forever πŸ™„. I kept my fingers crossed for some sunshine to happen in between the showers, which it did. Upbeat? well Winnie is the most upbeat cat I’ve ever known, always up for tickles playing ball and chasing stuff, she’s such a fun cat to know.

upbeat

Day 128 ~ Background. Today, see if you can take your portrait using natural light.  Window light, doorway light, shade and direct sunlight are just some of the options.  How does placement of your subject effect the light falling on them?  What modifiers, if any (flash, diffuser, white board) could you use to eliminate or minimize these shadows if you needed to?  Also be aware of the background of your photo.  What do you want it to say about your subject?

I knew we’d be back in the conservatory for this one, and a final portrait of Phil. I don’t need any diffusers or flash or white boards as the conservatory works like a giant soft- box, and has some great soft light in there on dull days. I had him sat in front of the window and used that as the background which, as you can see shows the interminable rain we’ve been having the past few days.

background

And that’s the end of portrait week! I really enjoyed this week and love all the pictures I took. BIG HUGE thanks to Phil and Winnie.

I also read one of the 365 Picture Today website’s blog articles on responding to prompts. I liked this bit..

The only real β€œrule” that comes with this daily photo project is to make it your own.  Your photos should reflect your day, your year, your life, YOU.  That means that if the prompt doesn’t work for your day, don’t follow it.  It’s as simple as that.  There will be days when things happen that you need to document for which no prompt will ever be appropriate.  Take that photo.  Call it your picture of the day.  Don’t worry about what the prompt says.

See I got all hung up at the start with doing it as prescribed, and I still mostly am trying to do that, but I might go easier on myself (and the ladies) now I’m in the swing of it.

Also this:-

When we undertake a project that asks us to engage in a daily discipline, we will have good days and bad days, creative days and not-so-creative days, beautiful days and dark days, inspired days and boring days, challenging days and easy days.  That’s the rhythm of life.   Each time we take a photo, no matter our thinking at the time we press that shutter button, something positive can be gained.  If nothing else, we have practiced our skills.  We have perhaps learned patience.  And, every now and then we can revel in the realization that we are seeing progress in our technical skills as a photographer and our creative skills as an artist.

πŸ₯‚ to that! Stay tooned for next week, adventures in Orange!

72 comments on “365 ~ May 2nd ~ May 8th

  1. Eddy Winko says:

    The Phil and Winnie show, I’d tune in for that πŸ™‚
    Little did Phil know that when you hooked him all those years ago it was for his photogenic properties, a modeling career awaits when he retires πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Haha that’s true! 😁

      Liked by 1 person

  2. beetleypete says:

    Phil did a great job as your model. The ‘black hat’ photo is a ‘print it, frame it, and keep it’ shot.
    Best wishes, Pete.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Pete, I will be doing that!

      Liked by 2 people

  3. April Munday says:

    Phil’s very game, but Winnie also seems fairly obliging. The black hat is my favourite this week, but I also like the queen of the castle.

    I think the woman who photographed herself rock climbing in a cocktail dress sounds interesting, not least because who has a cocktail dress these days?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. She does sound fun, it was a lovely dress too!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. These are gorgeous…but I also like the ‘Im in here!’ idea…do it!I think we talked about artist Maurizio Cattelan before. His first exhibition consisted of a locked gallery with a sign saying ‘be back later!’…I love that subversive
    stuff…as you know!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. So sorry am this late to reply I’ve just found you in my spam folder. Yes I checked out Maurizio, seems like a fun chap!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Alex Good says:

    Phil and I do our hair the same way. Very sharp look. Dignified. Respect!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. 🀣🀣 it’s a good look!

      Like

  6. richlakin says:

    Brilliant. I love Hidden. The light and tone of these are fantastic

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Jennie says:

    Upbeat is my favorite. The edging of light against dark is outstanding.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Jennie says:

        And to you, FR!

        Like

  8. My God, Phil is cool. Whiskey? Check. Guitar? Check. Fedora hat? Check. Staring wistfully out of the window into the rain? Check. Was he ever in a band? Please say he was. What was it called? Write any good songs? I need to know!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes he was in a band they were called The Shiwbiz Kids after a line in a song by Steely Dan. No he doesn’t write songs. 😊

      Liked by 1 person

      1. The Shiwbiz Kids! No way! Fraggle, this one’s a keeper.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Haha dammit, Showbiz not Shiwbiz πŸ™„

          Liked by 1 person

          1. Even better. Just don’t tell Phil you got it wrong…

            Liked by 1 person

  9. Bookstooge says:

    Phil obviously has good taste when it comes to hair and hats!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. He does! Thanks Cap!

      Liked by 1 person

  10. Mary Smith says:

    Great pics – love Winnie with her Queen of the Castle look in Hidden and Phil in his hat – does he sing Suzanne to you??

    Liked by 1 person

    1. He doesn’t sing anything to me! I’ve heard. him singing along to songs on his stereo, but not when I’m in t he room πŸ˜€ cheers Mary.

      Liked by 1 person

  11. steviegill says:

    Cool portraits. Phil is looking a bit Leonard Cohen in the black & white shot!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Not sure if that’s a good thing. 🀣

      Liked by 1 person

  12. These are great images! I love them all. The portrait with the hat in B&W is truly wonderful, but the colour one in the conservatory as well. Great light and colours. Winnie is never captured better.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Phil and Winnie were very cooperative. I absolutely love the Illuminate photo with Phil in his fedora! I agree with Pete, that should definitely be framed and hung!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Kim! 😘

      Liked by 1 person

  14. John says:

    Great photography! πŸ˜ŽπŸ‡¬πŸ‡§

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Mae Clair says:

    These are all awesome. You had two wonderful subjects to work with. I really loveIlluminate and Upbeat. I think Phil and Winnie need their own fan clubs πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

    1. They won’t fit their heads through the door with all this fandom! 🀣 Thanks Mae!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Mae Clair says:

        LOL! See what you’ve done πŸ˜€

        Liked by 1 person

  16. Don Ostertag says:

    What an informative and interesting post and photo, Fraggle.. The 2 with the black backgrounds are striking, but everyone is a work of art.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Don 😊

      Like

  17. Mary Jo Malo says:

    Oh, these are all fantastic. A+ for execution and artistry, the portraits and the techniques πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Mary Jo!

      Like

  18. Phil and Minnie have great faces — I love how they both are stoic with deep eyes that make one wonder what’s going behind the pupils. Anyway, I love your photography.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Cindy, hope you’re doing OK!

      Like

  19. A standing ovation for your models. Excellent staging on all. Catching Winnie’s reflection in the first one was brilliant. Phil toasting us with his glass was a great start to his serious. … and the one with the hat reminded me of Leonard Cohen.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Cheers Frank, it was a fun week!

      Like

  20. Would Phil respond to Dreamies too? If you put them at the end of the tunnel, do you think you might get a better picture? Two great subjects, although I fear for Phil’s health if that’s really whisky….

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Don’t be silly, dreamies are just for cats. Nothing wrong with my tunnel picture, don’t be obtuse. Of course it’s really whisky but there’s at least 6 ice cubes in there so not as much as you think there is.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Winnie and Phil are great models, don’t let me wrong, but health and safety surely if you’re using booze and cat hallucinogens to get your images…

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Sigh. No animals or humans were harmed in the making of this post.

          Liked by 1 person

  21. Willow Croft says:

    Orange is my favourite colour!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. There’s going to be a lot of it next time! πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Willow Croft says:

        So excited! πŸ™‚ Happy Monday!

        Liked by 1 person

        1. No pressure then 🀣🀣

          Liked by 1 person

          1. Willow Croft says:

            Ha, never from the former Chaos Realm πŸ™‚

            Liked by 1 person

          2. Former chaos realm? Has someone tidied it up?? 😳

            Liked by 1 person

          3. Willow Croft says:

            Ha, no, I think we both followed a movie review site back when I was blogging under my biz name LOL

            Liked by 1 person

  22. M.B. Henry says:

    Great pictures! πŸ™‚ Winnie is a very cute kitty πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks M.B πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

  23. Oh well done! A Fender Bass!!! I play a Cort πŸ˜‰

    Liked by 1 person

    1. He has a few bass guitars, can’t remember what they are except a Rickenbacker, and Epiphone. There’s a couple of 5 strings in amongst them but he loves his Fender best.

      Like

  24. Resa says:

    Great work! I came from Frank’s, after I saw your gorgeous photos. Thank you!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for visiting!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Resa says:

        My pleasure!

        Like

  25. minametry84 says:

    Wonderful blog i like it and the words are very expressive, hope we follow each other

    Like

  26. Sorry to be so late. Both of your models are superb! Winnie is gorgeous in every photo.
    That black and white of Phil is a great show of your skills. I love the one with the guitar too. Hugs on the wing.

    Liked by 1 person

  27. Love the bass guitar player portrait. He’s alive, I could feel the rhythm.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Robert I think it was Smooth Operator by Sade 😊

      Liked by 1 person

  28. Phil and kitty were great models, love the black hat one, that’s a keeper, and the guitar playing! You captured so much in these images, C

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I try to, am sure I’ll run out of things before the end! Thanks Cheryl.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. M. Talha says:

        It’s all my pleasure

        Liked by 1 person

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