100 Strangers [Round 3] **Complete** 5th April 2018..

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#1
When I initially started on this, my third round of 100 Strangers I decided that I wouldn't post a thread dedicated to it in the projects section of the forum.
My thoughts were that I would post them individually as I went along as I wasn't sure how long it would take to complete the project and didn't wish to perhaps have the thread lying dormant for extended periods of time.
I have since changed my mind and feel that I wish to have the portraits sit together as a whole project as opposed to individually. That way i have them as a collection and can look back to see how the project has progressed (or otherwise)

This round, it is my intention to shoot all the portraits with Off Camera Flash (OCF). As much as a learning curve and to change things up too.
I've posted below those portraits that I have made to date.

Comments and critique are, as always most welcome.
 
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blakester

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#2
As some may be familiar, I recently completed what was my second round of 100 strangers. Well today, I started round 3 but this time I intend to do things a little differently than before.
Rather than more of the same, I have decided to put myself on something of a learning curve and shoot this series of portraits using off camera flash (OCF) for every portrait.

Today was something of an exploratory mission to take some OCF gear out to try and streamline the process as these portraits are all street based.

Its obviously early days and I could foresee a few obstacles.
Today I had a boom arm, a small(ish) softbox (20" square) and a yongnuo 560 flash.
The main obstacle was that I required someone to hold the OCF assembly. I am used to making these portraits in natural light enhanced by a reflector. I could manage to hold the reflector in one hand shooting with the other.
The boom arm is an entirely different prospect, which I could see that if I wished to shoot a stranger who was unaccompanied I would struggle. I feel perhaps a light weight light stand may be the way forward.

I was lucky today in that respect, Melissa was accompanied by Natalie who so kindly held the boom arm but that may not always be the case.

Onto Melissa's portrait, technical aspect was said softbox and boom arm held more or less on axis, above my head. Flash at 1/2 power manual mode on camera, ISO 100, 1/160 and f6.3.
My artistic intention was to kill the ambient and light Melissa.

Comments and critique are most welcome. Please be as candid as possible, I am here to learn.


Melissa [Stranger 201]
by Iain Blake, on Flickr

I noticed Melissa and in particular her fantastic hair and obvious style walking along Bishopsgate London with her friend Natalie.

As mentioned below, this round of 100 strangers I will be using off camera flash so I was keen to explain to Melissa and Natalie what would be involved. Also, I required Natalie's help in holding the boom arm with the flash. Natalie was ever so helpful, thank you!

Portrait complete, I asked Melissa what made her happy?

"Living life in general makes me happy, spending time with good friends too. Natalie and I are on our way to have lunch, well a late lunch as its 3 o'clock in the afternoon!"

Whats the best thing thats happened to you today? I asked Melissa.

"Going swimming with my little cousin this morning, its the simple things which makes me happy!"

Thank you Melissa and Natalie!
 
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blakester

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#3
Well today, I revisited my round 3 of 100 strangers.
As mentioned in my previous thread, I have decided to put myself on something of a learning curve and shoot this series of portraits using off camera flash (OCF) for every portrait.

Today was different to my last portrait with OCF gear.

Today I had a boom arm, a shoot through umbrella and a yongnuo 560 flash.
The main obstacle as last time was that I required someone to hold the OCF assembly. I am used to making these portraits in natural light enhanced by a reflector. I could manage to hold the reflector in one hand shooting with the other.
The boom arm is an entirely different prospect, which I could see that if I wished to shoot a stranger who was unaccompanied I would struggle.
I was lucky today in that respect, Chara was accompanied by a friend who so kindly held the boom arm but that may not always be the case. I deduced last time that perhaps a lightweight stand would be better in that I wouldn't require an assistant and could work solo. I think in the case of Covent Garden security this would have been a non-starter. I haven't ruled it out but will have to choose my locations wisely.

Onto Chara's portrait, technical aspect was said umbrella and boom arm held camera right just out of shot. Flash at 1/8 power manual mode on camera, ISO 100, 1/125 and f2.0.
My artistic intention was to not kill the ambient as I did last time but try and capture some of the warmth of the atmosphere within Covent Garden.


Comments and critique are most welcome. Please be as candid as possible, I am here to learn.


Chara [Stranger 202]
by Iain Blake, on Flickr

This, my third round of 100 strangers is a slow burner. I managed to get out shooting today for the first time in months. My intention with this round is to use off camera flash (OCF) in my portraits as a learning curve.
As is my usual fashion mostly, I found a background I wished to use and waited for a suitable stranger to come along. This background is Christmas lights at London's Covent Garden.
I noticed Chara walking along suitably wrapped up against the cold weather and thought that she would be a perfect match against the lights in the background.
Chara is from Turkey but lives in the UK. She was out shopping with a friend (whose name I never got) but thanks Chara's friend for holding the light boom with my flash and shoot through umbrella.


 
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blakester

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#4
During a TP meet yesterday in London, I was keen to continue with my 100 strangers project (this time around using OCF).
Having purchased a small octa-box during the week I was keen to put it to good use on Saturday. I used it on a boom arm.


Talal [Stranger #203] (Explore 5/12/16)
by Iain Blake, on Flickr

I spotted Talal, particularly his sense of style walking along near to Leicester Square London.
Talal is from Kuwait but was visiting London on a break.

What advice would you give to your younger self? I asked Talal.

'Be more careful with your money. Spend it more wisely!"

Thanks Talal.


Onto my thoughts on Talal's portrait.
I initially wasn't going to post it as I am unsure as to whether I am totally happy with the outcome.
Its early days in this third round of strangers using OCF and I am still finessing the process. My two previous strangers portraits were made with the assistance of their friends with them being able to hold the boom arm for me.
Yesterday was different, I had to hold it myself and try and make Talal's portrait. As I am using a flash, there is obviously no modelling light, meaning I have to 'chimp' to see the results. No mean feat trying to do that whilst holding the boom arm too.
The next time I'm out, I've decided to use a lightstand to free me up to make the portrait without having to juggle equipment.

I'm also not happy really with the position of the light, this was more or less on axis just above my head height. I was probably around 4-5 feet away from Talal, I'd have wished to have the softbox closer so it'd be softer.
This is very much still a learning curve for me hence why I decided to post it, I welcome comments and critique.
 
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blakester

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#5
Today, I paid a visit to Norwich, Norfolk for a mooch around with my camera and perhaps visit my 100 Strangers project again.
I noticed Kate and her sense of style whilst she was chatting to her friend Will in The Lanes area of Norwich, Norfolk.

Kate happily agreed to allow me to make her portrait only to say she wasn't photogenic!! and walking only a very short distance to this background I spotted nearby to where she and Will were standing.

Kate is a psychology student at university in Norwich. Her and Will were out shopping for the day when I stopped them.

"My New Year resolution is not to give anything up, to stop procrastinating and do some work for university!"

Thanks Kate (and Will).


Kate [Stranger #204] (Explore 02/01/17)
by Iain Blake, on Flickr

Most (everyone reading this) probably don't know about this my third round of 100 strangers where I have given myself something of a learning curve in incorporating off camera flash (OCF) in these portraits.

In the case of Kate's portrait above, this was taken late afternoon in a somewhat shady spot in Norwich city centre.
I'm not sure if the OCF has added anything significant to the portrait. Going on from my previous portraits in this series, I have been trying to nail down a system for making these portraits with OCF. This one I used a lightweight lightstand and a shoot through umbrella which was camera right, very close to Kate just out of shot. It was on 128th power which I found was sufficient for the ambient. I have learned from my first few portraits that killing the ambient light doesn't work for my artistic vision of how I wish these portraits to look, so today I wanted to maybe have the ambient just a little under.

I am still trying to finesse the whole process, thinking out loud I am still not sure about the idea. I felt a little today that the setting up of the flash/stand/umbrella runs the risk of it 'getting in the way'.
I had the flash and umbrella already attached to the lightstand good to go once I had found a stranger subject, it just needed to be erected but even this I felt was a bit of a faff!
Short of setting the whole thing up to wait for a subject, Im at a loss as to what more I could do to make the process slicker. If I was accompanied I could set it up, test it and then waiting for someone to come along but I don't have that luxury.

Onwards and upwards.

I welcome all comments and critique. Thanks for reading!
 
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blakester

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#6
Today seen me out again continuing with this my third round of 100 strangers although this time I am learning off camera flash (OCF)

As I have numerous times in the past, I found a suitable background for a stranger portrait and decided to wait until someone came along.
I didn't have to wait too long before Louise walked along. I noticed her sense of style first but also her happy persona.
Louise was in a bit of a rush to meet a friend for coffee so we only had a few minutes to make her portrait. I didn't really have a chance to find out anything about Louise beyond her telling me:

"I don't really like having my photograph taken!"

Thank you Louise for giving me your time and allowing me to make your portrait.

My observations on Louise's portrait from a technical side.
Obviously time was against me in that Louise was on her way to meet a friend but I perhaps mitigated the time pressure by today using a umbrella type softbox. I already had this and the flash fitted on the light stand which didn't take me long to set up.
I would have liked to have placed the softbox higher to have the catchlights in Louise's eyes a bit higher. Perhaps having a little more time I could have adjusted the height but alas didn't.

Comments and critique are most welcome.


Louise - [Stranger #205]
by Iain Blake, on Flickr

As I have numerous times in the past, I found a suitable background for a stranger portrait and decided to wait until someone came along.
I didn't have to wait too long before Louise walked along. I noticed her sense of style first but also her happy persona.
Louise was in a bit of a rush to meet a friend for coffee so we only had a few minutes to make her portrait. I didn't really have a chance to find out anything about Louise beyond her telling me:

"I don't really like having my photograph taken!"


Thank you Louise for giving me your time and allowing me to make your portrait.
 
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blakester

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#7
I have been on something of a roll getting out to shoot my 100 strangers project with off camera flash (OCF).
Today I managed to get around Cambridge making a few portraits.

I noticed Lili and her striking red hair wandering along browsing in shops with her friend. A little bemused at first, Lili happily agreed to have my make her portrait.
Lili (full name Liliana) is from Romania but now living in Cambridge.
"Hopefully by February I will be working as a primary school teacher in the UK."
Thank you Lili and good luck!

As has been with my previous OCF portraits, I post them here welcoming comments and critique as I am on a learning curve with this round.

What would I have done differently?

I should have perhaps used a reflector for the camera left hand side of Lili's face.

I know I said I wouldn't kill the ambient on any future portraits but I like that it (the ambient light) is a little under than perhaps is ideal because I feel it adds a little drama to Lili's portrait.

Comments and critique are most welcome.


Lili - [Stranger #206]
by Iain Blake, on Flickr
 
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#8
Following my making Lili's portrait [stranger 207] I had a further wander around Cambridge before the light started to fade.

I saw Amber striding along the street in Cambridge looking like a woman on a mission.
I wouldn't usually ask someone if they appeared to be in a rush to get somewhere but thought i would take a chance as I thought Amber was very stylish and had a friendly face!

Happily Amber agreed and luckily we had stopped beside a perfect background.

Amber is from Bournemouth but is studying English at university in Cambridge.

"I am on my way to choir practice!"
"I study English as I enjoy it and will eventually do my Masters but I really want to be an opera singer."


Thank you Amber and good luck!

Something struck me when I looked at Amber's portrait on the back of my camera, that is how similar it was to my previous rounds of 100 strangers style.
Those were all natural light and I could probably have achieved that same look without OCF and using a reflector but thats not what this round is about.
I am happy to have achieved this look with what I feel is subtle use of the flash.

Comments and critique most welcome.


Amber - [Stranger 207]
by Iain Blake, on Flickr
 
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#9
My third round of 100 strangers continues, this time using OCF.
I noticed Enni walking within the park at Soho Square taking photographs on her smartphone and thought she didn't seem to be in a rush to get anywhere. Happily Enni agreed to my making her portrait and we found this background directly beside where I stopped to ask.

Enni is from Finland but is currently working in London which she visits regularly for her research in Social Work.

"Travelling makes me happy, I hope to never lose my curiosity for seeing the world!"

Thank you Enni.

For Enni's portrait I used a shoot through umbrella which i was able to position quite close to try and make the light as soft as possible.
Overall, I am happy with the portrait, less happy with the umbrella. I don't think it is robust enough piece of equipment for this use. The end kept coming away from the centre shaft causing the umbrella to fall off the stand!
I sacked it for the following two portraits I made this afternoon.

Comments and critique most welcome.


Enni - [Stranger #208] (Explore 21/01/17)
by Iain Blake, on Flickr
 
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#10
As has often been the case, I found this background and decided to wait for the perfect stranger to walk along. I have used this alleyway in previous rounds of 100 strangers on a couple of occasions but thought my use of off camera flash (OCF) would give a different look to any portrait I was lucky enough to make.
Elvi and her lovely colourful hair stood out amongst the crowds on what was a freezing cold day in the Capital.

Elvi is Italian, living and working in London as an artist/illustrator for video games.

"The future? I wish to be a better artist and be successful in what I do."

"My motto in life? It will all be fine in the end!"

Thank you Elvi.

For Elvi's portrait I resorted to my softbox/umbrella modifier, hexagonal in shape about 21" diameter.
Again, I am happy with the portrait although I wish I could get a little more focus on the furthest away eye but its not a biggie for me.


Elvi - [Stranger #209]
by Iain Blake, on Flickr
 
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blakester

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#11
Again, I found a background which I have used previously but decided to change it up and shoot from a different angle/perspective.
Cleo walked past me earlier whilst I waited at this particular spot on Bridle Lane but she was engrossed in her phone and looked like she was in a rush. A little later however Cleo came back in the opposite direction and happily she agreed to my making her portrait.

Cleo is from Italy but currently staying in the UK. Travel is certainly her 'thing'. Cleo told me a long list of countries she has visited, stayed and worked in but she said them so fast I never got a chance to jot them down haha!

"I am happy in my work and don't see me changing anything!"

Thanks Cleo!

I used the same set up as Elvi's portrait, that is the 21" softbox/umbrella modifier.

Again, comments and critique are most welcome.


Cleo - [Stranger #210]
by Iain Blake, on Flickr
 
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blakester

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#12
Today I decided to pay Cambridge a visit to continue with my third round of 100 strangers. The weather wasn't brilliant (that's a bit of an understatement) and I didn't expect much success as I thought the last thing people would want to do is hang around whilst I set up lighting gear to make their portrait but I was wrong (I often am). Results from today are posted below!
I noticed Rox striding purposely along from Cambridge city centre. On catching up with her, Rox happily agreed to be part of my project after having first checked my Facebook photography page to ensure all was correct. I spotted a suitable background just across the road from where we chatted.

Rox is a physics student in Cambridge but her main thing in life is as a Labour Party activist.

"I'm a Labour activist and am passionate about politics, especially campaigning for change. I think its important to try and make the world a better place!"

Thank you Rox!

I have a portrait of Rox smiling but decided on this shot as it struck me that it possibly shows her true character as a confident and strong young woman.


Rox - [Stranger 211] (Explore 29/01/17)
by Iain Blake, on Flickr
 
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blakester

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#13
It was Wen-Xi's colourful hair that first caught my eye as she was strolling around Cambridge.

Wen-Xi was in the UK visiting her parents but lives in Shanghai.

"I lived in the UK before but now have my own design company in Shanghai which I have just started. My ambition is to be successful in business and with that be able to travel freely without any financial burden."

"My daughter who was born last year makes me so happy, its just wonderful seeing her grow and develop."

Thank you Wen-Xi and good luck for you and your family's future!


Wen-Xi - [Stranger 212]
by Iain Blake, on Flickr
 
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blakester

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#14
As is often the case, I was having a wander looking around for suitable backgrounds to make a stranger portrait. I thought this archway in Cambridge the perfect location where I would be able to set up my off camera flash (OCF) and wait for someone to come along.
I didn't have to wait long when I noticed Tonicha and her wonderful colourful hat who I thought would suit the background colour tones perfectly.

Tonicha is originally from Leeds but is studying at university in Cambridge. Tonicha is in her third year but is intending to complete her Masters after this year.

"Tea, hats and a good book make me happy!"

Thank you Tonicha, and good luck!

Technical notes: Yongnuo OCF set on 1/64 power fired through a 20" square softbox just off axis.

As always, comments and critique most welcome.


Tonicha - [Stranger #213]
by Iain Blake, on Flickr
 
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#15
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!


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.
 
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#16
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.


Alexandra - [Stranger #215]
by Iain Blake, on Flickr
 
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#17
OK, so I am not an expert - just giving you my feelings on this set. Will quote post numbers as it's easier to reference.

First, it's really nice to be able to look at all the photos together without having to dodge huge blocks of comments. I'm also not advanced enough to comment on the technical quality of it all, so OCF aside, I'm looking at them as street portraits because to me - that's what they look like. Side note while I think of it - your ability to deal with specs is brill.

#2 is the weakest for me black hair on black background with no separation doesn't do it justice. You seem to have fixed this with subsequent shots (not sure if intentional). I think #6 is the best simply because it's got a bit of body language in there which conveys a bit more about the subject to me as a viewer. How much of the "shoulders and a bit more" you include makes a difference to me for some reason.

After another review, I also think I prefer the lighter portraits, but then the darker ones generally have models with dark clothing. The exception to this that I really like is #14 which has superb separation due to your background choice. #'s 2, 3, 4, 7, 13 & 16 all have this darkness (they're not 'bad' per se, just weaker than the others). Good decision on #12 it's the expression that dominates the photo for me - background be damned!

Finally, there's a lot of ladies in there... Conscious choice? Us blokes take a good photo too occasionally :) (Actually this made me laugh thinking about you doing a "RL strangers, Internet friends" TP series of portraits where you go round shooting TP members and getting their pearls of wisdom.....)

I love your work Iain. Nice to see it in a consolidated thread. Keep on doing it. Hopefully some more experienced portraiters will chime in with something useful.
 
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#18
@Harlequin565
Thanks Ian for you comments, observations and actually going through the portraits, there are a lot of them which I have 'dumped' into starting this thread.
I welcome everyone's point of view on them. It gives a wider range of comments for me to digest.

I will try and answer your points in turn.

Post #2 was Melissa, my first portrait in these series. I had an idea in mind for how I wanted the portraits to look, that was kill the ambient and make it all about the subject but even after this first portrait I realised that wasn't the way to go. I felt each portrait needed context, to let the light in and give context and environment. I appreciate some are still dark and not to everyone's taste.

There are a lot of women in there and it's something a want to address. To bring some balance back before the project goes much further. I suppose at the back of my mind, I sway towards women subjects as I feel the OCF portraits suits the gender 'better'. I need to adapt a strategy for lighting men in the portraits, perhaps harder lighting would be the answer? This is what it's all about for me is to learn new techniques.

A series of TP portraits is an excellent idea, is that you volunteering to be my first subject?

Thanks again for looking and commenting, I enjoyed hearing your thoughts/views.
 

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#21
Another fine set of additions to your project Iain, no crit from me but you got me again with Tonicha, I absolutely love that image and the "vignette" created by your choice of background really adds to it IMHO.
 
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#22
Another fine set of additions to your project Iain, no crit from me but you got me again with Tonicha, I absolutely love that image and the "vignette" created by your choice of background really adds to it IMHO.
Thanks Chris, your kind comments about Tonicha's portrait are much appreciated.
The walkway was a lucky find when I was wandering around Cambridge and Tonicha plus hat matched the background perfectly I feel.
 
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#25
A visit to Cambridge for a walkabout for my strangers project was the order of the day today. The weather was fantastic. Whilst wandering, I found this backdrop, it is a foot/cycle bridge across the railway lines near the station. Too good an opportunity to pass, I waited for a good few hours for the perfect stranger to pass. I noticed Meg and her fantastic colourful hair and thought she would make the ideal stranger to suit my chosen background.

Meg lives and works in Cambridge. She happily agreed to my making her portrait but said she only had 5 minutes as she was on her way to work.

Meg works as a workshop facilitator at "Mixed Bag Theatre" in Cambridge. Taken from their Facebook page:

We are an all-ability, inclusive theatre group open to adults with learning difficulties, physical disabilities and sensory impairments.

We use our patchwork bag of random objects as a devising tool, to begin co-writing a new story between us. That story will take us on an imaginative journey that involves:

⦁personal & social skills development
⦁inner talent & confidence growth
⦁play & song writing
⦁drama, dance & singing skills
⦁costume & prop making
⦁backdrop designing & painting
⦁stage directing & film-work
⦁*organising showcase performances for family & friends

Our group looks to give a voice to and find a role for anyone with an interest in the arts. We now have an uber team of 6 workshop faciliators; Meg, Linda, Karen, Bee, Paul & Kay.
Each have years of experience working with people with disabilities, learning difficulties, mental health issues, those from various cultural backgrounds and of all ages. The one trait that unites us is our love for inspiring!!


"People make me happy, I love being able to connect with others"

Thanks Meg, I hope you weren't late for work!



Meg - [Stranger 216]
by Iain Blake, on Flickr
 
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#26
Not sure which thread to reply to so replying here because of the continuity.

As a standalone, it's fine. However when viewed alongside the other images, it looks a bit "washed out" for want of a better word because there aren't any shadows. In fact, there is precious little black (or dark shadows) in the scene (intentional?) which is why I think I'm not sold on it.

After writing that, I went and read what I wrote before about how I preferred lighter portraits and realised that this is probably "too" light for me - or I'm just a nob. I mean this is your usual excellent standard - super sharp, fantastic background choice, great range of tones (love those deep blacks in the glasses), but it doesn't wow me like (for example) Alexandra and I'm not sure if it's because of the proportion of tone (it's a lot brighter overall). Too much "right hand side".
Hope that makes sense. If it doesn't - ignore me.

Also - I have no idea why, but this feels less engaging than your other portraits. I cannot think why that is, and can't offer any explanation.
Now I feel bad...
 
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#27
Not sure which thread to reply to so replying here because of the continuity.

As a standalone, it's fine. However when viewed alongside the other images, it looks a bit "washed out" for want of a better word because there aren't any shadows. In fact, there is precious little black (or dark shadows) in the scene (intentional?) which is why I think I'm not sold on it.

After writing that, I went and read what I wrote before about how I preferred lighter portraits and realised that this is probably "too" light for me - or I'm just a nob. I mean this is your usual excellent standard - super sharp, fantastic background choice, great range of tones (love those deep blacks in the glasses), but it doesn't wow me like (for example) Alexandra and I'm not sure if it's because of the proportion of tone (it's a lot brighter overall). Too much "right hand side".
Hope that makes sense. If it doesn't - ignore me.

Also - I have no idea why, but this feels less engaging than your other portraits. I cannot think why that is, and can't offer any explanation.
Now I feel bad...
Thanks Ian.
I have posted this both in here as a collection and in its own thread too as I'm not sure this part of the site is well visited.
It was a conscious decision to have this portrait (even before Meg came along) towards the "right hand side". This was simply my wanting to present a different look, a step away from darker background portraits. The reason? I wanted to avoid the portraits being 'same'.
It all makes perfect sense what you're saying and I welcome your thoughts and observations.

I'm not struggling with the project as such but want to change things up and hope to try different things/looks so it may appear to be a little disjointed in style.

I had your words ringing in my ears today about shooting more male subjects but there wasn't anyone today that I thought to ask haha!

I have a few more images of Meg in different poses which I shall take a look at to see if they bring more engagement, its just that I liked this straight down the camera gaze/pose and her slight smile.

Don't feel bad, I welcome this interaction and enjoy hearing yours and others opinions, genuinely I do.
 
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#28
The reason? I wanted to avoid the portraits being 'same'
This is interesting. Whenever I see a portrait pop up on the home page banner - if I say to myself "that's one of Iain's" I'll be right 9/10 times.

What you call "the same" others might call "a style". I'd call it a style. Whether that's a good thing or not, or whether it's something you want to have (or not) is worth thinking about and ultimately up to you. IMO your portraits are all very different, but have your style about them. That's why I like them - the mix of style & subject. I think it's a good thing.
 
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blakester

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#29
This is interesting. Whenever I see a portrait pop up on the home page banner - if I say to myself "that's one of Iain's" I'll be right 9/10 times.

What you call "the same" others might call "a style". I'd call it a style. Whether that's a good thing or not, or whether it's something you want to have (or not) is worth thinking about and ultimately up to you. IMO your portraits are all very different, but have your style about them. That's why I like them - the mix of style & subject. I think it's a good thing.
I'd like to think of it as "a style" too Ian but it was more that the portraits were all a bit repetitive I thought.
I'm not sure if the dark background killing or knocking down the ambient has enough 'legs' to go through a 100 strangers project, time will tell.

As I said, todays lighter style portrait was deliberate, but I think I would have been up against it anyway with it being so bright today. Hence I was up at f5.6 to keep my shutter speed under the max sync speed for my flash/camera.
 
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#31
Loving these as always Iain, I actually like seeing them in different settings with lighter and darker and grittier locations, for me it is your normal high standard and pleasing to not see them all the same (y)
Thanks Dean,
I think the location dictated how light/dark this portrait was going to be. I can darken it in pp but that's perhaps going against what I am seeking to achieve in using OCF.
I don't have a set idea in mind for future portraits, I just have to wait and see what my artistic intentions will be when the time comes.

Thanks again for looking in and commenting. (y):cow:
 
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#32
Really like the portrait of Meg. To be honest, it's the first one I looked at in the series as I haven't really studied the thread in detail so far (Sorry!). What I like about it, is that the tones in Meg's hair, skin and clothes really reflect those of the background. For me, she is really engaging with the camera and I like the light and airy feel to the shot.
I've since looked at the others in the thread and my favourites of those are the ones of Rox, Tonicha and Alexandra. Though the backgrounds are dark, the lighting makes the subjects stand out from the background.

I guess I'm saying that I like the variety of the lighting and it's the posing and framing that makes them hang together as a series.

Looking forward to seeing more.
 
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#33
Really like the portrait of Meg. To be honest, it's the first one I looked at in the series as I haven't really studied the thread in detail so far (Sorry!). What I like about it, is that the tones in Meg's hair, skin and clothes really reflect those of the background. For me, she is really engaging with the camera and I like the light and airy feel to the shot.
I've since looked at the others in the thread and my favourites of those are the ones of Rox, Tonicha and Alexandra. Though the backgrounds are dark, the lighting makes the subjects stand out from the background.

I guess I'm saying that I like the variety of the lighting and it's the posing and framing that makes them hang together as a series.

Looking forward to seeing more.
Thanks Pete (y)
No sorry's necessary, I was reluctant at first to post this round of strangers as a thread in the projects section because they get to a point where the thread gets too big.
People then can't be bothered (understandably) trawling through pages and pages.
Time will tell with this one no doubt...
 
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#34
I have a rare couple of days off this week and paid a visit to Camden for a photography exhibition today. I couldn't pass up the opportunity to shoot my project today too. Camden has such a diverse population, so many interesting people.

I made one portrait today, Amy which is posted below.
 
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#35
I noticed Amy and her colourful style when she was admiring the graffiti in the alley where I made her portrait.

Amy is from Hull but currently working in London helping to set up a store for a chain she works in.

When I asked Amy to be part of my 100 strangers project she happily agreed but said she is usually behind the camera not in front.

Amy has recently successfully completed a photography course at college.

"I would love to work as a professional photographer but it is difficult to get a break."

I asked Amy which field of photography she wishes to work in.

"I would like to do people photography, particularly portraits within the transgender community, I have a few friends in that community."

"I will probably have to travel for photography, there's not a lot happening in Hull..." Amy said with a smile.

Thank you Amy and good luck with your future in the photography industry.



Amy - [Stranger 217]
by Iain Blake, on Flickr
 
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#38
Today saw me visit one of my favourite photography spots in London, Brick Lane plus a walkabout Spitalfields for my strangers project. Results posted below.
Comments and critique welcome as always.
 
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#39
Having had a wander around Brick Lane, I found this background which I thought would work for a stranger portrait.

I noticed Jagger walking along with a group of friends and I liked his style. He was very amenable to using my chosen background which was just along from where I first noticed Jagger.

I asked if Jagger was his nickname to which he replied,
"No, my Dad was a massive Stones fan so I was named after Mick Jagger!"

Jagger is a plumber from Lincoln but was down visiting London today.

"I haven't really got any advice for my younger self, everyone makes mistakes when growing up. We do daft things but I don't have any regrets, its made me who I am!"

Thanks Jagger, cool name and style to match.


Jagger - [Stranger 218]
by Iain Blake, on Flickr
 
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I noticed Cassie and her fantastic colourful hair whilst she was browsing around the stalls in Spitalfields Market with her friends.

Cassie is from Sydney, Australia and had only just arrived in the UK two days ago.

"I am here to start on a 2 year working visa, we will be travelling around the UK but during that time I hope to work in teaching whilst I am here. I usually work pre school but hope to work in Primary School as a teaching assistant."

Good luck Cassie, I hope you enjoy the UK and find that teaching job!



Cassie - [Stranger 219]
by Iain Blake, on Flickr
 
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