Traditional Photo Portrait SOOBIN KIM

Out of all the countless amount of pictures I took of Seohee and Amanda, the three selections have been made among the more 'decent' photos and they also demonstrate what I learned from Steve Carty's workshop. Steve put his utmost attention to lighting; he talked about the 4 different settings (including booming light) and the appropriate measures we have to take when using each one.

Amanda's portraits reflect what I learned about side lighting. Before shooting, I remembered Steve taping his 'safety zone', about a meter and a half away from the subject, and he told us that the lights were supposed to stay within the marked area. So I placed the lighting equipment by my right and adjusted it until I could see the 'triangle' around the left side of Amanda's face (more prominent on the third picture), which is an effect that Steve demonstrated. Amanda specifically requested me to take a picture with her eyes closed for the last picture, which is why I moved the light a bit further away from her so the light could hit her face softly. I believe this is why the picture looks more ethereal than the other two and the highlights on Amanda's face accentuates this effect.

When Steve started talking about booming light, it got me to stand up and get a camera to take a snapshot of the most impressive lighting. It instantly reminded me of what I used to see in editorial photography for beauty. I tried to apply what I learned while using Seohee as a model; Amanda was holding the lighting equipment by the stand to place it right above Seohee's head while I was taking a picture. To be completely honest, I do not like the result at all. I suppose some people like Steve are capable of magic. But I think it helped bringing out the contrast in Seohee's cheekbones against her jawline. It also lightened up her slightly emotionless (this was requested) expression.

The workshop brought insight into a lot of technical things but I learned one really valuable lesson from the little time we got to spend with Steve. He underscored the difference between an unconscious act and the mindset to make a career out of something. In other words, the difference between interest and passion. Steve didn't have to go deeply into this matter, nor did he have to say these words himself. His presence and aura was enough to inspire me as an artist.

I am utterly glad that I could be a part of this because I got to realize the joy in creating something out of my own hands. Not just using what others have shared, but being able to confidently say that my work is my work. Using someone else's pictures to produce something of my own didn't feel right because at the end of the day, I wouldn't have been able to get to that point without a secondary source. This workshop also acted as a momentum in developing an interest in photography--taking head shots of people feels great for some reason. On top of taking more pictures, I want to learn some Photoshop effects that can help me edit my own pictures such as changing the tone, adding some gravity to the overall ambiance, covering small blemishes, or anything that can make me feel like an editor for a magazine.

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