Don’t Stop Taking Portraits In The Winter – Winter Portraits

Portraits in the winter?

Living in Canada, there is that season that so many people hate. Winter. All the snow and the cold temperatures can really turn people off. A lot of the people I know would very much like to move somewhere warmer for the winter or at the least, hide away in the warmth of their homes.

Like it or not, if you live in Canada, you are going to see your share of snow for several months of the year.

Rolling with it.

I’ve always liked winter. As a kid we used to go snowmobiling and tobogganing all the time. The cold was never a big deterrent. Then as an adult I became less inclined to head out into the snow and cold just for the heck of it. Until I had kids that is then it’s all about the tobogganing again and recently snowboarding. But I’m getting off topic. What’s this nonsense about portraits in the winter? Who would want to do that and why?

Well, as it turns out I have decided that I love taking winter portraits! There are fewer distractions. No leaves to clash with clothing. No colors on the ground to be distracting. Just pure white backgrounds!

First winter shoot down.

Have a look these photos from a recent winter portrait shoot I did for a young lady in need of some portraits. They are so clean and crisp. They just look great. (click on the images for larger views)

 

    

 

 

I’m looking forward to taking more winter portraits. I love the look of them.

If your interested and you are in the Edmonton area drop me an email and maybe we can work together to create some winter portraits.

Chris.

 

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My Photographic Style – A Realization.

I’ve recently decided to change the style of portraits I’m making. I’ve spent years trying to figure out what my style was. In the end it was there all along staring me in they eyes the whole time.

I’m a big fan of grungy, gritty photos. Photos that have an almost Indie feel to them if that makes any sense. I don’t like the clean smooth overly processed images that seem to be all the rage nowadays. So following that I give you the image below that was from the first shoot after coming to this realization.

It was just after this realization that I decided it was past time to get serious about photography as a business. Within hours of that, the decision was made to get the ball rolling.

A comment was made to me that my new found style might work well for teenaged boys but how about girls and adults?

I think it works well for everything!

In the end it’s got to resonate with me or it’s just not going to work. I think this new style is going to work out well.

Chris.

Where Have I Been?

Wow, I just realized the last time I posted on this blog was way back on July 23 2015! What’s up with that and where have I been?

Well, I’ve been here of course but I’ve had some…issues…that are making me lazy and complacent. Those issues all being stemmed around a midlife crisis that makes me constantly question the need to do anything ever. But enough about that…

So, what’s been happening since July?

Well, summer vacation and a very slow summer at work. Photographically it was slow much like the last couple of years but I did get some great photos I’d like to share with you.

Garden Visitor//embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.jsMarshmallow Coals//embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.js

08292015 _MG_1552 50D//embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.js08292015 _MG_1636 50D//embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.js

It was a pretty fun summer. We did a lot of camping but not as much photography as I had hoped. Still though I managed to get some really nice photos of the Aurora Borealis later in the summer that I’m quite happy with. I’ll share those in their own post.

Sorry for being away so long but sometimes life just gets in the way! I’ll try my best to not stay away for so long going forward.

Chris.

Are You Lichen This Smartphone Photo?

Lichen on LogThis is the power of today’s smartphone cameras. I couldn’t get this with my DSLR unless I had a macro lens. I don’t. So, out came the smartphone. Always, always carry your smartphone for just such opportunities. Oh, and they make phone calls too!

I’m currently working on the smartphone section of my new tips and tricks project. Coming soon.

Chris.

Pushing The Limits With Available Light

I often cringe when I think about available light indoor photos. Sure, if it’s a static subject and you can use your tripod then that’s all good. No problem with a long exposure. But what about those more frequent times when you are at, oh I don’t know, let’s say your daughter’s year end dance recital that is the only time you’ve been able to see her school routine this year and you just know the lighting is going to be terrible?

That is exactly the situation I found myself in this past weekend. I was very worried. I really wanted to get some great photos of her and her dance group so we could look back and remember the day. And of course the theater was going to be dimly lit. At least from a camera’s point of view. What to do…what to do.

I decided I would go for it in manual mode. Normally I shoot in aperture priority mode so I get my depth of field but this time I was more concerned with being able to control the light precisely. No small feat for sure. I ended up really having to boost my ISO up to the upper limits of my Canon 50D. ISO 2500 and up. Naturally these gave me some very noisy photos. But, better a noisy photo than no photo at all. I was able to clean up the noise in Lightroom and still keep the photos reasonably sharp. Most of the blur I ended up with was motion blur due to the dancers moving faster than I anticipated. This worked in most of the photos though giving a sense of movement and flow to the images.

 

Motion Blur

 

 

 

 

This one is my favorite of the day.

You can clearly see the motion blur on the dancers in the background. Also there is nice motion blur on my daughter’s legs and the prop kite she is holding in the foreground but her upper body is nicely in focus. I knew as soon as I pressed the shutter button that this would be my favorite.

The lighting, even though it was quite dark, worked out fairly well for me. I didn’t have to adjust the exposure during post processing although there was quite a bit of noise in the darker areas of the photo. At ISO 2500 on my 50D I expected it but it came out nicely with Lightroom.

I really like this photo. It gives a sense that she is leading the rest of them through the dance.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Here are a few more from the day that really caught my eye and made me smile.

Dreaming Of The Dance

Contemplating the upcoming dance.

RightBeginning Pose.

Huddle

Pose!Ending Pose.

Group Dance

Group Dance to Uptown Funk. All Dancers from the session. Over 100 of them!

All in all it was a great experience to add to my collection of experiences from which to draw upon in my photographic life. And on a personal note, I’ve never seen her dance better than she did this day. Proud of you Sweat Pea. Great job.

Chris.