Critique 100 Strangers Portraits #14 & #15 OCF

blakester

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Iain
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#1
Today saw me visit London, specifically The Barbican to continue with my 100 Strangers project. It was a productive day, The Barbican is a great place for finding backgrounds that are right up my street, pardon the pun!
I made two portraits today, posted below!


Caroline - [Stranger #214]
by Iain Blake, on Flickr

Today saw me visit The Barbican, London. Having found a suitable background I waited a while for someone to come along. The Barbican is a mix of flats, restaurants, bars and a theatre with not a great deal of footfall where I found my background. I then noticed Caroline walking along, looking very stylish and thought she would make a great stranger portrait.

I introduced myself and my project and happily Caroline agreed but with the caveat;

"i'm not photogenic, and I won't be offended if you don't use or show my photograph in your project."

I explained to Caroline that this was my third round of 100 strangers and I had heard that said quite a few times but every time it has never been the case. Caroline is no exception.

Caroline lives in the Barbican and works in London.

"I am off out for the day, I had a slow start this morning having had a long lie in bed!"

"Life makes me happy, life is good!"

Thanks Caroline.




Alexandra - [Stranger #215]
by Iain Blake, on Flickr

Still in The Barbican, I waited a while as there were many great backgrounds that I thought I could use.

I had noticed Alexandra earlier but she seemed immersed in what she was doing taking photographs and selfies. She was soon out of view within the warren of walkways and passages within The Barbican. A little later I noticed Alexandra again, photographing the walkway I used for her portrait.

Alexandra is from Latvia but visiting London for the weekend. She was off to visit Camden Market after The Barbican.

What makes her happy I asked?

"Sharing the best experiences with the person I love!" Alexandra replied.

Thank you Alexandra.
 
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blakester

blakester

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#4
I realised I never put down what equipment I used in these portraits as I have done previously.
I used a shoot through umbrella in Caroline's portrait as can be seen from the catch lights in her eyes.

I never used the umbrella in Alexandra's portrait as I just confirmed what I knew already that I don't think the umbrella is robust enough to carry around for this type of work. Well specifically the end of the umbrella which fits into the bracket on the stand. I feel I will need to modify it in some way if I am going to use it again.

I tried to balance the ambient more in both portraits, to allow a little context and the environment in.

Alexandra's portrait was lit with the 20" square softbox.
 
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David
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#5
Superb use of the vanishing point, very obvious that they're your shots. Really like #1, colours, lighting, background, all spot on. #2 seems a little cold but i get the feeling it was taken in the evening so it kinda fits in quite well. Both subjects are fab.
 
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blakester

blakester

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Superb use of the vanishing point, very obvious that they're your shots. Really like #1, colours, lighting, background, all spot on. #2 seems a little cold but i get the feeling it was taken in the evening so it kinda fits in quite well. Both subjects are fab.
Thanks David, I never noticed the cold look to Alexandra's portrait but now you've mentioned it, I see your point.
It was actually taken around midday yesterday but was in one of the many walkways/ramp in the Barbican. It was more or less under ground, no natural light really.

Thanks again.
 
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blakester

blakester

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#13
Superb, you're really getting into your stride with this one now.
Thanks Simon, kind of you to say.
I am now considering changing things up in some way otherwise it all becomes a bit samey!
Also, as has been quite correctly mentioned, barring one portrait, everyone has been female. I must address this and restore balance to the project.
 
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Paul
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#14
Lovely work (as always it seems!!) - personal favourite is Alexandra she seems sad/wistful as if she is missing someone. And as for Caroline believing she is not photogenic, well you proved that to be wrong :)
 
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blakester

blakester

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#15
Lovely work (as always it seems!!) - personal favourite is Alexandra she seems sad/wistful as if she is missing someone. And as for Caroline believing she is not photogenic, well you proved that to be wrong :)
Thanks Paul.
Very intuitive of you, Alexandra took a phone call when I was making her portrait. She didn't seem very happy at the time. She spoke in her native tongue so I have no idea what she said.
As for Caroline not being photogenic, I have heard this so many times through the course of the few years I've been shooting this project. It's never been the case!
 
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