Ruth’s first hybrid portrait
I’m pleased to welcome Ruth Bergen Braun to the ImageMaven blog. In this post Ruth relays her experiences from her first hybrid photo shoot – a portrait of a prairie teen.
Ruth is a counsellor in Lethbridge, Alberta. She’s also my co-teacher in Take a Break: Photography for Self-care. It was Ruth’s idea to teach a course like this to help her counselling clients, and I offered to do the photography portions of the course to round it out. Take it away, Ruth….
Welcome to Video
I purchased a Lumix G7 in July of this year to replace my aging Lumix G1. I loved that camera and nearly wore it out. The G1 did not have video capacity. Lumix added that in the G2.
I’m new to video. Previous experience point-and-shoot and iPad only! I had, however, thanks to Marlene’s tutelage and inspiration been making photo slide shows using ProShow Web. Sneak peaks. Family portraits. Baby shoots. And other bits of entertainment.
It was time to shoot a hybrid portrait
If you haven’t tried ProShow Web, give it a go. You can make slide shows with up to 15 photos for free and then, if you want more subscribe either monthly or yearly for a reasonable fee. The templates are easy to use and easy to tweak once you get a sense of what you want in the show. No other software necessary.
Update on ProShow Web December 2019
- ProShow Web is ceasing operations at the end of 2019.
Trust your creative intuition!
There’s not a lot of right or wrong here — just what you like and what you don’t.
I was very inspired by Marlene’s hybrid portrait, and decided to try making one of my own. I am friends with some teenage twins and I had already spent an evening in August shooting Claire and her horse. (Totally forgetting that I could have shot some video! I didn’t think video—yet! )
I arranged to do Nick’s portrait on Thanksgiving Monday. We agreed to do something with him and his guitar. The weather was less than cooperative. We were fighting a wild and gusty wind. As I was shooting the walking-down-the-lane video bits the wind almost tossed my tripod!
My planning wasn’t as meticulous as Marlene’s. My notes say, set white balance. Stills — raw + jpg. (And in the end, I forgot and shot only large jpgs.) Shutter speed 1/60s. 30 frames per second. And my shot list — blink, walk, play, hands, halo. I had hoped to do a slow blink shot, as Marlene did, but we settled for hair-in-the-wind.
We shot Nicholas first. I knew I wanted some black and white silhouettes, a grungy look, and video in black and white only. The Lumix G7 Filter Setting lets me compose and shoot the still photos in monochrome but gives me a colour version as well. My one regret is that I didn’t shoot video of him walking out of the quonset door.
My original idea had been of him walking down the lane and I didn’t think to change it. The wind was definitely a complication — hard to think when you can hardly stand up! The original audio for the videos was just wind noise and in one me shouting, “Take two, Nick. Take two.”
Nick Against the Wind was an after thought. He was open to shooting a bit more and suggested we check out some old abandoned vehicles that his grandfather had behind some outbuildings. All the video for this one was hand held.
Nick Against the Wind
The bit of colour you see in the final projects is post production — a Lightroom preset called Wild Jack, purchased from Digital Photography School.
I chopped my video files into short segments using the directions from the You Tube video by Suzette Allen. She also uses ProShow Web for her video.
Working with video clips was very new to me but the instructions were clear.
Both Nick’s parents and I were delighted with my final projects. I’m looking forward to making another hybrid portrait and have some ideas percolating already.
By Ruth Bergen Braun
In my day job, I’m a professional counsellor in Lethbridge, Alberta. (See my professional website here ruthbergenbraun.com) I work with clients who have a variety of life struggles — depression, anxiety, relationship issues, bereavement, trauma, and past and/or current abuse.
I have loved photography since my darkroom days as a teenager — long before we ever imagined the fun of digital photography. I joke that I’m so old that I took my first photography course B.C. — before computers. I have taken and enjoyed Marlene’s courses, both the Ruzuku format and Marlene’s content. I often recommend her website and online courses to people who want to learn more about both the art and technology of digital photography. I also have recommended her courses as “a gift to yourself” and thus, the idea for our course on using photography as self-care was born.
Follow my photography journey on my Facebook page.
Ruth’s blog posts: