Martha Expressing Herself

Martha Expressing Herself

This was definitely a learning assignment for me! The criteria of in-focus eyes was difficult to get perfectly; zooming in on the eyes and using manual focus was the most useful technique. On the first few shots I used auto focus, which changed with each photo I took. Outside of the focus, I was very conscious of the lighting.

In class we discussed Rembrandt lighting as being the best, with under lighting and head on lighting as the two worst. As i was very interested in capturing Martha’s (my subject’s) “essence” as a performer, jokester and comedian, her natural move from sitting upright to hanging upside down off of the bed seemed like an interesting way to position her. I was concerned, however, because the lighting was now lighting her “from below”; thus, in many of the photos there are dark shaddows under her eyes and on her chin. Because the portrait assignment also concerned capturing an interesting mood, I felt the “below lighting” on my upside-down model was less important to the image’s message than the facial expression and body language.

In addition to my concerns about light direction, i was also concerned about over exposure of Martha’s pale skin; there are hotspots in most of my images. I experimented with exposure compensation to underexpose the photo, and also experimented with the exposure controls when editing the RAW images. To help diffuse the harsh lighting in the room, I placed a blanket over the window. Unfortunately Martha is ghostly pale, and her skin still produced some hotspots on the images.

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