Post 301 – The surprise portrait

Ashley had just come through looking for Mason.  I asked her to stop, straighten up, push her glasses up, move a few inches to the left,  then grabbed this shot (and a few in case she blinked).  The location was in our home, just outside of my wife’s office, and I was playing with the borrowed D600 I have been talking about.  I had my SB600 speed light pointed straight up  with a Stofen Omni-Bounce (I keep it on virtually always), and was bouncing the light off of a pure white ceiling.  From the time she came through searching, till I was finished with several captures was no more than ten seconds, but this wasn’t a “snapshot”.  The subject, composition, lighting, mood and such had all been planned before the shutter was released.  One of the things I have noticed as a difference between beginning photographers and “pros” is that the pro can get the hero shot in seconds, with limited or no preparation, and with a high degree of success.  They have a bunch of very usable “recipes for success” in their head and can execute on the drop of a hat, always delivering the goods.  Of course, given more time ,they will deliver even better results, and will often do something interesting and unique, but they always get the job minimums done almost immediately so that if the fire alarm goes off, they have the gig “in the can”.  I aspire to that level of quick competence that can deliver outstanding results quickly, and have time as the shot progresses to experiment with new ideas and artistic concepts with confidence knowing I have the minimum I came to do already on my card.

Hero shot

Hero shot

Processed in Lightroom 4 -> Portrait Professional 10 -> Photoshop CS6 -> Lightroom.

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