100 Strangers Project, Set 6

Another set finished. Every time I complete a new set of portraits, I like to use the Quick Collection feature in Lightroom to look over all the people I've photographed so far. This project is really starting to come together now. 

Started things off this session with another couple, Ayya (Stranger 33) and "Steve" (Stranger 34). They were tourists, visiting from Russia, enjoying San Diego's mild weather. I had some trouble with Ayya's portrait. The lighting is a bit weird. She is over-lit from the reflector, camera-left. The light over her camera-right shoulder from the sun is hitting her face, so there's some weird shadows on her. I did the best I could to even things out in post. And during the shoot itself, I don't think I directed her very well. I should've kept going, but I didn't want to keep her. Nick reminded me in a past session that once I have a willing subject, I don't need to apologize. They already said yes. Just get the shot.

Steve's lighting was simpler: direct sun. While I was shooting, Ayya translated my directions to him from English to Russian. At one point, some people decided to photo-bomb Steve's portrait. There's a great outtake from this set that I'll show later. 

Mason (Stranger 35), also direct sun. He had a good face for it. I liked the design on his shirt too, so I made sure to include it. 

Simone (Stranger 36), from Italy, is a fellow photographer, so I knew he'd appreciate what I was doing. When I saw him, he was taking a photo of "Preacher Man", a man who's been a fixture at Balboa Park just about every time I've been there, and who reads The Bible, loudly, and continuously, for several hours at a time. After Simone got his photo of Preacher Man, I went over and asked for his portrait. 

The sun was low in the sky by this point and I put Simone right on the edge of the shadow cast by a building behind me and to my right. This had the effect of lighting his face a little brighter than his body, which worked really well. This portrait was my favorite from that day. 

Namita (Stranger 37) was a great subject, I only wish I'd had a little more time. When I approached her, there was just a few minutes of daylight left. Between frames, it was fading fast and my shutter speed was dropping. I was cranking the ISO to avoid camera-shake and shooting as quickly as I could. Namita had somewhere to be, the daylight was dimming, and in my hurry to shoot, I forgot to give her a card so she could access her photo.

I end each "session" with my business card. I explain to each person I photograph how they can access their photo. It's only fair. They gave me their time, and their trust, so I'd like for them, at the very least, to have a copy of their photo. I regret that I forgot it this time!

Namita was the last portrait for the day. The next session, in Ocean Beach, was a bit shorter, only 3 portraits, so I decided to merge it with this post. 

I hadn't been to OB in a while, but I had been meaning to get back at some point for this project. There's always good characters there. And OB is where I'd had both my most productive day so far (8 portraits) and where my favorite portrait was made (Tiffany, Stranger 16).  

Anissa (Stranger 38), I liked her look; her coat, her hair style. Rachel (Stranger 39), it was her dog that caught everyone's attention. He seemed to be ok with people, it was other dogs he didn't like, and he let everyone know it. And lastly, Dale (Stranger 40), a musician in a band. His mustache and hairstyle were easy to pick out of the crowd. I only wish I had lit him a little better. I went for split light with direct sun, which can and does work for a face like his, but I don't think I got the angle quite right. Next time. 

So that's it for this set. I'm still pretty backlogged. I hope to be caught up by next week. 

See you next time.