Personal Best

For me, “Personal Best” is a work in progress and so summarising and creating a PDF of 12 of those images right now was actually more of a challenge than i realised.

I could do a shoot and find i only like 3 images or i could do another shoot and realise i pretty much like the majority of what i have captured.

I like the idea of capturing images rather spontaneously but also find the issue with this would be having the right lighting available for what i’d like the image to ultimately say.

I have now run out of time to create my “Dancers” shoot but will still continue to follow leads and source someone for this shoot in my own time.

For my final 12 images i have a variety of locations and settings, these include Landscape, Portraiture, Weddings animals with studio lighting and still life.

I have used a variety of lighting including Natural, Tungsten and flash. I have also used a variety of lenses and DOFPersonal Best Jenny Ghermoul

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Developing my Style

Over the past year, i have realised how much my style of photography has changed. I now understand more than ever the importance of quality equipment, for example when trying to recreate a style of image creating using natural and tungsten lighting, it was important to use a fast lens, i have a few lenses but none are particularly fast and i only have one prime lens which if i had it my way i would always choose a prime over a variable zoom lens anyway, i love the quality of the image and the clarity.

I recently read somewhere about a guy who learnt how to photograph using a prime lens only which really enhanced his understanding of what the lens actually does for you. By using a prime and physically moving yourself closer or away from the subject you develop an understanding of how variable lenses work.

While i love all kinds of photography, recently i have realised i only really like Landscape photography when it suits me to take this kind of images, when i am somewhere different and want to create a memory of that place rather than for an assignment brief with time scales. I love to be able to let that side of my photography be unenclosed, whereby i am free to capture the image in my own time.

Looking back at my images from when i first started out to the kind of photography i shoot now, there is a huge difference and of course this is down to experience and learning new techniques and having a far better understanding of the key areas within photography. I have always known the importance of lighting but never before really understood how to control it when out on location without using bracketing and creating multiple images to then post produce.

I must admit i have a new admiration for landscape photographers as there is so much to consider when heading out to capture that image. You have the elements, the lighting, the equipment to contend with and even possible any wildlife which could “make” or “hinder” an image depending on your exposure times.

Finally i have realised how easy photography has been made with digital photography, thats not to say that because you own a digital camera that you are a good photographer, it just, in my opinion, makes it easier to learn from your mistakes. Having shot on film and scanned in the negatives, the images i have created are not to a standard i personally could ever be happy with but having a student budget, terrible weather and deadline timescales i have on this occasion been beaten and had to accept defeat with substandard images i feel i have created.

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Pixie

Pixie

Pic’xie

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Experimentation with multiple images

For this image i photographed small sections of the cat and then pieced them all together to create an overall face. I really enjoyed taking these and then piecing them together. Each image was shot using a macro lens and lit with tungsten lighting.

Pixie Macro

Pixie Macro

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Personal Best – Final Image

This image again is from my most recent photography and so i feel is my strongest. I really love using prime lenses as i feel it gives a huge amount of clarity. This photo was shot using a 105 macro lens, F8 and using a combination of tungsten lighting for the subject and natural lighting in the background to give the blue glow. I am a little obsessed about this style of lighting now i have learnt it and wanted to test it out in my own time which is how this image came about. I especially asked him to sit in the window of our dining room as we have a large sailing boat which Chris made on the window seal which really adds an interest into this portrait. Nobody else would probably notice this and certainly wouldn’t know the significance of the boat or the sails but for me it gives the image some depth and character.

When i shot this image, i didn’t think i would use it as a final image mainly because i was just testing out the lighting technique i had just learnt but once i was looking through the images on the computer i really liked this one.

Tungsten and natural Lighting macro lens

Tungsten and natural Lighting macro lens

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Personal Best Print

I ended up choosing an image of my cat as felt like my most recent work was my strongest.

I used a macro lens to shoot this image and also a 150w tungsten light. As the cats eyes are very reflective, a flash would have ruined this image. I wanted to experiment with using macro lens for portraiture as i love the details on the focal point making the image stand out. Some people might not like this image as i have not got the whole of the cats head in the shot but thats part of photographing animals, they move.

As well as wanting to experiment with macro portraiture, i was also using a combination of tungsten lighting and natural lighting and then to add to this i am really interested in Photography with motion. The cat was moving and licking her lips in this shot. The fact the shot is set to one side and the shallow depth of field for me really makes this a strong image. Pixie

 

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Macro Lens for Portraits

Recently i have been experimenting with my lenses and came across a technique whereby you use a macro lens. By doing this, you focus on the eyes and then the rest of the image isn’t in focus, so that if there are any blemishes on the skin its not going to ruin the image and creates a very flattering look.

I have not had any models available to test this and so i tried it on my cat….Pixie

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