Sunday, 8 February 2015

Week 4 - Complementary Colours

Hi all! I have been very lazy in posting photos from the 52 frames project, but that is not because I didn't take them... it's just that I always found the time and mood to write when my photos were on another computer, or late at night when it felt better to just go to sleep.

So, week 4's theme was about complementary colours, how they interact and emphasize each other. It's still Winter in Bucharest and everything is bleak, so I wasn't drawn to going outside to find my inspiration. Instead, I turned to my friends (whom I was meeting for drinks), and asked them to try and dress in complementary colours for me to shoot.

It was a fun but also challenging evening, and for the future I must remember the following:

1. When taking photos in a crowded place, make sure you pay attention to the background. We were in a crowded bar, and I think I threw away lots of shots because there were coats on chairs behind my subject, or people walking or whatever distraction.

2. It pays to know the location beforehand (or scout it when possible). It was the first time I had gone to that bar, so it took me a while to think about where it was best to shoot .

3. In an indoor shot, pay attention to shutter speed values and use flash if necessary. This seems like a no-brainer but it's something I find myself struggling with more often than I'd like. Again, lots of shots I ended up discarding because of motion blur or other shutter speed faux pas. Unfortunately I don't have an external flash for my X-E2, so using the built-in one posed an even bigger challenge and in the end I ended up choosing one of the photos I had shot without a flash. Just goes to prove I need more practice in poor lit bars :)

4. Work on guiding your model! I find I am more on the observing side, letting people do their own thing and just taking photos when a pose strikes me. But when the subject is in a non-natural position and deliberately posing, more help might be needed from the photographer, and I feel I haven't done such a good job in this respect.

Here is the photo I chose for the project

I liked it most because I like the background as well as the portrait, and I like the fact that part of the "story" is only seen in the mirror (the cocktail glass), and because I managed not to botch the white balance too much.

Here are the runners-up:

This was taken at our table by the big windows of the bar. I did a poor job at eliminating distractions from the background (this is a pretty severe crop from the original) so in the end I didn't like the photos taken there, although I feel the setting had potential.

I deemed this shot too direct. Plus, it makes me want some Aperol Spritz!

This is another one I liked, because of all the interesting elements in the background. I am not to happy about how I cut off her feet, nor about the open doorway on the right. By the way, these shots are all taken in the corridor in front of the ladies' room ;)

Of the photos that didn't make the cut, I like this one the most because it has the cleanest composition, but I think the colours are less emphasized in this version, plus the one I chose has more mystery and more interesting things in it.

What do you think? Which one do you like?

Many thanks to my dear friend and beautiful model, Andreea! I hope next time I will spend more time photographing and less time fooling around and feeling awkward.

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