Esther Beaton

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September 2019

Making great people photos

mixed lighting opposite colours

There are so many factors that go into good “people” shots. People photos for geographic magazines are a bit different from standard portraits. Sometimes they are raw photojournalism, but usually they fall into a genre called “environmental portraiture”. I’ve done this for so long now that I’ve come to really love it. The essential elements …

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Ambient “lighting” is easy

Sometimes you don’t have to work at creating a background because you are blessed with the colours of nature. Or you’re just smart enough to go out at sunrise or sunset. Both of these pictures are pre-dawn. The colour in the sky at this time is called “afterglow” and I especially like this twilight time …

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Rembrandt artist

Rather than using colour, as in the previous post, to get rid of a busy or dull background, you can accomplish it with exposure control alone. This artist worked in her garage and the best angle of her using her jewellery press had some old storage units behind her. The easiest thing was to turn …

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Building up your lighting

While on the subject of lighting, here are a couple more examples of adding colour. Using coloured flashes is one way to overcome a drab scene – and when you’re indoors, in a clinical environment, it’s always a drab scene. I like to think of it as building my scene, a bit like adding layers …

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