Now you see me. Now you don’t.

I always aim to look beyond the obvious and try out new creative photography ideas.   

This image was taken on a location portrait shoot.  I saw the cobweb hanging down, and thought it would make a good frame for the subject.  It did, but then I realised it would be better if I used a shallow depth of field to throw the person out of focus.  I opened up the lens aperture,  reduced the flash power, and focused tightly on the cobweb.
"Cobweb portrait" -by Gale Photography

"Cobweb portrait" -by Gale Photography

It turned the image into something a bit more mysterious and abstract.  You can see that there is a person there, you can see that they are looking at you, but you can’t see any detail.

With creative portrait photography, sometimes you don’t even need to show the person directly at all.  You can tell a story in an image, or provoke the viewer into imagining their own story.

"Shadow portrait" by Gale Photography

"Shadow portrait" by Gale Photography

With this location portrait shoot image I used an off-camera flash to throw a big shadow on the wall of the room.  We look at the architecture and the pose, ask ourselves questions, and start making up a story to fit it.  Is the person relaxed or cross?  What is the room they are in?

Sometimes it’s just worth trying an old idea too.  Here’s a creative use of the common photographic mistake where you have an object growing out of the subject’s head.   Here the person is behind a sculpture, and just their hand is visible growing out of what seems to be a cut off tree trunk.

"The hand in the quarry" by Gale Photography

"The hand in the quarry" by Gale Photography

Actually it raises questions about what is real and what is unreal.  The sculpture, part of the Forest of Dean Sculpture Trail, is a mould of the quarry face behind it.  It’s an exact copy but made of fibreglass instead of rock.  The hand is wearing a flesh-coloured glove, so is it really a person or another replica?  If it is a person, then because the glove covers up the person’s hand, in one sense we are seeing the replica rather the person.

We discuss the meaning of images at my photographic training courses, so enough of this philosophising! 

You can also experience a creative portrait shoot with me. Why not book yourself a session?

Cheers,

Derek.

gailFebruary 11, 2010 - 2:26 pm

I love what you see. Amazingly Inspirational!

Derek GaleFebruary 11, 2010 - 3:13 pm

Thanks Gail!

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