On Wednesday I photographed four people I have photographed before. I wondered if the different photos would reveal any improvements in my ability as a photographer. Upon review, I see more control of contrast ratios, and perhaps a bit of personal style appearing. I’m also clearly getting a better sense of background control. Overall, I find this encouraging.

October 2011

April 2010

October 2011

May 2011

October 2011

June 2011

October 2011

August 2010


Filed under Dance and Theater, Lighting

4 responses to “Evolution?

  1. Jude

    Dean, specifically, what type of background control are you referring to? Details please.


    • In this case, I’m referring to the techniques I use to separate the subject from the background. It can be done with background lighting, backlighting, hair lighting, etc. For this shoot, I put a grid on a flash and aimed it at the background from behind and to my left of the subjects. The grid produces a round, somewhat softened beam of light. Placing it at an angle distorts the shape and makes the background a little more uneven and, I think, interesting. In the past, I’ve used backlighting, which I find difficult to aim and too revealing of every stray hair on a subject’s head (or neck!), and I’ve tried hair lighting to separate dark-haired subjects from dark backgrounds. But I like this approach for its ability to turn a plain wall into a variated background.

      • And just to be clear, it’s not that I think the backgrounds in the newer images are awesome. What’s important to my education is that they are what I planned for them to be. That’s what I mean about more control.

  2. Jude

    Very interesting and enlightening…thank you for sharing Dean.

    I like the distortion factor helps to make the portrait more interesting.

    🙂 Jude

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