Your Model Gets Closer

As you position your model nearer to you and your camera, things begin to change. At distances of 3 m or less it's important for you to appreciate that the light from your flashgun may fall on your model's face. It may be diffused and underexposed but nevertheless it changes the entire dynamics of your story.

Why? Well, their eyes will instantly become the centre of attention as eyes always are! The viewer, intuitively, will seek out the eyes and for the idea to work the eyes must complement your foreground subject. If the eyes are closed, looking away, screwed up, looking bored, looking at you for instructions — even if the mask is a little fogged-up — this is what the viewer will see first.

FIG. 9.17 There are many pictures in this book of divers in the background so let's fast forward to when your model gets closer. If you include a diver in your picture from this distance you have to get the face and eyes correct or the viewer will turn off. If it's an interesting subject then shoot it with and without the diver to see which works best for you. This figure shows a simple idea of exploration. The eyes are directed towards the underside of the small yacht wreck at Fury shoals in the Red Sea. Nikon D200, 10.5 mm fisheye lens, f5.6 at 250th sec, ISO 100, two flashguns each side of my dome port, Auto white balance.

FIG. 9.18 Just a slight incline of the head changes the mood entirely and the viewer is compelled to follow the line of sight of the diver whilst she studies the underside of the wreck. These two shots were 'planned' ahead of time to illustrate how the eyes and direction of view impact on the viewer.

FIG. 9.19 Sylvia won't thank me for this but it just goes to show that the eyes are crucial in portraying a mood. Friendly, happy and smiling are good. Bored, and frustrated rarely work unless there is a story or theme to the boredom.

FIG. 9.19 Sylvia won't thank me for this but it just goes to show that the eyes are crucial in portraying a mood. Friendly, happy and smiling are good. Bored, and frustrated rarely work unless there is a story or theme to the boredom.

Digital Photography Mastery

Digital Photography Mastery

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