Sunday, March 8, 2015

Model Shoot

Model Shoot – Portrait Photography


“Hi, I’m Atra, your model for this portrait photography shoot.”

Black Vulture

“You call this a studio? Some dilapidated old lumber out here in the woods?”

“Well, the lighting is ok. Open shade works well on me.”

“So what is it you want? A formal full length portrait? That is a bit old-fashioned you know. You need a whole wall to show a print well. Most folks don’t have that much space.”

Black Vulture

What are you shooting at? Aperture at f/5 to f/5.6? That’s good for portrait work. Enough depth of field for my countenance and it softens the background.”
“And your focal length? 165mm, well that’s a bit long for people, but it works for us coragyps.”

“But look at those bright spots of light coming through the trees. They are distracting.”

“No, “bokeh” is not a good excuse. Move around a bit to get a denser background.”

Black Vulture

“Alright. How about an over-the-shoulder view. That shows off the great texture in my black plumage.”

“Go ahead, come in a little closer.”

Black Vulture

“But look at the background you picked now. There is a tree right behind me.”

“That’s bad, always bad for portraiture. Didn’t they teach you that?!”

Black Vulture

“A bit better, but this background is still too busy and distracting. How about we move over to that grassy spot?”

Black Vulture

“Now your cooking! We’ll make a photographer out of you yet! Soft background for me and still some indication of the natural environment. You know, I am a wild bird!”

“ Go ahead come in closer. Get my good looks large for folks to appreciate.”

Black Vulture

“What do you mean I blinked? I did not! I merely used my nictitating membrane to moisten my eyes so you get a nice catch light. That is important you know. Always focus on the eyes. And be sure to get a good catch light. Makes me look alive!”


“Well, you did ok. I think we can call it a wrap. Besides I am getting hungry and I was promised a fresh, juicy road kill as payment for this gig.”



© 2015 Ludwig Keck


  1. Atra was not your typical pretty face that's for sure, Ludwig. But a very patient model and one who certainly knew her stuff as far as portraiture techniques and pointers! Thanks to her(?) and yiu for another informative and entertaining post. FYI the page was a bit slow loading with all the images, but well worth the wait. (not sure if this is a duplicate comment, as I clicked off the page earlier, before clicking on publish😗)

  2. Thank you Beatrice! What do you mean Atra is not a pretty face?!! Haven't you looked at one of my selfies lately? I don't know if Atra is a she or he, I was very cautious about that in my post. Wouldn't want to offend, you know.

    Atra clearly knows more about portrait photography than I do. Must be very experienced as a model. Actually in real live black vultures are not talkative at all. They lack a voice box on are limited to very rudimentary sounds. Couldn't tell that from Atra, could you?

    I thought I had the slow-load problem resolved, but I guess I am just using too many images. The images in the post, the "thumbnails", are stored on the Google servers. The linked-to images are in Microsoft's basement. Maybe that "competition" is not liked by either of them.

  3. Ludwig, as we know, beauty is in the eye of the behilder, so Atra may be very becoming to another black vulture. And, yes he/she would not be known as the non-chatty type from his/her post😉
    Thanks for the background info.

    As for the slow loading, it could also be our wi-fi here in the apt building which seems to have its ups and downs. Some days there are no problems, other days it crashes often. The images seemed to load a bit faster today when I returned to the comments.

    We are starting to see waterfowl on the Nashua River which we view from our 5th floor windows. Perhaps some of these will become future post subjects.