Kelley, and Finding Good Light for Street Portraits – Part 2 (#328) 06-18-13

Last week I was in a strange location (for me), downtown Naples FL. Fifth street is the main drag. It runs more or less east to west, and this was about 11AM. The sun was nearly overhead, and buildings cast minimal shadows on either side of the street.

So, I looked for some kind of awning. And here it was, with three stores sharing this covered walkway.

This looked Good! Notice the light on the floor tiles. Between columns, the tiles are brightest on our left, with light fall off to the right. And with light hitting the tiles on an angle, I could be sure that it would be reflected up to the ceiling, to the glass on the right, and basically everywhere. With this situation, there is almost always diffused light coming from all directions. The only minor problem here are the stark white window and door frames. Well, nothing is perfect.

So I used the philosophy, "build the stage and the players will come". I planned to photograph in the same direction as this image. And I waited for a vict.., er.., stranger to come along. A young lady approached, but I was concerned that she might be TOO young. The 100 Strangers flickr group has a rule: no photographing children without an adult in the frame – I think it's a good rule. The definition of a child is nebulous, but I think of high school seniors as adults, and try to avoid younger folks. So, I let this young lady pass.

But a minute later, Kelley came along. I didn't ask how to spell her name, I assume that it has two "e"s. She was visiting from Michigan and was a bit hesitant at first, but then she relented and "got into it". And the young lady returned, she was Kelley's daughter, Octavia (named after the sister of Augustus, the Roman emperor). She had absolutely no reservations about being photographed. Octavia is a high school student, although I don't know what year.

Now looking at these portraits, you can see the flow of light from our left to right. The light is diffused in that there no harsh shadows. I am disappointed in the white bar next to Octavia. Darkening in post processing helps, but I still don't like it.

Photographing outdoors, under cover, usually gives pleasing results with respect to light. All the more so if there is one wall to reflect light. If the quantity is low, I would turn the subject towards the most light to get catchlights. This situation is not unlike photographing someone inside of an open garage door.

Thank you Kelley and Octavia, for coming along at the right time. You have my MOO card, so please e-mail me after the images appear on flickr.