Friends, Family and Available Light

It’s rare to see a 50mm lens on my trusty Pentax K1000 camera — I much prefer the energy and distortion of a wide angle lens. There are, however, moments when I fall back on convention, usually when taking “flattering” portraits of family and friends. I have a soft spot for catching people indoors using natural light. Diffused side-light from a window glows with romance or theatre — I love drama, so rarely bounce light to fill any shadows. Sometimes, careful treatment of available electric light can create surprisingly fresh and unaffected results.

These two images were taken under a mix of natural and electric light at the Niagara Café in Gundagai. Arms crossed and eyebrow raised, my friend JB assumes the pose of a university lecturer. I say “assumes” because, while this may indeed be his profession, I’m most used to seeing him with a beer in one hand, a play station console in the other, and a bag of barbecue-flavoured crisps and tub of French onion dip nearby. His ultra-cool Ray-Ban sunglasses hint that all is not as it seems.

Like most photographers, I sneak off when other people bring out their cameras, which is why I’m usually invisible in family albums. Every now and then, however, I set the exposure, choose a location and let Justin snap away. So here I am in my signature red, with hands cradling my face. Hands reveal personality — in this case, a sweet fragility — which is why I try to relax people until they fall into their everyday, comfortable poses or photograph them doing an activity.


Anonymous said...

I adore these two photos - guess my taste is for the conventional *laughs*
You, my dear, look especially beautiful. I'm not sure the phrase "sweet fragility" fits you, though...and I mean that as a compliment :)

Kathleen said...

Thanks! The reason behind the conventional images is that I don't have a personal album of family and friends, so am starting one.