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Showing posts from January, 2010

Give your portraits some space

Looking through photo-enthusiast's portrait photographs on the Internet I notice that nearly everyone goes for a very tightly framed shot with prominent head and shoulders or face. If there is any space in the frame the photographer often gets a comment along the lines, I would have cropped the top or side or whatever. The purpose of this blog post is to suggest that while Robert Capa's maxim, "if your pictures aren't good enough, you're not close enough," is definitely worth keeping in mind, you can really enrich a portrait by using the environment to help tell the story. I'm not saying anything new here and anyone who studies the work of the "father of the environmental portrait", Arnold Newman, will immediately see that his sitter's face is often quite small in the composition - stuck in the bottom right corner or off to one side of the frame. Arnold intelligently and creatively used the whole context to enhance the image. Editorial phot

RAW software update

Portrait of Vincent, a real craftsman who makes and repairs musical instruments with enormous care, love and dedication. And he doesn't use any software to do it. Click the image to see a larger version. The topic of which RAW converter to use for your digital images files is as hot as ever on the Internet. A while back I wrote an article comparing different packages and I've seen that the article is regularly read. So for those of you who are curious here's a little bit about my latest experiences. I used Lightroom 1 from when it came out and quickly became a big fan. All my digital workflow went through Lightroom and Photoshop for the final processing. About a month ago two things happened. I got a laptop and I've ended up using it for most of my work. And I decided to give Lightroom 3 beta a try on my new laptop. Now I know Lightroom is Beta and all that but the slowness of opening an image, waiting for it to render sharply on the screen and run through each proces