People Pictures

People!

People are fun to watch. They do the craziest things sometimes, and the most noble. People are beautiful and even those who are not have a nobility of character that is beautiful. Capturing those qualities is a challenge that photographers rise to. And that is the challenge of this Project: Take some good people pictures.


Where do you start? Right where you are, at home or at school.

What do you look for? For this Project look for people doing things. Let them know you are taking their picture and why. "This is not candid camera" where you sneak up on people. These are casual informal portraits.

Your objective is to get pictures of people in their natural environment. They can be busy with what they are doing or they can be looking up at you as you take their picture.

A better way of seeing these kinds of people pictures are as "environmental portraits." That means people photographed in the a location common to them and surrounded by things that represent their life. The picture to the left is an environmental portrait. The man is in his work space and doing something that is natural for him.

However, these pictures are carefully composed and all the skills of the photographer who knows composition, lighting and point of view are used to make this more than a snapshot. They are seldom just lucky pictures.


Here are several that I have taken.

Notice that I have tried to use some of the rules of good composition and lighting in the pictures. And I have photographed the people with their knowledge.

But environmental portraits do come close to candid portraits at times. There is no hard line between them.



This Project asks you to take a variety of environmental portraits. That means portraits of more than one person and more than one picture of the people you photograph. Try several different locations, and try to photograph people in their natural environment. You can give some suggestions about how to pose and what to do, but not much. You should place them in their environment and then move around yourself to find the best angles and backgrounds and lighting.

You can photograph the people doing things that are typical for them. You could photograph your mother in the kitchen, for example, working with food. Ot if she has a hobby, you could photograph her working on her hobby.

If you have a brother or sister, you could photograph them in their rooms doing what they enjoy doing. The idea is for the pictures to look natural and at the same time not simply be snapshots. You are the photographer. So control the backgrounds so avoid distractions. Control the lighting by moving your subjects to locations where the lighting is good for a poertrait. Control the composition.

Then edit and enhance the photos. Crop for better composition. Burn the edges to direct attention to the people. But don't use fancy filters. Black and white might be great, but when any special technique is too obvious, it detracts from the person.

People have personalities and dignity. Try to capture that in your portraits.

A good goal is to photograph three different people with at least three different points of view of each, for example close-up, medium distance and low camera angle or high. (The photo of the boy with his computer is a high camera angle.)

Upload thes photos to an album in Flickr with the name "Portraits." Share the two best with the class on the class Flickr page. Then create a photo collage and upload to Flickr.

Upload thes photos to an album in Flickr with the name "Portraits." Share the two best with the class on the class Flickr page. Then create a photocollage of the pictures.

Alternative Project. Photograph your family and create a collection of portraits that capture each member of your family (including pets) in natural locations and doing normal things. Include portraits of yourself in the series. This collection should include more than one picture of each family member and should be just as creatively done as the other project described above. You can photograph groups and activities and even a group portrait if you wish.

Upload thes photos to an album in Flickr with the name "Portraits." Share the two best with the class on the class Flickr page. Then create a photo collage and upload to Flickr.



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© 2018 Don Camp