Workshop Wednesdays Vol.31
Workshop Wednesdays vol. 31
The Easter holidays are upon us and with it, the most beautiful time of year for Queensland weather (in my humble opinion at least)! It’s the time of year so many families choose to pack up, abandon the city and head to the coast or the bush for a well needed break. If you happen to be one of the lucky ones on the road, I’ve put together a few super simple tips to help you capture some very special portraits of your loved ones this Easter (in between copious amounts of chocolate of course!).
HP Tip 1
Back to basics… Before you start snapping away these holidays, remember the 3 basic elements to ensuring the perfect exposure for your photograph: Shutter speed, Aperture and ISO/Film Speed. Read more HERE
“The reason for the variation in the calendar dates each year, is that Easter always falls on the first Sunday after the first full moon following the spring equinox. So, in 2020, Easter will be celebrated on April 12, and on April 4 in 2021.” Really interesting READ HERE
In The News
Photo For Thought
Alfred Stieglitz’s famous photo The Steerage | 1907
“I stood spellbound for a while. I saw shapes related to one another—a picture of shapes, and underlying it, a new vision that held me.” ALFRED STIEGLITZ
“One of the most famous photographers of the early 20th Century, Stieglitz fought for photography to be taken as seriously as painting as a valid art form. His pioneering work helped to change the way many viewed photography. His NYC galleries featured many of the best photographers of the day.
His iconic image “The Steerage” not only encapsulates what he called straight photography – offering a truthful take on the world. It also gives us a more complex and multi-layered viewpoint that conveys abstraction through the shapes in the image. And how those shapes relate to one another.”
“Note: Many years ago one of my instructors at my photography program in college showed us The Steerage and talked about how important it was, how significant. The 21-year-old version of myself didn’t get it. I admit it took me many years to understand its genius and its message. So if you don’t “get” it right off the bat you’re in good company.”
Robert Frank (American 1924)
“Robert Frank began studying photography in 1941 and spent the next six years working for commercial photography and graphic design studios in Zurich, Geneva, and Basel. In 1947 he traveled to the United States, where Alexey Brodovitch hired him to make fashion photographs at Harper’s Bazaar. Although a few magazines accepted Frank’s unconventional use of the 35-millimeter Leica for fashion work, he disliked the limitations of fashion photography and resigned a few months after he was hired. Between 1950 and 1955 he worked freelance producing photojournalism and advertising photographs for LIFE, Look, Charm, Vogue, and others. He also garnered support for his independently produced street photographs from important figures in the New York art world, including Edward Steichen, Willem de Kooning, Franz Kline, and Walker Evans, who became an important American advocate of Frank’s photography. It was Evans who suggested that he apply for the Guggenheim Fellowship that freed him to travel throughout the country in 1955 and 1956 and make the photographs that would result in his most famous book, The Americans, first published in France as Les Américains in 1957. After its publication in America in 1959, he devoted an increasing amount of time to making films, including Pull My Daisy and Cocksucker Blues, both of which exemplify avant-garde filmmaking of the era. Since 1970, Frank has divided his time between Nova Scotia and New York; he continues to produce still photographs in addition to films.
The Americans was one of the most revolutionary volumes in the history of photography, and it was a source of controversy when it was published in the United States. Frank’s cutting perspective on American culture, combined with his carefree attitude toward traditional photographic technique, shocked most Americans who saw it at the time. During the next decade, however, these qualities of his photography became touchstones for a new generation of American photographers; indeed, Frank’s work continues to shape contemporary photography.”
Now you know how to perfect your exposure (see tip 1), you need to find the light. The best time of day for photography is very early morning, or late afternoon when the sun is low in the sky and you can capture the golden hues and long shadows. However, it is possible to find flattering light at any time of day if you know where to look. Read more here!
So, you have found the light, you are ready to nail your exposure, and you have a few willing (or bribed) subjects ready to go (sorry kids!!)… It’s time to have some fun… The best way to capture a beautiful and natural portrait (human or animal), is to focus on something other than the fact you are taking a photograph. I always like to find the best “pocket of light”, then engage with the subject in a fun and interesting way. We all know that to ask someone to look and smile at the camera will usually result in a lifeless, uninteresting photo. And finding a connection is different for every person and animal. If you are practising on family members, you will likely know what makes them laugh. If it’s someone you have just met, have a good chat with them first. Find something that connects you and build rapport based on that common ground. As soon as your subject forgets they are in front of a camera, that is your best shot. (And remember, you are already in the best spot for light, and your exposure is spot on). All three tips this week, should help create the perfect portrait of your friend, partner, child, pet, or even a self portrait! (We won’t raise any eyebrows if we see you talking to yourself!)… Oooo…. One last thing… In terms of portrait settings for the camera – try a longer lens: 85mm prime is beautiful, or a 70-200mm. And a nice wide aperture, say f2.8. And remember to look for the catch-lights, in their eyes – very important! (OK, I think that’s enough tips squeezed into this one)!!
Story of the Week
The Devlin family really are one of a kind. They moved to Brisbane from the UK at about the same time I moved home from Scotland to start the business. We both landed in Bulimba and found a really positive connection with the Bulimba State School. Me, because of the proximity to the school, and the Devlin’s because they had 3 beautiful children that attended the school (plus little Vincent – only 6 months old at the time!). The sense of community was amazing and everyone was so willing to help support a brand new, local business. Hayley, in particular, began to organise events for the school – namely the infamous trivia night, that Olivia and I have photographed for the last 6 years. Hayley was very vocal with spreading the word about HP and for this I will be forever grateful! The Devlin’s were also in the process of launching their own business and I can’t explain the level of respect I have for this. I found starting a business incredibly challenging, even though I was responsible for myself only (and Charlie the cat – who does eat a lot). Hayley and Barry had four little ones to look after and they still had the courage to follow their dreams! They are now about to embark on their next overseas adventure, this time to Bali to continue breaking new ground in the wedding industry. I know I’m not the only one in Brisbane who will miss you and we can’t wait to see what adventures lie ahead for your amazing family!! Best wishes and lots of love xx
Wishing everyone a safe and happy Easter break. Stay safe on the roads and take in all of the special moments. Making memories is what life is all about.
Best wishes from
Hannah and Olivia (and Nic and Charlie)…