Tag Archives: texture

Photo Selection for Soura Magazine

Just over a day ago, I posted a quick blog entry calling for photos on two specific topics to be included in a magazine article. Since my deadline for the article was the end of the year, this didn’t leave me with much time to find the photos. But you guys came through and I was amazed at the response!

Within minutes of the post, people were leaving links to their photos. I sent out a Twitter message that pointed to the blog entry, and many people passed the message along to their own networks. In about 24 hours, we had 32 responses to the blog entry and a whole gob of great photos to choose from. This kind of community response is absolutely outstanding, and I’m so glad to see such effort in a short amount of time.

After that 24 hour period, it was time for me to play “magazine photo editor” and pick the two photos for the article. This is not an easy task, and I don’t envy people who do this for a living. If you’ve never done it before, you have no idea how hard it is to choose a small number of photos from a ridiculously large pool of good work. I can’t help but feel like the “bad guy” because all but two people are ultimately disappointed with my decision. So… I offer my apologies to those who didn’t make the cut, and my congratulations to those who did.

And which photos made the cut? Well, here they are, “Vintage” and “Texture”:

Dr. Pepper TTV, by cybertoad FBCLG, by Dubtastic

A big thanks to both of these photographers for offering up their photos. And an equally big thanks to all the other photographers who did the same!

So why did I choose these photos?

The “vintage” photo was chosen for several reasons: color, TTV, and old school quirkiness. The article touched on colors for “vintage” photos, and the original photo in the blog article was TTV in appearance. These two things made a candidate for a good replacement image. But the thing that really sold me on this photo was the inexplainable attraction I had to it — some sort of quirky trait that reminded me of an old photo… the scene, the subject, the colors, I don’t know. I just liked it.

The “texture” photo was also chosen for several reasons: subject, color, and that crazy texture! We seemed to have more texture photos submitted, so this one was particularly hard to choose. I chose this one because the subject contrasted well with the other photos in the article, and the texture was clearly visible. The images in the magazine will likely be printed around 4″ wide, so a good strong texture would be necessary to convey the message.

So again, congrats to these two photographers, and “thank you” to everyone who participated. I’ll post a shot of the article once I get it so everybody can see the photos “in print”.

16 Inspirational Portrait Photography Techniques

I’m learning that portrait photography can be tough in more than one way thanks to my participation in the December Challenge. I’m already getting bored with taking the standard cookie-cutter portrait, so I started digging around Flickr for some inspiration. Here’s what I turned up:

[tweetmeme]And yes, I realize that the accompanying text is much shorter than I would usually supply, but the idea of this post isn’t to teach these techniques — it’s to introduce you to them and hopefully give you some inspiration with your own photography. I feel that these photos are strong enough to stand on their own without lengthy descriptions.

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If you’re good with post-processing and manipulations, use it to your advantage. Get crazy with the adjustments, try some new Photoshop techniques, and maybe even a composite image.


If texture is a big part of your subject, make it stand out and make it obvious. Match up the textures between your subject and your background. You might even try texturizing the entire photo for additional impact.


Blowing out the highlights or making a high-key image makes a nice soft portrait with kind of a light airy feeling. Another advantage of high-key photos is that the smaller details and defects are blown away, making the image look much smoother.


A dominantly dark or low-key image will naturally draw your eyes to the lighter parts. These tend to have a grittier and harder look to them than the high-key images.


Hair lights up like crazy when it’s back-lit, so if hair is a big part of your subject make it stand out by placing your subject between you and a light source. You could also take this a little further and push the image to a silhouette.


Get crazy with the pose and positioning — extra points if it looks uncomfortable. Not only with the poses, but also with your own positioning — shoot from different angles to achieve different impacts.


Capture the local culture — what’s mundane to you is exotic to us. Culture is everywhere, even in your own town. Just image you’re visiting from a different country — what things would then seem more interesting to you?


Make use of different surfaces to add that extra dimension — windows, mirrors, and water are all very good reflective surfaces that give a different result and texture.


Make the shadow an important part of the image. Sometimes the shadow can even be more prominent than the actual subject casting the shadow.


There’s no rule against cropping out most of the subject’s face. This draws more attention to the parts that are left in the frame.


Out-of-focus subjects can be more interesting than the in-focus subjects. It kind of adds some mystery to the image because you can’t quite make out who that person is.


Use movement to show action, even if it blurs out the subject entirely. In cases like this, think of the person as a means of creating the subject rather than being the actual subject.


Catch somebody doing something they love, even if it’s not staged. Street photography is one of my favorite genres because it captures life as it happens — unstaged and unposed.


Use vibrant and contrasting colors to draw attention to parts of your subject. This could be makeup, clothing, accessories, or whatever else you can get your hands on.


Not all portraits need to have a smile, capture the serious emotions too. Some of my favorite portraits have no hint of a smile in them, and they’re highly emotional.


Use the props and tools around you to make the setting more interesting. Find things to place your subject in, on, under, around, etc.