Posts Tagged With: portraits

Multimedia – Forgotten Tibet

The Tibetan provinces of Amdo and Kham are the subject of my first multimedia project in a long while.  Amdo and Kham are beautiful regions of the world that I’ve been lucky enough to visit twice recently…

Most westerners think of Tibet as being only what is today called the Tibet Autonomous Region (Xizang) in modern China.  But what they don’t know is that this is only one third of the historical Tibetan Kingdom.  Split off from modern day “Tibet” are the Tibetan Kham and Amdo provinces, now found in the Chinese Yunnan, Sichuan, Qinghai and Gansu provinces.

What is surprising though, is that these areas have become much better places to see Tibetan culture than Lhasa or many other places in Xizang.  With both Chinese and Westerners’ attention focused on Lhasa, these areas are much less traveled and have far fewer travel restrictions than Xizang.  That gives the Tibetans found there an sense of ease in their day to day lives and makes it a great place to explore.

If you’re interested in learning more or even visiting the region, have a look at my more in depth series of blog posts on the Kham and Amdo Provinces.

Cheers,
-Neil

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Categories: PHOTOGRAPHY, Tibet, TRAVEL | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 10 Comments

Don’t Forget to Have Some Fun!

Now for something completely different…

I feel like I’ve been in a bit of a creative rut lately.  Why?  Let’s just say that I now understand why some of of the greatest artworks from some of the greatest artists came from them when they were at their lowest (life’s been good).

In an attempt to get out of this rut, I’ve tried a few things (sabotaging my life isn’t one of them).  Some failed, some succeeded, and some are still under wraps.  But I have rekindled my love of  photography and hopefully some new personal projects will be coming forth.   I suggest that if you’re also in a creative rut, think of something silly like this to get you take your camera out more often.  (I also recommend you watch this video.)

About as far as it can get from my usual portrait work, I present you with my “Face Project”.

funny faces

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Categories: Inspirational Links, PHOTOGRAPHY, Techniques | Tags: , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Belly Dancers, et al.

I recently had the opportunity to photograph a belly dancer and a male model at a recent get-together for the opening of First Zoom Studios, in Shilin, Taiwan.  It was fun to get together with some other local photographers.

I had an idea right from the start for the belly dancer, and with some additional advice on dance moves from the lovely Eszter, we came up with a photo that I’m quite happy with.  For the main light, I used a softbox umbrella on a Alien Bees 800 and two black cards to turn it onto a strip light.  The hair light was a Sunpak 555, orange gelled and snooted.

A belly dancer dances seductively.

After shooting with Eszter, I wanted to shoot a strong portrait with the male model on hand, Eduardo.  For something a little different, I decided to take Eduardo into the alleyway behind the studios and use a brick wall as a background.  I used a single small softbox with a Nikon SB-800 to light him up.  Simple, but effective.

A latino male model leans confidently against a brick wall.

Sorry I haven’t been blogging as much lately, but life has been very busy in good ways!  I’ll try to step it up in the next few months and get a few more blog posts up.

Cheers,
-Neil

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Categories: PHOTOGRAPHY, Portraiture | Tags: , , , , , , | 2 Comments

How to Shoot Travel Portraits

Learning how to photograph people while traveling can help your photography on the road and at home.  I use a few different methods to approach people whom I want to photograph while traveling, and I’ll try to explain that process below.  I’m sure there are many other techniques that other photographers might use, and if you have any you’d like to share, please leave them in the comments.

I’ll start out by telling you that I’m not an outgoing person at all.  I’m a shy guy.  I always find it difficult to approach people.  But I’ve learned that missing a good portrait because you didn’t ask hurts a lot more than getting rejected.  If you’re also a little shy, you’ll need to practice being more bold and get out there and ask people if you can take their picture.  I’m here to tell you that it’s not as hard as you think, and there’s even a little bit of a scientific process to doing it…

An blog post on how to photograph people while traveling

Kyoto, Japan - I was standing in this alleyway, waiting for someone interesting to walk by and pose for me in front of that nice wooden door in the background... Along came this Geisha. (See "The Trapping Approach")

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Categories: PHOTOGRAPHY, Techniques, TRAVEL | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 23 Comments

Yushu, Tibet (China)

Yushu (aka Jyekundo (སྐྱེ་རྒུ་མདོ་) in Tibetan) is an Autonomous Prefecture in the Qinghai Provence of China. Located 800km south of the nearest city Xining, Yushu used to be a daunting 12-16 hour bus ride from Xining in the north or about 10 hours to Gantze in the south (where I came from).  Now, it appears that Yushu has it’s own airport and has become quite a hot spot for tourists.

I was only able to spend two days in Yushu due to visa restrictions, but it left a wonderful impression on me.  I also did something a little different while I was there.  I only spent one day site-seeing, and I spent the other in the market, shooting lots and lots of portraits.  Click “Read the rest of this entry” to see some of my favorites.

Tibetan Woman Smiles

I was in Yushu just after a huge annual horse festival. This is an exciting time for Tibetans and they will often dress to impress. This woman is wearing some very expensive (and very heavy) jewelry in her hair.

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Categories: PHOTOGRAPHY, Portraiture, Tibet, TRAVEL | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 16 Comments

Techniques #7 – Handy Corporate Portrait

Corporate portraits are something you almost have to do as a professional photographer.

I recently shot a portrait for a client that wanted a very specific looking style.  They’ve been running a series of ads for a long time that have a consistent look to them.  Basically, one of their art directors must have come up with this brilliant, easy way to get consistently-styled photographs from different photographers.

The brilliance of this portrait is that it has style and is easy to reproduce…

Here’s how you can do it:

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Categories: PHOTOGRAPHY, Portraiture, Techniques | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 8 Comments

Lighting Lecture at the Taiwan Photo Club

The Taiwan Photo Club will be having its monthly meeting this Sunday, Feb 22 at noon at Yuma Southwestern Grill in Taipei.

These meetings are a lot of fun and if you live in Taiwan and would like to meet some other photographers stop-on-by!

The presentation this month will be on portrait lighting and given by yours truly.

Here’s a quick run-down of what I’m going to talk about:

The basic concept is how to get good lighting for portraits but I’ll also show you a few other ways that this stuff can be used for non-portraits. I want to be sure that everyone has the opportunity to learn something, whether you just have a point-and-shoot camera or a DSLR.

We’ll start talking about how to get good, natural lighting for portraits. I blogged about this a few weeks ago, and I’ll basically just review and elaborate on that.

Then we can start to talk about flashes and some good techniques that you can use to make your flash pictures look better. We’ll briefly talk about pop-up flashes and move to bigger on-camera flashes. Then we can get a bit more advanced and play around with off-camera lighting.

The cool thing about doing all this flash lighting is that we’ll be able to do it in real time. I’ll shoot all the flash pictures tethered to my laptop and we’ll be able to see the results instantly on the big screen at the restaurant. We can’t really use the natural lighting techniques because we’ll be in a basement, but I think all of that is easy enough to understand by just looking at some pictures and diagrams.

There’s a lot that we could talk about with these subjects, but I’ll try to move fast. At any point, I welcome questions and comments and other opinions, so let’s try to make this more of a discussion rather than a lecture!

I’ll write on my blog about it after we’re finished and I’ll include all the pictures and stuff. In the mean time, have a look at the blog on natural lighting for portraits to get a preview of the first part.

I hope to see you all there, and please don’t heckle me!  ;O)

Categories: PHOTOGRAPHY, Techniques | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments

Techniques #4 – Natural Light for Portraits

Getting good natural light for portraits is an easy concept to understand.  It can often be difficult to find the perfect location, but once you know what to look for, it becomes easier.   This post is dedicated to helping you take good portraits and learn how to see and use good natural light.

I recently posted a series of portraits on Flickr. I got a great response, so I though I’d explore why these portraits were successful.  I was just playing around with a new camera and decided to shoot some quick pictures of a bunch of kids that I teach English to here in Taipei, Taiwan.

I use the term “quick pictures” very deliberately.  All of the portraits were taken on a playground at playtime and I’m sure you know that 5 year-olds don’t stay still for very long.

What’s nice about this playground is that it’s got great light that is fairly even all over it.  Before we talk about the light specifically, let’s look at some other things you need to remember to get a good portrait.

First, of course, you want an interesting subject.  Cute kids, old wrinkly people, skateboarders, and monks are among my favorite subjects.

Learn more about natural light portraiture after the jump…

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Categories: PHOTOGRAPHY, Portraiture, Techniques | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 20 Comments

Testing, Testing, A, B, C…

I just got a new Nikon D700 and have started testing it.  Like I said in an earlier post: I’m not a reviewer, but I’m very happy with my initial test shots and thought I’d share them with you.

Ok, Ok…  The truth is, I just so happen to teach English to a bunch of the cutest kids in the world and I wanted to show them off.  Almost all of the following pictures are shot with the D700 and a Nikon 50mm f1.4 set at 1.4.  Needless to say, I’m happy with the camera so far.

For more pictures of cute kids, go to my Flickr photostream.

More cute kids after the jump…

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Categories: PHOTOGRAPHY, Portraiture, UNCATEGORIZED | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Techniques #2 Patience

There’s nothing more important to photography that patience.  Whether you’re working with a nervous model or waiting for that perfect moment, you need to be patient. I’m going to talk about patients in regards to travel photography.

I can say for certain that 90% of my photographs are well planned out.  Often they’re planned out days or months before I get to where I’m going.  And yes, I’m even talking about travel destinations that I’ve never been to.  Go online.  Do a google image search for the place you’re going.  Check stock agencies like Magnum, Corbis, Getty, and PhotoShelter to see what the place looks like.  Try Flickr, TrekEarth, and National Geographic.  If you do some research on the place you’re going, you’ll be more ready for it when you get there.  You’ll know that sunrise is the time to be at Angkor Wat… sunset is a great time to be at India’s Golden Temple…

Learn more about patience after the jump…

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Categories: PHOTOGRAPHY, Portraiture, Techniques | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

My New Website

Hello everybody,

I re-tuned my website with some fancy flash galleries, some new pics and the other stuff I listed below.

New Website:
http://neilwadephotography.com/
I added some fancy new flash galleries and cleaned everything up a
bit.  There are new pictures in many of the galleries, but you’ll have
to sift though to find them, sorry.

New Book:
http://www.blurb.com/bookstore/detail/343116
It’s nothing fancy, but I self published a book with pictures from my
travels.  It’s a little self-serving (complete with pictures of me in
the back), but it’s pretty cool.

Order Prints:
http://pa.photoshelter.com/gallery-list/U0000FnZZwH6sm_4
I’ve been a member of this photographers’ thingy for a while and just
realized that you can order prints from it.  If you ever wanted one of
my photos, here’s you chance.

Also,
I was in the USA a few weeks ago, and I wanted to say “Thanks again” to
everyone that I saw and “sorry” to everyone that I missed.  I had a
great time and I wish I had more time to hang out than I did.  Now some
of you need to come here and visit!

If you have any problems with the website or anything, let me know!
Also, if any of you have any links you’d like to share, Email me!  My
“Friends” section is looking a little bare!

Cheers, and Thanks for all the support over the years!
-neil

Categories: PHOTOGRAPHY, UNCATEGORIZED | Tags: , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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