Archive for People Photography

Inspirations – Amanda Large

Posted in Inspirations with tags , , on December 21, 2011 by sabrina

© Amanda Large

Nikon D90, 16-85 mm f/3.5-5.6, ISO 250, f/3.5, 1/25 seconds

Sometimes the images that say the most about people don’t literally show much of them at all. This portrait of my odd-socks-wearing friend was taken on the spur of the moment; hand-held, no premeditation, no set up. We were getting ready to go out, I think – or rather, he was sitting on the couch waiting for me to get ready – and I grabbed my camera in the hopes of nabbing a shot of him. Being a modest soul, he didn’t want to show his face and grabbed a conveniently located painting to hide behind. I directed him to move it slightly so that his scarf aligned with the tie in the painting and took a shot using the available light before he lost patience with me. For me, a big part being a photographer is being able to go with the flow and seize the moment. I originally set out to take a simple picture of my friend on the couch, and ended up with what I find a far more interesting portrait.

As a side note: it was pointed out to me that the painting is based on a photo (of 20th century political philosopher John Rawls), so this is actually a photograph of a painting based on a photograph. ~ Amanda Large


Inspirations – Ed Brydon

Posted in Inspirations with tags , , on November 30, 2011 by sabrina

© Ed Brydon

iPhone 4S using Instagram with “Lomo-fi” processing selection

I had never had a smartphone and finally upgraded to an iPhone 4S when it came out, principally because the plan I could get was a global one. However, one of the first things I like to do when they have something new is to play with it. I tend not to open the manual unless I cannot work out how to do something as I find that trial and error, while maybe slower, sticks with me better. At any rate, I had popped out to get my lunch during work and was walking around Columbus Circle when I saw this great little stage-like scene. The hard, low sun was pouring through into this little area. I backed up against the wall, framed roughly where my I wanted the image to play out, watched and waited. Any time I thought I saw something developing I would press the shutter. I experimented with compositions as people passed through the scene and was having a lot of fun. One of the things I keep my eye out is for alignments of nature and man or the man-made within the city; that juxtaposition appeals to me. For this particular image I caught the flutter and flight of a few pigeons out of the corner of my eye and pressed the shutter button when I thought the timing was right, trying to allow for the slight lag. I had only once chance to make this and it turned out exactly how I wanted it, with the pigeon seemingly flying directly above the woman’s head.

To me it doesn’t matter what I made this image with, it was more important that I had something on me I could photograph with. The fact it was new, and unobtrusive, allowed for a little playtime, which is often when we become inspired. ~ Ed Brydon

Photographer of the Month – Kelly Pape

Posted in Photographer of the Month with tags , , on November 17, 2011 by sabrina

© Kelly Pape

Darwin: Kelly, you seem to photograph almost everything. It’s often said that to be good you need to specialize, but your work shows that you can be really good and still shoot a variety of subjects. What are the benefits to creativity in being a generalist photographer?

Kelly: I love photography and the best way to learn it is to throw yourself into a variety of different situations and figure out how best to shoot it. For me it is about making exciting photographs regardless of the subject matter.  Every shoot requires the understanding of the location, assessing the light, finding good vantage points and being able to make quick decisions on camera settings.

The more I work in photography, the more completed images I see in my mind before taking the camera out of the bag. There has to be something special like a ray of light or contrasting tree line in which to start shooting. From there, in the field I determine whether it would work best as a black and white, HDR, adding a special effect or by taking several shots and stitching them together to create a pano. Each decision dictates how you shoot the image.

Darwin: You seem to have an ability to use the Orton Effect with a sensitive eye so that the technique enhances the photo without drawing your eye to the effect. Any hints on how you manage to control or blend the effect into your photos so well?

Kelly: Visually I enjoy the Orton Effect and read with interest when you recently featured Michael Orton on your blog. There is something about the dreamy, almost painterly feel that really appeals to me. Years ago I attended a Freeman Patterson and Andre Gallant workshop where this technique was first shown to me.  Andre’s method was taking a shot in focus and overexposed by 2 stops and the second one slightly out of focus and overexposed by one stop and sandwiching them together. Today there are many plug-ins that can give you that desired result.

Darwin: Recently you have delved into the world of commercial photography by doing some commercial shoots and also by making prints for décor. Do you enjoy doing photography commercially or have you found it stifles your creativity and personal vision?

Kelly: One of the areas that I have been shooting lately is real estate photography which requires capturing the architecture as accurately as possible while maintaining good composition. It is mostly documentary shooting and doesn’t require a lot of creativity. Another project right now is supplying several images for a Showhome as part of a fund raising event. That is more challenging as you have specific spaces that need to be filled by sometimes a list from the client of miscellaneous shots from your website. Trying to put together a theme, enlarge the photos to fit different frame sizes and do it all within a deadline can be stifling. Whatever the job is, I always look at it as a way to challenge myself and improve.

Darwin: You are an active member of a camera club; for you what are the benefits to being part of a camera club. Any drawbacks?

Kelly: About 26 years ago, I was one of the few members in our camera club and we shot slides exclusively. Work commitments forced me to quit for a number of years and now I am back as an active member for the past 7 years and taken on various director roles. The benefits of being part of a club are every week you pick up something new as well as get exposed to a variety of ideas and styles. Clubs can also bring in great speakers like Darwin and Sam 🙂  Last year our club grew to 100 members and each member brings their own world of creativity.

Darwin: Many women that are nature photographers find it scary to shoot alone (few are worried about nature per sae but more about the ‘bad’ nature of other humans). Do you find that as a woman, you seek safety in numbers for photography or do you go out and photograph on your own?

Kelly: I have no problem going out on my own and dusting up the gravel roads. When I have a couple of hours to spare, you will find me off exploring new territories. Having said that, I am very aware of my surroundings and try not to get myself into difficult situations. A lot of times you find yourself outside, alone in the dark, which requires you to be hyper sensitive to what is nearby.

Having other people around definitely allows me to be more at ease and enjoy the camaraderie of others. There is something to be said for having a planned outing which forces me to get out the door in the freezing cold where I might otherwise not bother and miss the best light. The flip side is you are then dependent on other people’s schedules and preferences for shoot locations. Either way… just get out and shoot!!

You can find Kelly on the web at:

© Kelly Pape

© Kelly Pape

© Kelly Pape

© Kelly Pape

© Kelly Pape

© Kelly Pape

© Kelly Pape

© Kelly Pape

© Kelly Pape

Inspirations – Independent by Matthew Connors

Posted in Inspirations with tags , , , on October 12, 2011 by sabrina

© Matthew Connors

Canon Powershot S95 (1/320s, f-5.6, ISO 100)
edited in Apple’s Aperture 3
converted to monochrome in Nik Software’s Silver Efex Pro 2

I took this image during one of those fleeting, but frequent, moments of unpredictability common with children. My daughter was sunning on the driveway and the incongruity of her lying next to rather than on her towel was, at first, merely humorous to me. Then tonal contrasts in the scene caught my eye. The black concrete, the striped towel, and her shadow cast by the late-day sun would all be accentuated in a monochromatic image. I grabbed my nearest camera, a 5-foot step ladder, took the image, put everything away, and went back to whatever I had been doing.

I believed that I had documented a nice moment, but little else and was surprised with the positive response I received when I shared it. What I thought was a personal moment that exemplified an independent, non-conformer streak in my daughter – that I was all too familiar with – actually spoke to a wider audience than I predicted.

I was reminded by the response to this image that everyday there are unexpected moments and scenes in our lives that, if caught on camera, can typify a moment or share a story. These moments are easily overlooked because they are typically routine to us, but it’s hard to predict how what is ordinary to one person will be interpreted by others. ~ Matthew Connors

Inspirations – 354 photographers

Posted in Inspirations with tags , , , , on August 28, 2011 by sabrina

© 354 Kevin Laloux and Maxime Delvaux

Box is a collective project by Kevin Laloux and Maxime Delvaux. It’s a series of pictures made with cardboard and miniature furniture. The project represents several scenes that we created following our inspirations. The people in the pictures are shot in our studio and integrated by computer. ~ 354 photographers

Inspirations – Jason Lee

Posted in Inspirations with tags , , , on August 24, 2011 by sabrina

© Jason Lee

Nikon D700, Focal Length 70 mm 1/15 sec f/16.0 ISO 800

I wanted to create a comical twist on washing the dishes, and imagined the kids using an alternative cleaner. This is what I came up with. I photographed each child separately, as well as some of the dishes, and combined them together. All the bubbles are real. To view more images in this project, click here. ~ Jason Lee

Inspirations – Nour El Refai

Posted in Inspirations with tags , , on August 10, 2011 by sabrina

© Nour El Refai

This image shows the heating process during Plastic Recycling in Ezbet El Nakhl. Around 6000 garbage collectors are living in Ezbet El Nakhl, one of the slum areas of Cairo. The population came to live in this area as the land had a low price. Most people came from Upper Egypt in order to find work in Cairo, they make their living by collecting the garbage and sorting it for the purpose of recycling. All members of the family work together in that field. ~ Nour El Refai

Inspirations – Yalda Pashai

Posted in Inspirations with tags , , on August 3, 2011 by sabrina

© Yalda Pashai

This image was shot during a peaceful protest against the American army school called School of America (SOA) in St. Banning, Georgia. I, most like everyone else, believe in freedom and equality, so attending and being part of this protest a great deal to me. In this image, a group of peacemakers are dressed as the dead in front of the gates of the army school, protesting to close down SOA. To my amazement, there was a little girl/boy (hard to tell with the makeup on) between them who looked thoughtful and fearless. I couldn’t stop analyzing what he/she was actually thinking and how aware he/she was about their involvement in the protest.

I’ve received many critiques on this image. Many good and some bad. Some viewers see the image as a protest on violence against Muslim women, especially when they read that I’m an Iranian female. Images are powerful; but captions, even a single word can change the meaning and standards of an image. ~ Yalda Pashai

Inspirations – Jordi Cohen

Posted in Inspirations with tags , , , on July 27, 2011 by sabrina

© Jordi Cohen

1/125 sec at F/9.0 at 16mm, ISO 100

I was last in western Jerusalem to make a reportage about pesach and the Wailing Wall. I was at the Mount of Olives cemetery in Jerusalem and saw thousands of people attending the funeral of Ben Yosef Livnat, who was shot dead earlier in the day by a Palestinian policeman at Joseph’s Tomb in Nablus. The funeral was attended by settlement leaders from the West Bank, right-wing activists, rabbis and public figures, and Minister of Sports and Culture Limor Livnat, Ben Yosef’s aunt.

To make this picture I had to climb a wall that would allow me to see all the crowd of Jews, most of them ultra-Orthodox, who attended the ceremony. It was not easy because they were all photographers from international agencies and they had left me very little space. ~Jordi Cohen

Inspirations – Natuurfotografie by Peter Kemp

Posted in Inspirations with tags , , , , on July 24, 2011 by sabrina

© Peter Kemp

I made this one in a shed with two friends of mine called Cooper and RudoX. I asked one of them–Cooper–to make me these wonderful wings of plastic and also a nest. The austrich eggs I borrowed from my wife.

My intention was to give a  message to nature photographers who are doing “a lot”  to get the “right” picture.  I tried to give this message with a smile.

My camera used was Hasselblad H1 with a 22 MP Leaf Back on a tripod (55-110 mm Hasselblad lens). Photo has been made with ISO 100 – F9 and 1/125sec shutter speed. Two strobes were used a soft box and  a strobe with umbrella ( 400W). ~ Peter Kemp