#36. High Key Peekaboo: a first attempt at portrait photography

By pascaljappy | News

Sep 07

A high-key portrait of a young girl hiding behind her hands

A common feature in most of my pictures is the absence of human beings. Not that I do it on purpose, but my instinct drives me to more abstract shapes or landscapes in which humans would create an unwanted sense of reality and ruin the mood. Not knowing how to feel about that, I decided to try the exact opposite, portrait photography. This feels very weird to me: most of the time, my focus is on finding interesting subject matter in a fixed scene, whereas portraits oblige *you* to move the scene in order to make it look visually appealing. It looks so natural to some and feels so awkward to me. Still, my daughter volunteered and is naturally at ease in front of the camera. I decided to overexpose to hide details and retain only the main composition lines. Only limb outlines, hair and eyes are visible in the top picture, which I find very pleasing for a first attempt 🙂 Any tips are welcome in the comments!

Pour une raison que je ne prĂ©fĂšre pas analyser, les humains sont Ă©trangement absents de mes photos. Visiblement, mon regard se pose plus naturellement sur des scĂšnes abstraites ou des paysages dans lesquels des personnes parasiteraient l’attention. Toujours est-il que, me sentant un peu dĂ©rangĂ© par ce constat, j’ai fait mes premiers pas vers la discipline opposĂ©e: le portrait. Sensation peu naturelle puisqu’au lieu de se concentrer sur l’extraction d’une image intĂ©ressante Ă  partir d’une scĂšne figĂ©e, il faut ici bouger la scĂšne pour lui donner un sens visuel. Certains photographes donnent l’impression que c’est tout naturel, mais c’est loin d’ĂȘtre ma tasse de thĂ©. Heureusement, ma fille, volontaire comme cobaye et naturellement Ă  l’aise devant l’objectif a fait tout le boulot pour moi. Je me suis contentĂ© de surexposer pour supprimer les dĂ©tails et ne laisser que quelques lignes de composition. Pour un premier essai, le rĂ©sultat me plait bien 🙂 Mais tout conseil est bienvenu en commentaire!

  • Portrait photo is hard! There are good lenses for Canon and Nikon’s that help specifically with portraits but you have to start somewhere! I like the overexposed lighting – once the subject gets more in focus these shots will be awesome!

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