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Spontaneous Portraits

Published May 30th, 2012

30th May, a somewhat glorious summers day in our little city of Coventry, walking through the heat and meeting to few friends to spend the day out and more importantly to get some shots off whilst roaming the streets and enjoying the sun that we don't often get in England. (Later today it did rain)

These were some of my first portraits I've taken which I hope to learn and develop from, with my overall analysis and thoughts on the shot discussed below.

The first shot that I got was 'Annie & The Butteflies', this was taken in the Herbert Art Gallery which we were visiting, with this particular shot was taken in the elements exhibition, involving all manners of geology and animals, with the image showing Annie looking at preserved butterflies.

I felt that the lighting that eminated from the display/light box was great for such a spontaneous portraits, as well as coupled Annie casually observing the specimens. However I was ignorant to manually change the ISO with it being set to auto. Which resulted in a extremely large ISO of 3200 leading to great a large amount of grain on the picture.

Next time I need to take more than multiple shots instead of hesitating and assess the lighting in the frame as it was quite dark in the exhibition room aside from the light from the display box.

The second few captures were taken all in the same location being much more focused portraits and frontal, yet still rather spontaneous.

I felt that the 'Jamie' portrait came out the best with decent depth of field and lighting, with a good expression as a result of the spontaneity.

However with 'Liam' & 'Ellery' the colours seemed washed out as a result of the direct sun on the subject's face, in 'Ellery' his face was too dark in comparison to the rest of his body, the reason why I don't actually know unfortunately.

I decided to process all the images in black and white, due to personal preference, though in the near future I shall practise more portrait shots keeping the colour. An example of an image with colour is shown at the bottom of this page called "Smirk", this shot came out quite well in terms of expression, composition and lighting though it was ultimately ruined by a large sun flare I was unable to remove, this may of been a result of incorrect positioning of the subject and myself.

Next time I need to improve my lighting assessment rather than relying on automatic ISO and perhaps take more control of shots rather than being spontaneous, allowing for captures to be set up more carefully and expressions to be somewhat reasonable to the situation, though I doubt my friends enjoy being ordered around by an amateur such as me!

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Annie & The Butterflies

Taken at the Herbert Art Galley in Coventry.

Annie observes the butterflies on display in the exhibition.

See Spontaneous Portraits for the associated blog post

Martin Fu 2012 ©

  • May 30th, 2012
  • Canon EOS 600D
  • 30mm / f/4.5 / 1/25 sec
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Jamie

Taken in Coventry's War Memorial Park where Jamie Washbrook enjoys the sun.

See Spontaneous Portraits for the associated blog post

Martin Fu 2012 ©

  • May 30th, 2012
  • Canon EOS 600D
  • 55mm / f/6.3 / 1/125 sec
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Liam

Taken in Coventry's War Memorial Park where Liam Milner enjoys the sun.

See Spontaneous Portraits for the associated blog post

Martin Fu 2012 ©

  • May 30th, 2012
  • Canon EOS 600D
  • 47mm / f/9 / 1/200 sec
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Ellery

Taken in Coventry's War Memorial Park where Ellery Hodson enjoys the sun.

See Spontaneous Portraits for the associated blog post

Martin Fu 2012 ©

  • May 30th, 2012
  • Canon EOS 600D
  • 33mm / f/4.5 / 1/800 sec
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Smirk

Another discarded shot of Ellery was to be called "Smirk" but I later found that the image had too large of a sun flare, this may of been a result of the UV filter being too weak?

Or incorrect composition and location of the shot that resulted in such a large sun flare which ruined the portrait.

  • May 30th, 2012
  • Canon EOS 600D
  • 33mm / f/18 / 1/200 sec

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