It’s time for another Brenda Photo Challenge! The theme this time is Portraits. As my long-time blogging friends know, I am not a portrait photographer. First of all, a ready supply of willing subjects is not available to me. There is also an art and a science to posing people, proper lighting indoors, and then digitally processing the images to get flattering skin tones. Portrait photography is just not my thing! But I took some photos during our recent Alaska trip that fits the bill well enough for this challenge.
When our little tour group traveled on the Alaska Railroad between Denali and Wasilla, we couldn’t believe how well our conductor fit the image of his position. He was handsomely distinguished in his uniform and had a charming personality. As photographers, we were all smitten. We wanted him to model for us! Our tour guide worked his magic and the conductor agreed. What a good sport! So at the next stop, we momentarily disembarked and had a quick photo shoot with him. I decided to take one of my images and digitally process it for an antique, weathered look. The camera settings were f/6.3, ISO 1000, and 1/2000 second. I had to laugh when I saw my statistics later on because I forgot to change the settings I used to take photos from a moving train. A speed of 1/2000 second for this portrait is overkill of the highest order!
I finally got a long-awaited wish fulfilled when I saw puffins on this last trip. I just love how funny they look! We saw some on the boat trip, but I was excited to find them at the Alaska Sea Life Center in Seward where I could see them up close. I spent almost all of my allotted time on the tour in the Seabird Habitat room, photographing puffins! There are two species found in the North Pacific Ocean habitats: horned and tufted. There were a few tufted puffins that swam close to the edge of the giant exhibit pool, so I proceeded to fill up one of my digital photo cards, LOL. The lighting was horrible for photography, with a mix of tungsten-type overhead fixtures and harsh, direct light coming in through some windows. So trying to get the right color balance on the raw images is quite a challenge. Ah, but the results are so worth it! This puffin portrait was taken at f/5.6, ISO 1000, and 1/400 second.
This last portrait is kind of wild, but I want to mix things up a bit with a fun digital effect! We had a delightful visit with the dogs at the Kantishna Roadhouse’s kennel (Denali National Park). Emmitt Peters, Jr., a past winner of the Junior Iditarod, rescues the dogs and trains them for competitions and demonstrations. Emmitt learned mushing skills from his father, an Iditarod champion and member of the Hall of Fame. We could tell that all of the dogs had unique personalities. One of the most photogenic of the group was Eddie, with piercing blue eyes. I had fun playing with this photo crop of him. I recently downloaded Adobe’s free pixel bender plug-in for the Photoshop CS5 program, and the “oil paint” filter results in cool effects. So this photo is of sled dog Eddie on a pixel bender, so to speak! The camera settings were f/9.0, ISO 500, and 1/320 second.
I hope you go check out the photos of the other challenge participants!