Shy little me…

Last week I played an acoustic show in Observatory, a small intimate show with a few other amazing musicians.  I took my camera with me with every intention to do some triptych portraits of local musicians and I found myself too shy to ask if I could take some pictures of them.  This is something I am working on because I think it is important as a photographer to be able to interact with others and make them feel at ease and comfortable, especially if it is someone you are photographing and you have never met before.  hopefully next time I will have the courage to get some portraits done, but the Triptych musician portraits is definitely a concept I’m going to follow through with!

To help get over my shyness of strangers, I have taken a few impromptu portraits of various people.  These are the people I call the known unknown.  They are the people who you interact with on a fairly regular basis,you know little about them, but you feel some kind of connection with them, a familiarity that puts you at ease.  So the following “Portraits” are of my “known unknown” who I may not know very well, but I notice and acknowledge a familiarity within them.  These are by no means good portrait photographs, but this more of an attempt to improve on my shyness behind the camera and to take more portraits of complete strangers.  What I have noticed is that I am not one of those photographers that are comfortable directing a scene, it’s definitely something I will work on, but I am more of an observer.  I will hardly ever tell a person how to pose, I am more into capturing the true essence of a person, their unique personality.  Portrait photography is definitely an art and something I am really going to try to improve on.

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The ladies in these portraits are all awesome!  They are Bridgette, she works at Plush Props, where they hire out and sell props of all kinds, she also sells jewellery that she makes!  Gina is a chef whom I have shot with over the last couple of years; and last, but certainly not least, are the ladies at the Sentra corner shop.  They are always there helping customers with smiles on their faces.  Thank you ladies for being my subjects 🙂

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Just shooting…

These photographs are from the same shoot as the previous post.  I’m just trying to shoot more with a human element involved, something I need to do more of!  When I shoot I  always shoot to RAW and use Photoshop CS3’s RAW converter.  I like to see the RAW converter or the “digital darkroom” as a way to develop my digital images.  Minus the chemicals and time it takes…Although, having said that, film is definitely an avenue I intend on exploring.  When the time is right.  So for now my Canon 30D will do 🙂

I played a little bit with some of the images, pulling out quite a bit of green in some of them.  I found this worked, especially when the scarf was a little lost with the background.  The scarf was blue, so I was able to pull out the green without effecting its hue.  If anyone has any questions, please leave me a comment or email me thellamastar@gmail.com

Model: Natalie Lucia

Hair: Melissa from Cadillac Barbie

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Deep end of the studio…

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Last Friday I was asked to do an emergency 3 hour studio photo shoot for musician, Kyle Pietersen. AWESOME. Unfortunately, truth be told, I have very little studio and lighting experience. I understand how light works but haven’t had the opportunity to play around with different lighting techniques. This stressed me out. I had about 3 and a half hours to try capture 5 or so different options to promote his album which is to be released shortly. Although I lacked hands on studio and lighting experience, a bit of common sense really does go a long way!
I found thinking things through a couple of times before I actually did it really helps. It was really a great exercise being thrown into the deep end like that. There is a definite feeling of accomplishment, especially when the client is happy, which I’m happy to say he was!
We did the shoot at Black Dog Studios in Observatory, it’s really a fantastic studio and I really encourage the Cape Town photographers to check it out. It’s in a central area and more importantly the vibe you get from the place is stimulating and creative. The owners are great and they really interested in developing the photographic community, which is always brilliant. Whats even better is that they have a communal darkroom for hire! I think its great because I think that is going to be my next step…Developing my own prints!

For the folk out there interested in what I used for this shoot I shot on my Canon 30D. Mostly using 50mm 1.8 and for the wider shots I used my ol 18-55 Efs lens. It definitely needs an upgrade! Lighting wise I’m not too sure what make they were, but they were great. I used one beauty dish and one flash light with softbox, all shot with radio trigger.

That was my shoot and I can definitely say I’m keen to get back into studio to shoot more…When the wallet allows!

Check out Black Dog Studios at http://www.blackdogstudios.co.za/