Workin’ The Portrait

November 17, 2014 § 14 Comments

"The Horse Trainer"

“The Horse Trainer”

I was going to call this “Rockin'” The Portrait, a word used by the young and hip, but my “young and hip days” are a thing of the past, so I went with “Workin'” since that’s what I’ve been doing for a long long time!  The reason for choosing “Workin'” and not “Shootin'” is because of the post production work that went into these images.  I used to shoot more portraits back in the 80’s, along with my still life work, but they were straight photographs…pre Photoshop…and mainly b&w.  I’ll include an ad I did back in 1987 of my portrait work.  Anyhow, recently I stumbled upon the magnificent portrait work of Regina Pagels from Utah.  Her work is simple yet stunning, and her lighting is simply beautiful.  Google her and see for yourself!  After looking at her work, I decided to do a simple studio portrait of my brother-in-law John Edward.  John Edward’s a horse trainer, who trains my wife’s horses at the present time.  I photographed him against a simple dark background holding a couple of the tools that a horse trainer would use…kinda like what I did in the 80’s where my father who was a bricklayer held a brick hammer, my boss Ed Nano, leaned on a view camera, etc.  After shooting John Edward, I decided to add a couple of different backgrounds in Photoshop to form composite images.  The one thing I kept in mind, was the quality and direction of the light, so I used the same soft side light on the backgrounds as I did on my brother-in-law.  I’m showing the simple portrait, along with the backgrounds separately so you can see the before and after images.  I’m also including a portrait I did a few years ago of a model, Brian, who posed as a “gangsta” also against a black background.  I added a few separate gritty style backgrounds and positioned him on them.  The problem with Brian, was I cropped tight on camera, so I had to crop just as tight with the new backgrounds, thus eliminating some interesting areas of the backgrounds.  My advice to anyone trying this is to get the whole subject in the frame, and crop later.  So here’s the images, hope you enjoy!

"John Edward Original"

“John Edward Original”

"Birdy In The Background"

“Birdy In The Background”

"Horse Trainer 2"

“Horse Trainer 2”

"Barn Door Background"

“Barn Door Background”

"Brian Original"

“Brian Original”

"Gritty Background 1"

“Gritty Background 1”

"Gangsta 1"

“Gangsta 1”

"Gritty Background 2"

“Gritty Background 2”

"Gangsta 2"

“Gangsta 2”

"Ad Circa 1987"

“Ad Circa 1987”

Thanks for looking!

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§ 14 Responses to Workin’ The Portrait

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