Photo #13: Helen

We are back in the Czech Republic after spending a few days in Pskov, Russia. I hope that you are enjoying this series on my Top 25 pictures from my missions trip experience.

The next few days will be dedicated to some portraits that were taken along the journey. I have to admit that I know very little about structuring a portait setting. This is one area over the next year that I would love to improve upon.

I think by now you can tell that I am a rather spontaneous photographer. I look around and see the scene before me and then shoot what I see.

Canon 5D/2, 17mm, 1/250 @F3.2, ISO 100

Today's photograph of Helen was constructed in this very way. We were out on a camp hike and so I had taken one camera body and one lens and then figured out ways to shoot different scenes using this lens.

Over the past year, I have been aided by some great photographers, both friends and books, that have helped me see how to best utilize the equipment given a certain situation.

As we were hiking through this forest adjacent to the Hotel Medlov, we came upon this clearing and I sat down next to Helen and talked with her for awhile.   Her niece was around and so I quickly took one picture (which she wasn't ready for) and then I took this one and it turned out really well.

I had originally converted this photo to black and white, and was looking for a sepia tone that would fit well with her style, but I wasn't happy with what I was seeing. When I converted the photo back to color, it picked up some of the sepia tones which added some warmth to the picture. This was just what I was looking for.

As with many other pictures, we needed to move on with the hike and I had to take a few more group pictures, including snapping a picture of a family where the girl didn't like getting her photo taken.

I love this photograph for a few reasons including the background. I live in suburbia and we don't have fresh cut trees forming a natural stool just lying around, but apparently in the Czech Republic they do. Helen is very photogenic and she loves to have her picture taken, and that makes it really easy to take the picture. Lastly, her smile and eyes make this picture; without either of these, the photo doesn't jump off the page at me.

That's it for today, and tomorrow's photograph has an equally great story attached to it. You won't want to miss tomorrow's picture.

[This post is part of my Top 25 Summer Trip Pics series.]

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I help facilities manager and planner create spaces that are backed by research, engage employees of all generations, and drive business objectives. I am also the founder of Dave's Book Club – a once per month reading experience designed to help professionals grow their influence.

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