It’s time for A Personal Photo Challenge! “Portraits” is the theme this month.
If you have been following my blog for any length of time, you have long since figured out that portrait photography is not my thing. Absolutely, positively. I’d rather have a root canal. I don’t like to be photographed, and I automatically apply those feelings to others. And since we don’t have children or grandchildren, there are not a lot of willing
victims subjects for portraits. Give me a landscape, critter, or building, and I am in photo heaven. People are those pesky creatures that I yell at to move out of my frame or later clone out in the digital darkroom.
Ah, enough about my quirky preferences and on to the challenge. My chosen subject was my sweet baboo, Mr. Jim, and I have three photos to share today. The first two images would be classified as environmental portraits. Such portraits are taken in settings that communicate more about the subject and their life. So background and surrounding details are important, and greater depth of field is used to achieve the desired effect. The third image I took is a formal portrait with a shallow depth of field. The setup was very informal, and Photoshop magic was used to make it look like it was done in a studio.
During Mr. Jim’s chemotherapy treatments the past few months, we were fortunate enough to receive a couple of visits from therapy dogs. Such visits were quite a treat and helped to break up the long days spent at the Cancer Institute. Here Mr. Jim is spending some quality time with Ady, an adorable Burmese Mountain dog. I took the image with my amazing little iPhone and edited it with various apps on my iPad. I previously shared it on Instagram. This really falls into a snapshot category, but it is a warm-hearted portrait that tells a story.
The next photo I took while we were enjoying an afternoon rest on the magnificent porch of Charleston’s Two Meeting Street Inn. The rocking chairs offered us a perfect spot for drinking ice tea and watching the world go by. Even though it was the Christmas season during our visit, the manicured grounds were lush and beautiful. A portion of the mansion across the street can be seen beyond the porch in the background. I used a wide-angle lens setting to capture the scene’s expanse, but the subject was clearly Mr. Jim. The image was captured with a Nikon D7100/18-200 mm lens, post-processed in Photoshop CC, and cropped to an 8x10 frame.
Mr. Jim graciously accepted my request for a photo shoot this past weekend on our screened-in back porch. The background wasn’t ideal, but the soft, natural lighting was perfect, negating the need for a reflector or artificial lighting. I had the idea to use a prop, and three cheers to Mr. Jim for being agreeable to a wacky approach. I used a shallow depth-of-field, and in hindsight, I wished I had increased the depth. (Ah, but the blurry bits are also part of the charm!) I used my Nikon D7100 and a lovely 105 mm macro lens.
I planned in advance to convert the image into black and white, and I was delighted to find that a high-key (overexposed) approach in Photoshop CC was the way to go. The background was originally an out-of-focus mottled green with a slight hint of screen mesh. (Ick.) I transformed it into a white background with a few editing tricks. The end result makes me laugh and giggle. And, if this doesn’t tickle your funny bone, then you don’t have one!
I hope you enjoyed my photos and descriptions. Please visit A Personal Photo Challenge blog and check out the creative efforts of other participants too!
P.S. Got home from the hospital a few hours ago. Had umbilical hernia surgery yesterday. Stayed overnight because of breathing difficulties in recovery. Doing okay now. Will visit participants as best as I can this weekend. Sitting up in my computer chair isn't comfortable right now. So visits will probably be done via the iPad and comments may be abbreviated.