Narrative Portraiture: Portraits of Two Texas Artists

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Video: Focus and blur

One of the best ways to get good at photography is to practice and experiment on your own, so I have some assignments for you, some assignments which will help you integrate some of the concepts and ideas that you've discovered in this course into your own workflow. The first assignment is called Blur and the Passage of Time. Throughout the history of photography, there are different things that have come into fashion or out of fashion and currently in modern photography, it's really popular to create images which are crystal clear, which are incredibly sharp.
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Watch the Online Video Course Narrative Portraiture: Portraits of Two Texas Artists
1h 29m Appropriate for all Feb 03, 2012

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In the Narrative Portraiture series, photographer and teacher Chris Orwig explores how to use location and natural light to create images that tell stories about their subjects and produce a strong emotional connection.

In this installment, Chris travels to Texas to visit two artists: David Cargill, a Beaumont sculptor who works with bronze and marble, and Charles Stagg, another Beaumont sculptor but in recycled and found materials. Chris takes their portraits and spends time discussing the composition and lighting in each session.

Chris also reviews the photos he took, and discusses the gear he used and the lessons he learned while visiting with and photographing these artists.

Subject:
Photography
Author:
Chris Orwig

Focus and blur

One of the best ways to get good at photography is to practice and experiment on your own, so I have some assignments for you, some assignments which will help you integrate some of the concepts and ideas that you've discovered in this course into your own workflow. The first assignment is called Blur and the Passage of Time. Throughout the history of photography, there are different things that have come into fashion or out of fashion and currently in modern photography, it's really popular to create images which are crystal clear, which are incredibly sharp.

But what I want you to do in this assignment is to do something completely different. I want you to embrace blur, and here's why. Human vision, we often see things in a way that is lucid and completely clear and other times our vision is blurry. Now, why is that? Well, there are a number of reasons. Perhaps we're in love and we don't quite see clearly, or maybe our eyes are filled with tears of sadness and we can't see straight. The world is all in blur. Or think of those memories, those memories from long ago.

It's almost like they travel into our mind like a mist or a fog. It's blurry. It's not quite clear. We can't quite remember every detail. I think blur has to do with the passage of time. Some thoughts or ideas, we see them clearly, but then as time passes, things become more and more blurry. I want you to embrace that, and I want you to create six images which embrace this whole idea of blur and the passage of time. And you can create blur either by shooting with a lens, which allows you the ability to shoot with a shallow depth of field so a very small amount of the frame is in focus, or you can simply manual focus and create an image where a lot of the frame is blurry and out of focus.

Whatever technique you choose, try to create six images that are full of story and that embrace this whole idea of blur and the passage of time.

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