Tag Archive for portrait

Photo Friday: Headshot

Portrait headshot, anyway.

The high school I work in wanted a picture of me in my karate uniform. They’re doing a “Did you know?” section and they’re putting me in there with a “Did you know Mr Oliveri studies karate?” They may also mention my dojo, the Academy of Okinawan Karate. I brought the camera along and took a few quick shots.

Karateka

"I'm your huckleberry."

I took it from farther away with a remote, but wasn’t happy with the result so I cropped way in and made it a headshot. I should have gone with my first instinct and used my 50mm prime lens, but I brought the 18-55mm kit zoom and played with and without the flash unit.

About Mike Oliveri

Mike Oliveri is a writer, martial artist, cigar aficionado, motorcyclist, and family man, but not necessarily in that order. He is currently hard at work on the werewolf noir series The Pack for Evileye Books.

Photo Friday: Black & White

I needed to shoot an author photo for an upcoming magazine appearance, and while I had the camera in hand I shot a few extra pics. I decided to throw three photos at you this week to make up for slacking last week.

First, as I walked out of my office, I spotted the Wife in the bedroom resting her eyes. I was only teasing her with the camera, but I decided I liked this shot and I kept it.

Naptime

She's smiling because she's picturing where she's going to stick the camera

I had my 50mm prime lens for this one, and I was backed against the wall, so I expected to be too close. Instead, it’s just about right for a tight portrait. She was also in darkness; my external SpeedLite lit the scene nicely.

Then I got to business shooting the author photo. I didn’t like the way the 50mm was working out, mostly because I was too close and I still haven’t picked up a remote. I put the 18-55mm kit lens on and fired away, and decided on this one after some cropping.

Bio Photo

Damn, this means I have to write a bio, too

It’s for a noir magazine, so I didn’t see much point in smiling. I thought about darkening it a little, but they print in black & white and I didn’t want it to reproduce too dark on the page.

Finally, our cat Ghost was stalking my feet, so I dropped the camera down to his level and snapped this off:

Ghost Ambushed

Ambush!

I think the camera decided to focus on his right side rather than his face, so I did some fiddling with the clarity slider in Lightroom. I still used the SpeedLite flash for this, but I used a direct flash; in the other two photos I bounced the flash off the ceiling.

I set out to do black & white for the author photo, but ultimately decided to go black & white for all of them. The colors in our house aren’t bad in daylight, but flash plays funny games with them, so the cat pic went B&W to cover most of that up. The Wife’s pic had a pleasant feel in color, but I also liked the softness of the B&W and decided that was the theme for the week. Maybe I’ll post the color, too, for comparison. If she doesn’t kill me first, that is.

I hope B&W isn’t becoming a crutch for me, but for a lot of the interior shots I’ve been doing it just works. I’m going to need to spend some time the rest of this year getting outside and shooting to get some color into the collection.

Update: Okay, I posted the color version of the Wife’s photo. It’s unedited except for a small blemish correction.

About Mike Oliveri

Mike Oliveri is a writer, martial artist, cigar aficionado, motorcyclist, and family man, but not necessarily in that order. He is currently hard at work on the werewolf noir series The Pack for Evileye Books.

Photo Friday: Again with the Camera?

Today’s Photo Friday was more about experimenting with the camera than anything. I jacked the ISO way up to 1600 for the low light in our living room, then opened up the aperture and got in close to blow out the background. I pestered the Wife to be the subject.

Quick Portrait

"Are you done?"

I did an 8×10 crop to kill a background annoyance and vignetted a bit. Shot in RAW, converted to B&W in post. Canon 50mm 1.8 lens (the plastic one).

Lesson learned: ISO 1600 on this camera (Digital Rebel XSi) introduces a lot of noise. I put the focus point right on her left eye, and I’m not sure whether the high ISO killed the sharp definition or if it’s just not that great a lens (it’s the sub-$100, plastic nifty fifty). I’ll keep experimenting.

About Mike Oliveri

Mike Oliveri is a writer, martial artist, cigar aficionado, motorcyclist, and family man, but not necessarily in that order. He is currently hard at work on the werewolf noir series The Pack for Evileye Books.

Photo Friday: Crazy Eye

For 2011’s first Photo Friday, I played with the macro setting on the camera and started with a simple, black-and-white portait. And hey, I even shot in RAW and tweaked it in Lightroom! Guess that means I’m off to a roaring start.

Crazy Eye

Whatcha got in there?

I expected the Lightroom tools like crop, heal and clone to be a lot more like PhotoShop’s than they are, but they weren’t tough to figure out. The real learning curve will be with all of the color, exposure and white balance correction that comes with RAW development. I’m sure it will come with a little practice and experimentation, maybe a little reading.

Then there’s all the white down there in the goatee. I asked a couple friends if I should just trim that part off, maybe shoot for a kind of Van Dyke look. They said absolutely not, the gray is dignified. No hesitation.

Did I mention they were lady friends?

Yeah. I guess I’ll keep it for a while, then.

Update: Why ladies like the gray, in sonnet form.

About Mike Oliveri

Mike Oliveri is a writer, martial artist, cigar aficionado, motorcyclist, and family man, but not necessarily in that order. He is currently hard at work on the werewolf noir series The Pack for Evileye Books.

Photo Friday: Portraits of a Mom

I started with one Photo Friday idea, but it just didn’t pan out. The Wife was waiting for me to decide what I was going to do about it, when I noticed the way she was sitting and her expression. So I started snapping away and instead got a few portraits of her. I couldn’t really decide which one I liked best, so I said to hell with it and posted all three.

Reflective Mom

Reflective Mom

In this first one, I thought she looked like she was reflecting on the day, maybe remembering something that happened with the kids or my nonsense from this morning.

Tired Mom

Tired Mom

Then I asked her to just kill the smile for a second, and she looked tired, like she had just put the kids to bed and sat down for her first moment of peace, thinking “I really don’t want to put away the groceries now.” (Fortunately I’d already taken care of them. I rock like that.)

Thoughtful Mom

Thoughtful Mom

Finally, in this one she just looked lost in thought. I think if I absolutely had to pick a favorite, it would be this one, mostly because I feel like the light was a little more subtle.

I think the only thing I might have change next time is take a little more time to set up, maybe set up the tripod and make sure I can crank the ISO down as low as possible to eliminate more of the noise. I also need to take the time to start polishing my post-processing skills so I can work a little more on noise and sharpness then.

About Mike Oliveri

Mike Oliveri is a writer, martial artist, cigar aficionado, motorcyclist, and family man, but not necessarily in that order. He is currently hard at work on the werewolf noir series The Pack for Evileye Books.