Portraits from Beach Week 2015

Pittsburgh teen PortraitPortraits from Beach Week 2015

The truth is, I really don’t like the beach, and that’s putting it mildly.  I just don’t get it.  You sit around roasting, burning and coating your body with slimy stuff, that in the future, will probably prove to be some kind of cancer-causing agent.  I hate it.  So why do I go?  I go to see family.  There are people I just don’t get to see that often and I go to the beach because it’s a family reunion kind of thing…  So I go for the people.   I thought this year I’d take my camera and take some portraits to fill the time and the following photos are what I came up with.  Anything, to keep me off the beach…

Here are some of my family members that made it to Sunset Beach, North Carolina, on this vacation of 2015.  If you want to see the images larger, just click on the photo.

Horizontal portrait of Billteen portraitRyan's headshotMaria's portaitureenvironmental portrat of EmilyBlack and white Pittsburgh portrait photoPortraiture of Pittsburgh womanPortrait photo on Hellian photographic portrait of pittsburgh resident commercial portrait of Pittsburgh child Rose commercial child portrait Photo of Papa Portrait of local Pittsburgh teen Limited focus portrait

All these portraits were taken with my Nikon D700, using my 85mm 1.4 lens.  Even though I own higher-resolution DSLR cameras, this is my favorite combination.  All the portraits were shot at an aperture of 1.4, wide open.  That’s what gives the background that “soft” look.  I find it to be magical…

Various Portrait Techniques

I’ve taken the liberty to play around a little with some different techniques, and I’m not saying that the techniques made the portraits any better, but just because I wanted to play around…

Serious Portraits

An interesting thing happened while I was shooting these portraits.  I learned something…  Not that me learning something is all that novel of an happening, but this was kind of special.  Since I came from a studio background, my first impulse is to “create” beautiful light, but since I didn’t have any photographic lights with me, I had to “find” beautiful light.  Of course I’ve had to do this before, but I really spent a lot of time looking at what the light was doing on people’s faces, even when I wasn’t actually photographing them.  I was learning to “see” light.

Since I’ve been back, I’ve put the newly-honed skill to good use.  I’m not saying that this is a new skill to me, but it was nice to have all this practice. Some photos I spent more time on than others and some subjects were more cooperative than others too.  All in all, I’m happy with the results and I think that someday, the family will look back at all these portraits with fond memories.  Any way, it sure beat sweating in the sticky sand.

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