A rare portrait

TJ in Profile

I don’t normally take pictures of people. Well, thats not entirely true. I just don’t take pictures of people by preference. In some situations I’ll take pictures because it’s expected of someone with a camera, but I’ve found I’m not all that comfortable taking pictures of people. Not really sure I can explain why.

That said, I do try to take pictures at times. Family events, and the like. This is a picture of the woman who put our wedding band on my finger a week and a half ago, and then passed away just under a week later. Her name is TJ Starbuck. and I love her dearly.

Ok. What’s right about this picture. The lighting is natural in as far as Im not using a flash or strobe. Most of the light involved is comming in a window in front of her. There is some being reflected off of the stuff behind her, but not much.

She is smiling and not posing for a picture. Most people who ar aware of pictures being taken of them are all trying to look perfect’ or the like. It often looks staged. Since she was talking with someone, laughing at a joke or enjoying the conversation, the smile is much more natural and looks right. I’m not ‘happy that I caught her with her eyes closed, but that’s part of her smile this time, so it works as well.

This image is cropped from a larger image.

Because this is a Candid, I didn’t do anything to ‘improve’ the lighting. This image could have been improved with a reflector to the right of the camera, filling in some of the shadow on the right side of her face.

Because this was in a candid mode, I did not use a tripod. As you look through the exif dump that I’m including, you’ll probably see that I should have used a tripod based on the focal length and exposure time. I can excuse myself somewhat because of the fact that I’m using image stabilization in the camera, but the image very probably would have been better from a tripod, as well as being closer to the subject.


exiftool excerpt:

ExifTool Version Number : 8.60
File Type : JPEG
MIME Type : image/jpeg
Exif Byte Order : Big-endian (Motorola, MM)
Camera Model Name : PENTAX K-7
Orientation : Horizontal (normal)
Exposure Time : 1/40
F Number : 6.3
Date/Time Original : 2010:12:24 15:24:30
Flash : Off, Did not fire
Focal Length : 200.0 mm
Quality : Best
ISO : 800
Exposure Compensation : 0
Metering Mode : Multi-segment
Auto Bracketing : 0 EV, No Extended Bracket
White Balance : Auto
Lens Type : Tamron XR DiII 18-200mm F3.5-6.3 (A14)
Image Tone : Bright
SR Result : Stabilized
Shake Reduction : On (7)
SR Focal Length : 204 mm
Picture Mode 2 : Green Mode
EV Steps : 1/3 EV Steps
White Balance Set : Auto
Multiple Exposure Set : Off
AE Exposure Time : 1/39
AE Aperture : 6.2
AE ISO : 800
AE Xv : 0