TOP 10 FOR 2010

In this portrait tips and techniques post, I thought I’d share my top 10 for last year. Are they the real top ten? I don’t really know, because choosing the images is harder for me than my clients. I’m just too critical of my own work, So I have based the selection on favourite themes. That is favourite pet portrait, favourite group, favourite lifestyle portrait etc.

So in this post I’ll let the portraits speak and I’ll just add a few words why I selected them. Everyone should do this from time to time. Pick your top 10 and see how hard it is, what to include and what to leave out. Initially I got down to around 30, then 20, then I struggled because there were many I thought should be included. . Anyway I hope you enjoy them. Please note they’re not any special order.

This was definite from the start. The little girl’s expression and the clutching of her father’s hand won my vote for best emotional portrait.

My best pet portrait. Well I don’t do a lot of pets, but this was special. Getting them to stay still, plus the owners hand coming into the top left of the frame was bonus. It added the extra element to tell the story of the moment.

The “Boxer” was one of my lifestyle series. It wins my vote for my best lifestyle portrait. It looks like it was taken in a studio, but in fact was taken under a back patio of his parents house. The background was so full of scattered bright light, I decided to use an old piece of olive green tarpaulin as a non distracting background. The portrait was lit with natural light and an old 120J sunpak barebulb – flash through a beauty dish. I love the dramatic lighting.

This portrait wins my vote for my best experimental black and white conversion. Shot with Canon 5D and converted through Alien Skin software using the Infrared Fog setting. I find the infrared conversions very good for smoothing the skin and giving a subtle glow. Sometimes I make two conversions – one infrared and one a higher contrast standard conversion – merge them together and brush the lips hair and eyes back. That’s why it my experimental portrait winner, no rules.

My best rain portrait. I told them what to do, but they did it so naturally – holding hands, walking and talking. So I guess the lesson is to always be prepared for the worst conditions and still look like a pro.

I voted this one as my best music portrait. There were many contenders for this selection, but her expression, pose, composition and post production make it my winner.

It really is just all the basics coming together.

This one is going to be a lifetime favourite for me. I liked it the moment I saw it in the camera and pressed the shutter. No faces, no expression, but the body language makes it a winner. You see I only told the two eldest boys to put their hands in the pockets and the little guy just mimicked his big brothers. I asked them to walk away talking to each other and when the three heads went down, that was the captured moment.

My favourite siblings portrait, probably because it’s outside the normal. I used her brothers as background and foreground props framing the young lady. The lighting is  natural light with a 30″ softbox/lumedyne portable flash on a stand.

The family portrait winner was a difficult selection, but for me it was the expressions and reactions to each other that stood out. The selection of clothing colours helped simplify the portrait.

Last but not least are  the twins. Clear winner as they were the only twins I photographed in 2010. I had to include them, as I don’t think I could do it any better.

All the basics coming together again – subtractive lighting techniques, modeling light on the faces to show shape and form, light in the eyes to show depth and sparkle, great bokeh, simple background, great hand shape, body position and attitude to finish off.

Beats point and shoot.

Well that’s it for this blog post. I hope the photo tips with each image give you some thoughts for your next shoot.

Until next time happy shooting


portrait tips and techniques


11 Responses to “TOP 10 FOR 2010”

  1. tim Says:

    a great collection wayne!

  2. Kevin Evans Says:

    Maattteee… As always SUPERB work… Cheers

  3. Vivien Stevens Says:

    Thank you, Wayne Radford, for sharing these and for your superb eBook.

  4. charles Brown Says:

    Well Wayne, makes me wonder if I’m ever going to arrive(smile).

    Question: What are your most used tools in your post produc-
    tion work.Do you use the Nik filters?

  5. Peter Rossi Says:

    Very very nice as always. Really love the boxer and the back of the 3 brothers on the beach.

  6. wayne Says:

    Thanks Peter,
    Yes, I’d have to say those two are my favourites to date..
    I guess you know as well, our best is still to come.
    That’s how we keep going forward.


    Hope I can shoot portraits in the future like
    yours. The B&W portraits are excellent.
    Until next time.

  8. wayne Says:

    Thanks Hennie,
    my heart and soul are in black and white portraits. So timeless. Thanks for following my blog.

  9. ron Says:

    The experimental hits and resonates with me.

    All the shots make you wish “Why did I not take this”

  10. wayne Says:

    Thanks Ron,
    Appreciate the comment. I’d say we all think that from time to time.

  11. chris marr Says:

    Just lovely seeing some of your favorites and why you like them- v.well done

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