Professor Atila guided the photographer and their assistants through the process of building the outdoor portrait. He describes it like building a wall, during which one sets a foundation, the location for the shoot and general background lighting, followed by the piece by piece addition of building blocks that result in the desired lighting for the shoot.
In this next set of four photographs I will show how the use of light diffusers and reflectors aid the photographer in reaching the final product. Each progressive photograph captures yet another step in building the outdoor portrait. Look at changes in the lighting and shadows, especially in the eye glasses.
On May 8, 2010, together with several of my ambitious colleagues from our photo class and our two expert photographer professors, we met at the village museum (Muzeul Satului) to learn how to take outdoor portraits.
We learned to identify the circle of light that surrounds our portrait subject, who always remains in the center. The only subject allowed to enter the circle is the photographer. Our group discussed the importance of creating a relationship with the portrait subject and the significance of continuous dialogue with our subject.
Technically, we adjusted our aperture, shutter speed, focal length, and switched our cameras to manual focus. When focusing the group reached consensus on the need to reach maximum clarity and focus on the region covering the eyes and nose.
With lighting we learned of the harshness of direct sunlight and the need to diffuse light so as to achieve a uniform photograph without shadowing. This was followed by the use collapsible reflectors. At this stage each photographer was able to work with three volunteer assistants to aid in the uniform lighting of our portrait subject.
Below you will find the progression of photos taken, each in succession, after making adjustments to our lighting.
Below you will find the first four photos, they are unaltered in post-production so as to clearly view the progression of our training.
Lastly, I would like to thank my colleagues, Mr. Lazar, and Mr. Atila, our professors, for an eye opening experience and a beautiful morning.