Monday, September 23, 2013

Fells Point, Baltimore....A different point of view: People!

Captured Nikon D4 Lens 28-300 at 300mm f8-1/200 sec ISO 400 handheld.  Processed in Photoshop.
Saturday I led a morning workshop in Fells Point, in downtown Baltimore. Usually we can count on some interesting sky and harbor activity, but this time the wind was up the water was choppy and the harbor side reflections were not very good. There were no interesting clouds in the sky or boats in the water; there was however a street farmers market with lots of interesting people!
Much like travel photography when you are working in an urban area you have to make the most of what is present. One participant had an objective to work on his people skills so this was a perfect opportunity to shift gears a little and focus on what was most interesting to photograph on this morning. When capturing people portraits, using a telephoto lens allows the background to soften. Stepping back from your subject and selecting a telephoto at 200 or  more works perfectly. The soft overcast light we had off and on, is beautiful for natural portraits minimizing harsh shadows.
This beautiful young girl with paint on her face, was enterprising and talented! She had created a farmers market coloring story book with her own drawings and story lines. She was selling them for $3.00 each. When she told a dad at the market, with four children in tow, the price, he balked a bit, but when she said she had a 2 for $5.00 special he went for it! Now that's talent.
Captured Nikon D4 Lens 28-300 at 200mm f5.6-1/640 sec ISO 400 handheld.  Processed in Photoshop.
This woman was face painting and under a white translucent tent with back lighting. The tent softened the overhead daylight while the back light created a nice profile effect. While I loved the purple color, I also enjoyed this image in Black and White. Looking at this image with a critical eye, I might further process it in Photoshop, removing the curl of hair behind her gain a clean profile.
Captured Nikon D4 Lens 28-300 at 200mm f5.6-1/640 sec ISO 400 handheld.  Processed in Photoshop with Nik Silver Efex Pro2 plugin.

Captured Nikon D4 Lens 28-300 at 200mm f5.6-1/640 sec ISO 400 handheld.  Processed in Photoshop and Nik Silver Efex Pro 2 (Pinhole Filter)

This gentleman was sitting in a chair just enjoying a cool morning with a cigar. while his daughter tended to her vendor tent.  He had a classic look so I chatted with him and he was very willing to pose for the group. There is a little trick to having people allow you to work with them and mostly it involves COMPLIMENTS!!! Tell them something great about them! Break the ice...let them know you are practicing and they would make a great subject then show them the LCD, and always ask for a contact info so you can send them a complimentary file. Getting a contact number or e-mail also means if you want to try and get a photo release you can, and its not on the spot. It gives them time to think about it and you have already given them a great shot of themselves!
Captured Nikon D4 Lens 28-300 at 200mm f8-1/200 sec ISO 400 handheld.  Processed in Photoshop
Then there are the stealth shots, the ones that would only be good totally on the fly, with your subjects unaware they are being photographed.  I spotted this old woman with her coat, cane, cart and hat...walking through the market place. She was the kind of character I like to follow until the scene is what I want. Backgrounds in market spaces are hard to control and in order to make a good shot, backgrounds must be considered. In this shot I love how she was interacting with the produce and even though her great face is not visible, you get the idea and sense her being!
Captured Nikon D4 Lens 28-300 at 28mm f8-1/8000sec ISO 400 handheld.  Processed in Photoshop and
Nik Silver Efex Pro 2 
On the fly...this part of the harbor side always has runners going by and in the bright morning light makes for interesting back lit subjects. This is a great spot for helping students understand how to expose for this type of lighting situation. We set our exposure and focus point and wait for a runner to hit the right spot and fire away. 
Getting out and shooting with students is always great fun for me, helping them find subjects, work with the best light and make compositions that really create super shots!
My next field workshop will be in Annapolis...on Sunday September 29 from 7-11 sponsored by Capital Photography Center. Click here for more information and registration...only five spots left open!


  1. Great session and thoughtful results. Looking frward to Sunday morning in Annapolis!

  2. the lady and the produce...