Creative Portraits With Multiple Exposure. Portland Fine Art Photographer

multiple exposure, double exposure, in camera double exposure, fine art portraits

When I first stumbled into photography, I was mesmerized by the instant gratification it offered my creativity.  But what got me hooked was the varied vocabulary it offered to tell a story, and capture emotions and beauty.  So anytime I discover a new ‘language’ to tell a story through images, I am excited.  Creating multiple exposures in camera is one such technique that I have fallen in love with.

Read on if you are curious to know what this technique is. If not, feel free to skip, and enjoy the images I created.

Multiple exposure is a photography technique created by combining two or more exposures into one image. Sounds quite simple, and yes, you can have a lot of fun experimenting and get lucky with a couple of images. But to intentionally create a multiple exposure image, you require some planning. You need to have an idea about what your final image should look like. In a nutshell, the first exposure is created with the main subject in focus. The second exposure is whatever you want to superimpose on the subject to create the second layer of your story. When the two exposures are combined you can get some really interesting, creative images. The second exposure overlays only on the underexposed parts of the first image. That’s the challenging part. But the possibilities are endless!

multiple exposure, double exposure, in camera double exposure, fine art portraits
The Book Lover
multiple exposure, double exposure, in camera double exposure, fine art portraits
The Inner Child
multiple exposure, double exposure, in camera double exposure, fine art portraits
The Lookout
multiple exposure, double exposure, in camera double exposure, fine art portraits
Seek the light within
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This jolly good time of the year…

 

This time of the year always brings a warm fuzzy feeling in my heart with memories of Christmases past.  As a kid, I remember the season always began with hanging a decorative star in front of our home, decorating the Christmas tree and setting up the nativity scene in a manger my dad would make. In fact, it became my most cherished holiday tradition. I still remember the very first one he made with bamboo sticks, meticulously tied together with string. It was the best one ever! Unfortunately, that was before we owned a camera. So only sweet memories remain. Over the years our manger would see many different interpretations..from the most humble looking one made with sticks and straw to ultra modern looking versions made with Styrofoam. But it was always there…painstakingly handmade.  And friends and family would fill the house way past midnight the entire week of Christmas. The house would be wrapped with the smell of mom’s baking and the sound of laughter.

With all the commercialization of the holidays, this has probably become one of the most stressful, craziest time of the year. If you think about it, none of those gifts are missed or even remembered years later.  It is the family traditions and memories of time spent with family and friends that always lingers on in our mind.

I wish you all that warm fuzzy feeling of being with your family this year. What holiday traditions do you cherish and celebrate? What is your favorite childhood memory of the holidays?

 

Emotional Value of Photographs. Portland, Oregon Lifestyle Photographer

Digging through some old photographs for Reuben’s family history project, I came across these treasures from the past. Photographs from almost 70  years ago when I wasn’t even born. It makes me realize how  valuable photographs are… they connect us to an era that would have otherwise been unknown or forgotten. How precious is that?!

Almost 20 years ago, we lost a large part of our family photo albums in  floods that hit our city. When the waters receded, we managed to salvage some of them, and painstakingly cleaned, dried and  saved a few. Of all the things destroyed in the floods, it is the photos we lost that we miss the most even today.

Brings home the point all over again, that you can never put a value on moments captured in time and you can only capture them with a camera.

“Photography is an art of observation.” Portland Lifestyle Photographer. Portland, OR

“To me, photography is an art of observation. It’s about finding something interesting in an ordinary place…. I’ve found it has little to do with the things you see and everything to do with the way you see them.”

-Elliott Erwitt

This is one of my favorite quotes that describes what I feel makes every photographer unique. Photography allows us the amazing ability to share with others our unique ‘ways of seeing’ and experiencing life. It makes you slow down and notice things that usually go unnoticed in our ever-so-busy life.

Here are some fun things I’ve seen in seemingly mundane places. Do you see what I see?

The Global Meltdownapparitions; ghosts in water reflection; wishing well; phantom; supernatural appearance; thriller; perceptions; reflections in the pond; coins in the water; making wishes with coins shadows; indiana jones; apparitions; illusions; shadow play; shadow characters emoticons; smiley in a teacup; reflections in a teacup; emoticons in a teacup; good morning tea

Can you guess where I saw this smiley looking at me?
split personality; face on the fence; you are being watched
tulip; peek a boo; undercover flower; flora; flowers that look like something else; hidden images; red tulip; red spy; peeking tulipthe parting kiss; a piece of log; cross section of a log; tree annual rings; man and woman kissing; yin yang; circle of life and death; black and white log image

It is also interesting how hard it is to ‘un-see’ something you’ve seen. This last image won a merit in the Oregon Professional Photographers Association’ image competition. But it almost didn’t make it because what was obvious to me (the two faces in a parting kiss), was not quite seen by all the judges! Glad they eventually did! 🙂 Did you?!

 

3 Tips to Create Stunning Self Portraits. Portland Portrait Photographer

So I got a little adventurous and tried out something totally different… in terms of style and editing. The project- a glamour style self portrait.  It was fun trying out something new! Being on the other side of the camera every once in a while also gives me a better idea of what my clients experience when they are in the hot seat!

The recipe for an image like this? Natural light, a reflector, tripod, camera, remote, a handy-dandy hair dryer for some wind-action and some antics! It was fun! For anyone watching, it would have been fun-ny :D. You should all try it! Or call me, and we can have a blast!

My usual editing style is pretty simple, clean, natural. This time I played around with some textures and blending modes in Photoshop. Must say I’m quite pleased with the results.
self portrait, glamour portrait, wind blown hair, textured background, reflected light, exist in photos, self portrait, glamour portrait, wind blown hair, textured background, reflected light, exist in photos,

Want to try taking a self-portrait? While there are a million different creative ways you could take a self-portrait, if you want to try something like what I’ve done here, these tips may help you:

  1.  LOCATION LOCATION LOCATION:
  • If you’re doing this indoors, find a window or door in your home with good natural light coming through.
  • Make sure your background is clutter free.
  • When posing, just remember to stand a few feet away from the wall to get a slightly soft, blurry background. You can also avoid dealing with shadows falling on them.

2. THE LOGISTICS:

  • A camera (duh!). Any camera . I used a Nikon D610 and a Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8 G lens.
  • A tripod if you have one, or something sturdy to prop your camera on. You should be able to keep the camera at eye level or slightly above eye level.
  • A white foam core or even a cardboard wrapped with white paper can serve as a reflector. I used a reflector, but you could use any of the substitutes. Using a reflector can help fill in some shadows on the side facing away from the light source.
  • Having a remote (I used one) makes it convenient to click while posing and saves you some of the running back and forth to use the camera timer. If you don’t have one, the timer on your camera will do just fine.
  • The biggest challenge with self portraits is to get the focus spot on. The easiest way to get this right would be to place an object on the spot where you plan on standing. Compose your shot and focus your lens on the object. Now change your lens setting to manual. This ensures that the focus remains on the object, and the camera does not try to refocus later when you click. Now take your position in the exact spot where you placed the object. If you’re using a reflector, place it facing the light and move it slowly until light is reflected on the stand-in object.
  • If you feel really adventurous, and want to get the blown hair look, try holding a hair dryer (better still, clip it to your tripod!) or place a fan for some wind action!

3. POSING:

  • Most of us are intimidated by the camera and don’t know what to do with ourselves in front of that lens. RELAX! Your mouth, your shoulders, your whole body! You don’t have to force a smile to get a great portrait. Look at the lens like you would look into the eyes of a person you like. (LOL! I know that sounds weird. But it will change your expression! Or make you laugh. Which is good, you’ll relax!)
  • Do NOT tuck in that chin. Caution! The dreaded double chin! Most of us do it without even realizing. Instead, lift your chin up, forward and down just a centimeter. Feels odd, but looks great! 🙂
  • Posing at a slight angle to the camera is almost always flattering. Ladies, shift your weight to one leg, the leg that is away from the camera. Pivot your hips so they are not square to the camera. Have fun and try different angles.

There! Those are some basic tips.  If you do take some self portraits, please post them here! I would love to see what you come up with! Got questions? Ask me!

Project 52: {A Part of Me}

4/52

{A Part of Me} is kinda old-fashioned… I am a paper-and-pen kinda girl. When it comes to putting my thoughts and ideas together, somehow, they just seem to flow so much better when I put a pen to paper. Scribbles start to shape into ideas and phrases make connections to convey meaning. I find it to be a more organic process, that conjures an almost unadulterated connection between thought and words.

This theme inspired me to look for new ways to tell a story.  I just discovered creating in-camera multiple exposures…and I think its awesome fun! It takes some careful planning and some experimenting.  But it lends a whole new vocabulary for story-telling!

What do you think?

Project 52, a part of me, multiple exposure, self portrait

 

3/52 {Light}

Afternoon {Light} with my cup of chai. The way light changes with every passing minute as the sun starts to dip on the horizon, is simply amazing!  I probably should have added a picture of the charred plantain fritters too, that happened while I rushed to catch this light before it disappeared behind my neighbor’s house! 🙂

light, M4H Project 52, afternoon chai,

Project 52: Storytelling

Saturday mornings are for snuggling in bed a little longer. With the cold, winter grays,  pouring rain, and black bear to cuddle, there was no way Mr. J was going to be convinced otherwise! I loved this moment when I saw it. There is something simply magical in how silhouettes evoke such lovely stories by distilling the image to its most basic.

This was my {Storytelling} image for Project 52.

storytelling, silhouettes, lazy mornings,
A boy and his bear