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In the Narrative Portraiture series, photographer and teacher Chris Orwig explores the use of elements such as location and natural light to create images that tell stories about their subjects and produce a strong emotional connection.
In this first installment, Chris lays the groundwork for the series. The course begins with a discussion of portraiture and the characteristics that make an effective, story-filled portrait. Chris then explains the importance of establishing a connection with a subject and identifying those details that will help tell his or her story. Next, he explores elements such as location, natural lighting, and composition. The course concludes with an exploration of gear: the creative options that various lenses and cameras provide, and techniques for shooting efficiently and unobtrusively.
Photographers are fond of talking about light. They get together and talk about natural and available light or studio light or the sunshine, yet many time the conversation stops there. It falls short. There is another light source which is essential and integral that can't be measured by a light meter. I like to think of this as illuminated light. Let me explain. My wife for example when she was pregnant, she literally glowed. Or consider other example, my good friend Andy, he loves surfing. After a good surf session, his eyes has the sparkle in them that is just absolutely alive.
As a photographer, a portrait photographer, yes, learn about light, but go a step further. So as you seek to create interesting and compelling portraits, yes develop your work in understanding of exterior light, but always be on the lookout for those special moments where that illuminated light shows up, where that light comes from within. Because if ever you can capture those photographs, they will far outweigh, they will be far better than any other images.
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