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Mini Assignment Background

Posted by danudin on January 24, 2010

Approaching the challenge of this assignment I was lucky enough to get a request, to take a portrait of a couple about to celebrate 50 years of marriage. I searched everywhere where I knew they would be on Friday, cause it was paramount that the wife didn’t get wind of our plans. I chose Redcliffe Jetty as an alluring backdrop. I did however take the lessons I learned in the cropping assignment to give myself the best chance of getting a good shot by varying the focal length, thereby lessening the busyness of what was going on in the background.


14 Responses to “Mini Assignment Background”

  1. Well done Ron!!

  2. Tammy McChesney said

    I bet they loved you for this – what a great portrait of the happy couple…Wish them a Happy Anniversary for me, that’s a huge one! 🙂

    Check back to my blog….I posted the original picture as you requested….I know the lensbaby is not for everyone…but I am having fun w/ the creativity it offers! 🙂

  3. They are both lovely photos Ron, and a prime example of how you can set up the shot to eliminate what could possibly be a distracting background. Good job on the photo, and the stealth ambush!

    Did you use evaluative or spot metering on this? His face is lost just a little in the shadows. I’ve been playing a bit with spot metering in situations like this to bring out the faces better, though you might have lost a bit too much detail in the background. Worth a try for future shots just to experiment though if you want to.

    • danudin said

      Looked a bit dark to me too Karen but I was using the Prime Lens, hoping that the speed would compensate, I don’t think the prime lenses can meter, and the spot metering doesn’t even function. I was just about to try the Flash but she got all impatient as she was doing me a favour so i didn’t push it, should have I guess.

      • I’ll have to play with my 50mm a bit. I know you shoot Nikon and I shoot Canon so we do have some differences. On my 30D I have a few different metering modes. I usually leave it at Evaluative so it meters the lighting based on an overall assesment of the scene. I also have an option for Center Weighted, where it still does a general assesment, but pays more attention to what’s going on in the center of the scene. Spot metering will take the light reading from the center spot (or another spot if I chose to move the metering spot). I’ve had a little bit of success using that to shoot people when the background is light and the faces are a bit shaded. If your camera has similar options perhaps you could get Sally to sit in front of a window so you could test it out. Try Evaluative where it will pick up the window light, then try Spot so it meters on her face only. The window may be to light, but in a case where the face is the focus it’s the prefered option to have the detail in the face, not the background. Flash would have been an excellent solution too – a good reminder that using Flash outside can be a good thing.

      • danudin said

        It is an E series lens from a fairly old Film camera, and Den (FWG) informed me that it will not metre, which was why he offered me the AF model which I declined, I will get to know this and really love the clarity of the glass. I’ll learn it or Kark trying.LOL

      • By the way, on my desktop it doesn’t appear to be as dark as it did on the laptop last night. I bet it’s going to print nicely!

      • danudin said

        Still a bit shaded, Karen but it filled the A4 frame beautifully (The close-up)

  4. regularman said

    Nicely done Ron. Not only a lovely gesture, but also a nice application of the techniques we’re learning. You gave your friends a wonderful gift. cheers!


  5. Sue said

    What a sweet thing to do for them…they make a lovely couple.
    It is so hard to get the light right on a bright day..I had so many go wrong while in Sydney last week on the ferry.
    You did a great job given the lightning! Hope they like it!

  6. This is such a great shot, Ron. I loved the cropped version. It really puts all of the attention on this beautiful couple. They are a very handsome couple, too.

  7. Greg said

    Very nicely done Ron. I agree that both are good photos and the close up demonstrates the technique of cropping in on your subject.

  8. ~Val said

    Another cheer for the cropped image. I always figure when I’m photographing people that I should get up close (or zoom in) to really SEE the people. A little fill flash might have helped with the shadows but I read your comment about the fidgety wife so understand your decision. They should be tickled with the results.

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