Rifqi's photo

My photographic journey

Wife in the field

The photos in today’s post were taken a few minutes after and maybe 100 meters away from the ones the previous post. These locations are just a couple of minutes lazy walk from the house my mom has just moved to, you can basically just turn around and end up with a new location to shoot at there, it’s pretty awesome.

It’s possible that this was some kind of speed record for me; from the first test shot (with the subject) to the final frame took four minutes, and that included a brief intermission to take a few snaps up the little one pulling up grass to feed the horses.

The setup is something that returning readers should be very familiar with by now: two LP160s in a octabox to camera left. I really enjoy the simplicity of a single, fairly big and soft light these days. It’s also the largest setup I feel that I can travel with; add any additional modifiers and things will start to get a bit too much, not to mention that the wife would probably put her foot down. On the other hand, if I brought just a couple of smaller modifiers, I would miss my octabox. Most of the time it’s all I feel I need, especially when the sun is cooperating as a rim light as in the shot above.

Wife in the field

I like the top image but not so much the one just above here. The reason for that is the angle of the light. In the first shot there’s some nice shadows on one side of her face and that provides a lot of shape and depth. In the second shot the light hits the subject too much straight on, it would have been better if she had looked more towards the camera. Let’s assume we want her to keep the pose though, then I think the light would have looked a lot better a bit farther back, away from the camera, and higher, angled down a bit more. That should give us more shape and drama in the shot.

This is something I often feel I need to get better at. Perhaps I’m a bit damaged from shooting so many portraits of my daughter; there just isn’t any chance to make those kind of alterations if I want to keep her attention long enough to get any usable shots, so perhaps that carries over to other subjects as well and I stress trough it without looking for ways to improve it. What I need is practice to become more comfortable with taking the time I need.

That’s all for today, I’ll see you next time for some landscape photography.



3 Responses to “The angle makes a difference”

  1. Carissa

    I like the first shot better too, not just for the light, but she feels more open to me. Her pose feels more comfortable in the first one. In the second, it feels like her body is fighting her gaze. And her gaze is fighting the direction her face is pointed. So basically, I see three planes: her torso, her face, her gaze. I see a bit too much white in her eyes in the second shot. Even if she’d kept her face at that angle, having her look into the camera, or gaze in the direction her face was pointed would have helped. Just my 2 cents.

    • Rifqi

      Sounds about right. I’m terrible at posing people, so I guess it’s a good thing I’m not a fashion photographer. I actually like portraits that aren’t posed at all, as long as the subject or the story is interesting. Problem is, I don’t have many different subjects, so I kind of have to try some different poses or everything will look the same :p


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