Exercise 2 – Thinking about location

For this second exercise we are to act as a location scout, and find locations that we could use as a backdrop for a portrait shot.

The locations and backgrounds would really depend, I personal think, on the subject. You may not place a businessman dressed in a suit in the same place as sportsperson or a workman dressed in heavy boots and holding heavy tools. So I have looked at this exercise as to locations I would use as backgrounds for a ‘general portrait’ were they could be used for males, females, couples for a casual setting and a relaxed ambience feel.

(click any image to enlarge)

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This photo was taken in advance of posting this blog after reading through the notes and exercises. I felt this would be a good location for maybe a wedding scene, or a person looking out towards the castle on the other side of Lake Maggiore in Italy.The frame is composed with he overhanging tree to help fill in the dead space, and the green rails to help the eye scan the picture right to left.

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I wanted to find a rustic type of background but didn’t find one I really liked, without using pictures taken a few years ago. So I used this wall area in a hotel grounds. I felt the trees over the top help to give the background a little bit more colour and added texture.

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I liked this background which could be used for a pleasant female portrait, showing a soft colours. I could see a girl laying or walking past while holding a flower or one of the firs in the image.

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This would be great for someone either walking towards, or away from the camera. The path helps to train the eye into the image which would work well leading into the subject. This was an overcast day so different set ups could work in the summer time also. This was in Germany in December time.

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Simular to the images I had taken for exercise one, I found this would work well with a person sitting on the rock while looking outwards to the surrounding golf course. The tricking bit with this image would be the exposure between the shadow area under the trees and bright skyline.

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Another image taken in Italy on Lake Maggiore. This image would work well again with a person(s) such as a couple walking into or again away from camera. I think towards would be a lot better. Placement would be key here with the subjects so not to distract too much and make the viewer concentrate on the shadows or posts. Another option would be to have a subject looking out over the lake while resting on the green barrier fence.

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The notes mention to revisit one of the background selections and take a picture of a subject. Since some of my images where taken while on business I decided to take Elaine back to the hotel wall and use the grain and texture of the rock formation as a background, while wearing a contrasting red top. I could turn this to B&W but I didn’t think it had the same effect.

Conclusion:

This exercise was harder than first thought when I set out to complete it. I found myself looking at areas which at first impressions were suitable but after taking the picture just didn’t seem to work. With a little more time I could have spent longer looking for that perfect background but couldn’t find what I wanted. One idea I had was an old factory or building with graffiti written on the walls, but I never came across anything at the time frame of shooting.

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