Following on from this post, which covers my first attempt at this brief, I reshot the three images with controlled supplementary lighting (off camera flash).
I’ve included here the three final images I submitted for the brief. I like the varied compositions, and I think I’ve done a good job of getting the subject’s character through. He’s retired, and spends a lot of time at home with his wife and their dog, and lately has been spending a lot of time going over old military memories, as he is writing his memoirs. I think I’ve chosen the settings well, and styled him appropriately. The choice to shoot in the red and green dining room was influenced partly by the shots of the Baron Rothschild I saw in Country Life magazine, so these shots look like they would suit being in such a publication. I was really happy with how the shot of the brigadier looking at old photographs turned out, as the portrait on the wall is watching him while he looks at himself, I think it adds a nice story element. The scene is well lit and in post-production I selectively edited to make his yellow sweater stand out from the background.
I really like the light in this shot, and the composition. I was quite pleased that this was another image that I planned carefully, and it turned out almost exactly how I wanted it to. I like the frames within frames in the shot: the windows; fireplace; mirror; and the way the lines all lead to the subject. I also really like that the green and red from the other two portraits run through this one too: in his trousers, and in the sofa, cushions, and armchair. The portraits are evidently from the same series.
Areas for Improvement
The entire first shoot was a disaster because the receiver for my off camera flash stopped working, and my spare was back at home, many miles away. I had limited time in which to shoot, so I had to just do what I could with the light that was available, and make a mental note to reshoot whenever I got the opportunity. I did take this chance to review the compositions and make changes, so that when I did finally reshoot I was a lot more confident in positioning the subject, and composing the scene. I knew what exposures to start with, so I think I was able to take positives out of the mistakes.
Evaluation of Learning
I have learned the importance of preparation: although I had researched the subject and suitable publications, and I had pre-arranged the shoot, I had to travel quite far to get to on location and once I was there, I was without a critical piece of kit for the brief. The shoots were a good experience in terms of working on location, without the perks of studio lighting, and I think I developed a style for shooting and editing the images that was sympathetic to the subject and the location, whilst meeting the brief.