portrait

MAGFest snaps

MAGFest - Music and Gaming Festival, formerly known as the Mid-Atlantic Gaming Festival - runs through this weekend. Twenty years ago I might have hung out and played a lot of video games. Now I'm just here for the photo ops. Here are some characters I snapped last night.

Relax!

The greatest challenge in portraiture is getting the subject to relax. Some kids don't seem to have this problem. We can all take lessons from this little guy.

Scouting locations

For these photos of Richard and his beloved Bianchi bicycle, I considered several locations: a forested path, a parking garage, and a brick-lined alley.  Luckily, we're both near the Dark Star Park - Arlington's first major commissioned art project - in Rosslyn. The strange, planet-like sculptures were perfect for this photoshoot.

Next was the question of when. There is a very tall building to the west of the park, so the only chance of direct sunlight was in the morning. A week before our shoot, I scouted the park from just before sunrise to an hour after. The quality of the light, especially around the spheres, changed rapidly. I would only have 10-15 minutes of suitable light. I also knew that I needed to pack reflectors, flashes, and umbrellas to fill-in the deep shadows.

The actual shoot went very quickly, and I have to admit to being stressed by the shifting light. However, it would have been much worse had I not been able to pre-visualize the lighting, determine the sequence of shots I needed to take, and prepare accordingly.