Any regular subscribers to my blog will remember my photo session with the wonderful Karen Liversedge. Karen is a glass artist based in Oban on the west coast of Scotland and her work is simply beautiful. Check out her site and links here. http://www.karenliversedge.com I have one of Karen’s pieces myself and everyone who has seen it adores it. I’ll post some photos of it shortly.
Anyway, last time I met Karen, we had plans to get some outdoor pictures as well, but we simply ran out of time. I met Karen last week and we tackled the outdoor shots at last. So for your delight and edification…
Karen overlooking Oban harbour with Kerrera in the backround. The backlight was a problem but we used a reflector to fill in Karen’s face a little. I love the views of Oban, and combined with Karen herself it’s all too much!
However, having nearly blinded Karen with my reflector, we tried turning round and using McCaig’s Tower as our background. The sun then popped out from behind a cloud and nearly blinded her again anyway. It turns out she’s very forgiving. This picture really appeals to me as an artist’s portrait since Karen’s expression is so strong and a little enigmatic.
I never actually set out to be wicked, but sometimes little candid moments just present themselves and something just seems to press the shutter. I really love this moment taken while Karen was speaking to me. Sometimes the unposed pictures reveal something special. How wonderful is the compositional interplay between the curve of the path and the stray lock of Karen’s hair.
However, when I did ask Karen to pose again to fit in with the curve of the folly, (oops sorry Oban pedants, I mean tower), the result is perfect.
I switched briefly to my 50mm f1.4 for a close up. Simple and lovely with the magical background that this lens always delivers.
To be utterly frivolous for a moment, Karen is such a likeable and quirky person, with lots of playful expressions that I wanted to put together a montage of all 6 or 7 silly/cute expressions. Mercifully my dislike of wrestling with Photoshop meant I had lost the will to live at two expressions. The saving grace may be that Karen will be more forgiving about two than six?
Normal service resumed: Karen being poised and elegant, as she does..
This is a particular favourite of mine, the streaky background is some kind of leeching from the mortar in the tower. Karen and I thought it looked like shhhhhh-you-know-what from gulls. As so often happens though, getting the framing right reveals it as a fantastic and complementary background. I pushed the contrast and saturation in the wall and then did the same to a lesser extent with Karen. The result isn’t soft, but I think it’s edgier and really suits Karen’s stylish persona.
And finally, back in a friend’s garden, waiting for a delicious pizza, Karen and I braved the midges to get in touch with nature. I tried using fill flash to reduce the patchy light, but it didn’t seem as natural as letting the dappled sunbeam do its through-the-leaves-thing. The midges subsequently flew off with my flashgun anyway. (Any non Brits reading this, imagine a mozzie shrunk about 10 times, with 1000 times the reproductive power and in a really vampirish mood and you’ve pretty much got an idea what a cloud of these biting swines is like).
It was just as much fun second time around Karen, what will we do the 3d time? I feel some more glassy stuff coming on:-)