Composition. Pose. Clothing. Makeup. Expression. These are important elements in portrait photography, but the aspect that often stands out in the best work is the expert use of light. And that demands both a trained eye and a tuned perception. “People talk about composition and shutter speed and the technical stuff, but hardly anybody talks about light,” said photographer Bobbi Lane. “We take seeing for granted, and we don’t really see what’s in front of us. Our brains compensate. We remember how we feel about things, but we’re not being visually acute. I try to teach that to my students and to actually see the light. The camera doesn’t have a memory or emotions or interpretations. You need to be able to see as clearly as your camera does. It’s bringing it to the forefront of your awareness so that you become mentally aware of what the light is doing.”
Lane teaches two courses in the new season at Santa Fe Photographic Workshops. She leads Portraits With Flash on Saturday, June 21, and Sunday, June 22, and her favorite, Portraits Unplugged, from June 22 to June 27. A busy educator as well as an award-winning commercial photographer, she teaches her own weekend workshops in Boston and also leads sessions for the Maine Media Workshops, the Julia Dean Photo Workshops in Los Angeles, Gulf Photo Plus in Dubai, and the International Center for Photography in New York City.
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