grad photos (LONG post, pic heavy)

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grad photos (LONG post, pic heavy)

On Friday afternoon, I got a chance to take some pre-graduation photos of a dear family friend who is about to graduate with her Master's degree! I have known this lovely lady since she was in kindergarten - she is credited for introducing our family to Veggie Tales (& Logan *so* loved Veggie Tales as a small kid).

She lost her dad in a tragic motorcycle accident 3 years ago this month. It was a serious blow to the whole family, but especially to this "daddy's girl." To see how far she has come... it just overwhelms me. And to say that I am proud to be part of her life is ... well ... there are just no words.

So you can understand why I was so honored when asked to do a few photos for her.

But scheduling was a SERIOUS problem (see my poll from last week about shooting times Wink ). You see, the life of a young woman finishing up her master's degree is VERY busy! She even had a presentation with former PRESIDENT George H. W. Bush & his wife the week leading up to these photos!!! Talk about PRESSURE! But I digress (did I mention I'm very proud of her??) ....

We couldn't meet early in the morning and late evenings were OUT of the question.

And when pushed to pick a time, all she could open up for me in her schedule was 2pm. 2pm in Texas in April!

And it was a BEAUTIFUL day! Warm & sunny.... the kind of day you want to spend by the pool, at the lake, or out on a hike or something.

But definitely NOT ideal for taking serious portraits. Biggrin

But when push comes to shove, we all do what we have to do, right? I did promise her that, if we didn't get anything that would work for her, we'd try some "studio" type shots in my garage at a later date.

These are a few that I felt like she would be happy with - please feel free to CC. But as I plan to share a lot of pics, you don't have to CC on all of them. Just pick one or two and let me know your thoughts. I am noticing a few things here at work that I didn't catch at home and plan to go back and check, but I'd love to hear your thoughts.

Anyway ... all shot w/ my D7100, using my 50mm ...

1. f/2.0 ss=1/3200 ISO=110

2. f/2.0 ss=1/3200 ISO=250

3. f/2.0 ss=1/3200 ISO=220

4. f/2.0 ss=1/3200 ISO=360

5. f/2.5 ss=1/400 ISO=220

6. f/2.5 ss=1/250 ISO=100

Considering the shooting conditions, I was pretty happy to get these. I know there are still lots of issues, but I'm still pretty pleased. I'm looking forward to seeing the CC from you guys.

This was SUCH a fun shoot! She's so excited about graduation. And now that so many of her projects, presentations, etc are winding down, you can see her starting to physically relax. So we just had fun, ya know?!

Anyway ... the kicker for this shoot and what made it such fun for EVERYONE is that I had a very special "second shooter" ... my dear Wonder Boy (Logan)!!! He came out w/ my D80 loaded up with my 18mm - 200mm lens. I set the ISO for him and then he moved into aperture priority mode (depending on what we are shooting, he will usually stay in aperture priority mode or shutter priority mode for sports). I was THRILLED with some of his shots and want to share them with you. These are not really for serious CC, but I will pass on any comments you might have for him.

7. f/4.8 ss=1/640 ISO=400 50mm length

8. f/5.3 ss=1/640 ISO=400 82mm length

9. f/5.6 ss=1/320 ISO=400 130mm length

10. f/5.6 ss=1/400 ISO=400 105mm length

I cannot find words to say how proud I was feeling as I took these images off of his memory card!!!!

And in addition to being my trusty second shooter, he also manned the reflector for me. He just did all the little things - like carry the bags, ask people to walk around when needed to keep the backdrop clear, and he kept a running monologue going that had us all in tears from laughing so much.

He and Carlos often come w/ me on a shoot. Carlos will man the reflector and carry bags and such. And usually, Logan just tries to stay out of the way. You can bet from now on, he'll have a camera in hand! Biggrin

Anyway ... thanks for looking and for letting me share. I know this is a long post! But you guys are really the only ones with which I can share this kind of story. Biggrin

Take care,

TracyF's picture
Last seen: 21 hours 28 min ago
Joined: 08/14/06
Posts: 2574

GiGi, I'm on my way out to a shoot myself after a busy morning, so not much time to CC right now, but I think you did a GREAT job! And so did Logan! You should be proud!

I really like the reflective quality of her pose and expression in #3.

#4 is one of my faves, except it seems too bright. But if you bring it down a notch or two, I think it'll be gorgeous.

#6 is just wonderful, such a great expression and a playful feel with her peeking through the leaves. It seems much too magenta to me, but if you modify the skin tones, that is going to be one awesome shot, I think!

Of Logan's, my fave is the last one. A genuine smile and beautiful light. But they are all so nice, wow! 12 years old, huh?! Biggrin

Ladybugsteph's picture
Last seen: 1 year 7 months ago
Joined: 06/21/06
Posts: 2977

Wonderful, GiGi! I am not ignoring these, I swear! I will really try to sit down with some CC at some point today, when the baby's not crying for me.

TracyF's picture
Last seen: 21 hours 28 min ago
Joined: 08/14/06
Posts: 2574

I finally have a bit more time to look those over and give proper CC! I think you did a great job, and she sounds like a wonderful young woman who's been through some hard times but come out strong. I feel like the images kind of convey a little of that, too. And like I said before, wow to Logan's shots, he did awesome!!

1. I like the angle of her body and that her head/body is against the white post (to make her stand out nicely). Colour seems a touch red, but I've been editing all day and feel like I'm losing my ability to see colour properly. Wink Her knees look quite red, BTW. Overall this isn't my fave mainly because I'm not sure it's the most flattering pose, shooting someone in a dress/skirt from below? But of course she's holding her legs in a very ladylike way, so it's not at all 'bad', it's just perhaps not my favourite, you know?

2. She looks lovely here. A bit dark, could you lighten her up a little? Same thing with colour, she seems a touch red. As a tiny nitpick, I wonder if composing it so her body is a slight bit more to camera right, with a little more space on camera left of the post would have been better. Hard to tell without trying it, though!

3. I really LOVE the feel of this one. It's reflective, and thoughtful. Seems like a good one for someone contemplating their future as they wind up their degree. Again, seems just a bit red.

4. Love her attitude here -- she looks warm, friendly and confident! And I think this one is very flattering and her dress looks lovely here as well. Just seems a touch bright, that's all.

5. I like the colour in this one a bit better, less red and a bit more yellow. Another great pose, though she doesn't like QUITE as natural here. But it's lovely. I think compositionally, the position of the posts doesn't quite work for me, especially with the posts at a bit of an angle. I'd think either the angle should be exaggerated, or eliminated, you know?

6. Except for the colour issues, with it seeming very magenta, I really love this! She looks just gorgeous, and it's playful and warm and also beautifully composed. My absolute fave, with a colour fix.

7. Logan did a nice job composing this and getting a warm smile and a good pose; I think I would just straighten it (so the stairs are horizontal) and crop out the furthest post of the railing to the camera left. Colour looks good here.

8. Another nice job here! Great smile, and nicely composed. Just a bit dark.

9 and 10. Love her smile here, and he nailed focus! I wish she was looking at the camera, or we could see what she was smiling at, but it's great. These ones look magenta to me.

Really great job by both of you, GiGi! You should be proud!

Ladybugsteph's picture
Last seen: 1 year 7 months ago
Joined: 06/21/06
Posts: 2977

Ok, I'm back with some CC! I feel a little rusty giving critique, since we haven't had many of those types of posts lately!! Thanks for posting these. I need to get back to looking closely at images!

#1 - I'm not a huge fan of the angle. It's not unflattering or anything, it just makes her legs look larger than they are. Perhaps you could have switched places with her. Shoot down at an angle, and get the lines from the stairs leading to her. Does that make sense? I'm seeing a bit of the black hand rail on the left hand side. It's not standing out, but looking closely, I do notice it. I, too, see the red that Tracy mentioned.

#2 - This is a lovely shot. Her hands look like they don't know what they're doing. Maybe bringing her elbow up to the wall, or somehow on to her face or hair/head. It would create a little more interest in the pose. This is a very nice little area you found!

#3 - I like the exposure on this one, compared to the previous one, that looks to be in the same spot. I love mood of this one, but again, I wish she was doing something with her arms to bring a little more interest.

#4 - Great pose here!!

#5 - This one looks like it needs straightened some. I'm not as big of a fan of this one, because of the bench in the middle of the pillars. It cuts into her and takes the attention away.

#6 - I love how this one showcases her face. She's framed really nicely with the surroundings. I wish her whole elbow was in the shot, but she won't care. Color is off. Looks too magenta to me.

Logan did a nice job!! Way to go!! I'd say that overall, the color is looking a bit too magenta on my screen. Someone stop me if I'm wrong though. Focus looks great, and I love the bokeh you achieved. Great job!