Color & Light
Meeting Photo Challenges
Creative Image Processing
Nature & Outdoor
Creating Better Photographics
Night & Low Light Photography
Light & Exposure
Close-Up & Macro
Digital Black & White
Color & Design
Choosing & Using Lenses
Digital Photography Equipment
Posing People Shots On The Road; Arranging For And Photographing Foreign Models:
Framing a subject with a window is akin to using the graphic form of an arch to focus attention where you want it. That’s what I did in both (12 and 13). These are shots that were set up to look serendipitous—like I was lucky to be in the right place at the right time. In fact I instructed the models where to stand, what to do, and of course I chose the best time of day to get attractive lighting.
Nature also makes a great background. For subjects like a Bushmen hunting party in Namibia (#14), a natural background is the only thing that makes sense. It was tough to frame these young men without including too much clutter in the background, though, because this portion of the Namib Desert has a lot of vegetation. The telephoto portrait I made of one of the Bushmen (#15) included foreground grass to give a feeling of their environment, but I used the sky as a clean backdrop so our attention is not diverted from the subject by distracting graphic elements that might have been behind him.
In Irian Jaya, which is the western portion of the island of New Guinea and part of Indonesia, I also used a natural backdrop to photograph warriors of the Dani tribe (#16). When I went to their village to do individual portraits, the background elements were very messy and visually unappealing—at least for my own sense of aesthetics. It was definitely authentic, but I prefer a cleaner look. Therefore, I used a telephoto lens to photograph the young woman (#17) covered in mud (this indicated she was in mourning for the loss of a loved one). The lens threw the background elements completely out of focus.
Ornate backgrounds, on the other hand, can help create outstanding images in some circumstances. I photographed a Javanese bride with a traditional set behind her in Blitar, Indonesia (#18), and the lady from whom I rented the clothing provided the backdrop. This is the typical set erected for the wedding party during a marriage ceremony.
The Papua New Guinea tribesman I photographed during the annual Sing Sing (#19) is a perfect example of what not to do. You should always avoid this kind of light on a person unless you are seeking revenge on a friend or foe and you want their picture to be as ugly as possible!
Breaking The Ice
There are many different kinds of model releases you can use, but an industry standard is the one that the stock agency Getty uses. Here is a link to several releases that are available to all photographers without charge: http://contributors.gettyimages.com/article.asp?article_id=1767.