Beautiful Thai model, a student at Ramkamhang University

Nikon D300, Nikkor 85mm F1.4D @F1.8  1/800th  ISO 200


You'll be seeing a lot of this popular photography model in this week's column so we might as well start off with the Feature Photograph!  These images were captured by my student David during a recent workshop and I thought this set of three were extraordinary so I requested permission to share them with you and discuss them a bit.

David contacted me with the goal of learning to take better portraits and to get a better handle on lighting.  What do you think, did he learn how to capture some outstanding photographs?  My vote is overwhelmingly YES!  This is what makes this image significant, a client set his goals in a realistic fashion, allowed enough time together to really learn the material and let it sink in, and by the end of our time together he was capturing images like these.  I'd say his objectives were met with an unqualified yes!

Notice the critical sharpness, the perfect skin tones, exceptional expression, and how the image just flat out engages the viewer?  This image is damn near perfect.  A small nit would be to have caught the wrist watch and asked her to remove it.  To my eyes the watch distracts.  A small nit to be sure.


This Thai model earns tutition money moonlighting as a model

Nikon D300, Nikkor 85mm F1.4D @F1.8  1/2500th  ISO 200


It's even more incredible to know that this set of thee images were captured in sequence.  He was controlling the model and moving around her for the best poses.  He engaged the model and she engaged the camera.  Each one of these three images is near perfect, each one is different, and I enjoy viewing all of them.


This series of shots were captured by a client during my photography workshop

Nikon D300, Nikkor 85mm F1.4D @F1.8  1/2000th  ISO 200


David's goals were realistic, but far from easy.  He had to listen well, work hard, and challenge himself in areas where he'd never been challenged before.  Impressive!  I'm confident he'll be able to repeat this performance on demand during future shoots.

It wasn't all a bed of roses however.  Keep reading to learn the nuts and bolts of a learning experience including some common mistakes, common techniques, and a great time overall.