Intimate Work of Portrait Photographer Erin Hoskins

Readers of JBRish know that I enjoy photography. I enjoy looking at the work of gifted photographers almost as much as I like creating pictures on my own. I really must confess, however, that I don’t take many photographs of people; at least not portraits. Yes, there are some candids and some street photography-type shots where people fit into the overall scene, but definitely not portraits or pictures of people where they are posed as the main subject.

I have shied away from this because it is very difficult. People have features, appendages, etc. that need to be in the right place and generally in the right proportion. My favorite subject is landscapes and one reason for this is that they are forgiving. Everyone looking at my photograph knows how a tree is supposed to appear, but they don’t know how that specific tree appears and thus if it is not exactly right, it is doubtful that they will notice.

With portraits, however, many people are going to know and recognize the subject. Not only that, the person in the portrait and their loved ones are going to want that moment in time to represent them at their best. How many times have you looked in the mirror and said to yourself: “I am not looking my best today”? A portrait should show people at their very best and therein lies the ultimate challenge of portrait photography.

That is why the photographer I am going to write about today has impressed me so much. Her work is nothing less than brilliant. After seeing some of her portraits and family groups, I think you will arrive at the same conclusion.

Father and Daughter Portrait

On the heels of Father’s Day in the United States, let’s enjoy the picture above of a dad and his daughter. The subdued lighting is perfect for this outdoor location. Even though the father is not facing forward, he is rendered quite handsomely and that look of joy or happiness on the face of the child is genuine. What may go unnoticed in this picture is the coordination of colors, i.e. the girl’s yellow dress and shoes which tie in nicely with dad’s brown jacket and the overall tone of the scene; just perfect!

Mother and Daughter Portrait

Many portraits have their subjects facing the camera and concern themselves with technicalities such as catch lights. This picture is about the bond between a mother and her daughter. The kiss is so natural and even though the young girl is looking up and away, there is a definite connection and feeling of family. Erin Hoskins creates more than a picture, she captures emotion and feeling which is conveyed in these images. Windswept hair and subtle tones in dress and landscape lend an ethereal feeling to this scene and should bring a sense of intimacy and delight to the viewer. Note too the subtle balance brought to the photograph by the outstretched right foot.

What intrigued me the most about the work of Erin Elizabeth Photography is the level of creativity. Admire as I did, the colors, tones and ingenious composition of the two photographs below. They are nothing short of superb.

Portrait of a Mother and Children in a Field

Family Portrait in a Rural Setting

Let’s round out the family portraits with one of mom, dad and son. Once again, color plays a key role in focusing the viewer on the main subject, the young boy. Both mom and dad are looking at him which brings the viewer’s eye to the center of the picture naturally. The abstract yellow glow adds a beautiful warm tone to the overall scene. Expressions of joy and happiness that look natural are not easy to capture, but are presented very well in this photograph.

More Traditional Portrait of Mother, Father and Child

Individual portraits are also beautifully crafted. Look at this young girl on the beach. Could the setting and lighting be any more perfect? The look is so genuine; not a smile exactly, but a serene look. For anyone who has ever tried to balance natural light with fill light to eliminate harsh shadows, this scene is nothing short of wonderful!

A Beautiful Portrait of a Young Girl at the Beach

As if all this weren’t enough to present this photographer as a creative artist, we haven’t even touched on what many would consider some of her best work and that is babies. I first learned of Erin Hoskins via a story from PetaPixel This Newborn Photo Shoot Features Quintuplets. So how does a gifted photographer find her artistic way of capturing the unique and intimate relationship of mother and children as well as the children with each other?

XXX Portrait
Here the story begins prior to the birth; talk about telling the whole story!

XXX Portrait

XXX Portrait


XXX Portrait
Naturally the original is much larger, but isn’t this a unique way of displaying a group picture?

XXX Portrait

What contributes to making this picture even more outstanding is the one baby with open eyes. Having patience and waiting for the precise moment is often the difference between a portrait and a work of artistry.

 
Being Surprised by Five certainly will bring a smile to many of us and we will think it is charming, but understand that this is a life-changing event for the family in many ways. You can visit the Surprised by Five facebook page to learn more.

It is so captivating for me to look at the work of Erin Hoskins through these portraits. I want to leave you with one last picture that is so intimate and beautiful even though it is rendered in black and white.

A Very Intimate Family Portrait in Black and White

If you enjoy these works of artistic portraiture, I encourage you to visit the Erin Elizabeth Photography websites (links below) to see additional beautiful photographs.

Many thanks to Erin for allowing me to share her work with JBRish readers. Viewing her work has been a joy!

***** NOTE *****

All photographs are used with permission of the photographer and studio. They are Copyrighted with All Rights Reserved. The photos represented in this post were either from screen shots or downloads available from the photographer’s websites and do not necessarily represent the finest details, coloring, etc. Any names of files are strictly those of the author and are used to expedite posting.

There is no relationship between Erin Hoskins, Erin Elizabeth Photography and the author. Jeff is an amateur photography enthusiast who has found this work inspiring. All opinions are that of JBRish.com.

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Credits:

Erin Elizabeth Photography

Facebookhttps://www.facebook.com/erinelizabeth.com.au/

Blog and Gallerieshttp://erinelizabeth.com.au/blog/

 

JBRish.com originally published this post

See previous posts about talented and extraordinary photographers HERE

Video – Tin Man Lee’s Ode to Mothers

Tin Man Lee is one of the photographers I follow and he has created a slide show about motherhood in the animal kingdom, but I am certain you will see behaviors that will remind you of your mother and her relationship with you! This is truly and visual ode to mothers and motherhood.

One of the last slides in the show by Victor Hugo says it all: “A mother’s arms are made of tenderness and children sleep soundly in them.” Happy Mother’s Day!

A celebration of Mother's Day 2016 with wildlife photography from Tin Man Lee on Vimeo.

 

If you like the work of Tin Man Lee (and who wouldn’t?), you can see more here:

Tin Man Lee – Wildlife Photographer Extraordinaire

Tin Man Lee – Vision and Talent of a Wildlife Photographer

 

See previous posts about talented and extraordinary photographers HERE

See previous photography posts, click HERE

Modern Day Photographs in Artistic Styles

There are many cultures around the world that accept domestic animals as non-human members of the family group. These connections often grow strong even when the pet is a bird, gerbil, etc. Dogs and cats, however seem to form a deeper connection with their human family members and often are treated anthropomorphically.

Artist Cassius Marcellus Coolidge touched upon this relationship when he painted dogs in parlor scenes and other human situations. These originated as an advertising tool before they were soon elevated to an art their own.

Today I believe we have a modern-day practitioner of this fine art with a bit of a twist. Tracy Willis is an exquisitely talented photographer. It is easy, when looking at these works, to be captivated without realizing the painstaking effort it takes to create them. Accept my word for it because I have tried (to some degree).

Let’s look at one image that reminded me of Coolidge’s work:

Dogs Playing Poker by Tracy Willis ala Coolidge

“Dogs Playing Poker by Tracy Willis reminiscent of Cassius Marcellus Coolidge”

Look at the attention to detail! The dogs aren’t just sitting there like dogs, they are like people. The one on the right is wearing a sport cap, the pooch in the middle has a tie while the leftmost pup appears to have britches. Did you notice the painting on the wall? A lady dog! This is very clever indeed.


Praying Bedtime Bunny with Teddy Bear
“Praying Bedtime Bunny with Teddy Bear by Tracy Willis”

This is an “Ahhh moment” picture of a bunny praying. It is emotional fantasy at its best. What bunny wouldn’t also want to have a Teddy Bear? Using books as the platform for reaching the bed is just the right touch!

Bedtime Hamster with Book and Cookie

“Bedtime Hamster with Book and Cookie by Tracy Willis”

This (above) is an adorable picture. Once again, the seemingly small details add so much. The cookie and crumbs close the circle of composition by leading the eye back toward the middle of the photograph. When looking at these works of art, we are drawn to examine all items including the upside down cup/table and thus the cookie easily draws the eye back to the middle.

There is more here than meets the eye. This is an excerpted photograph of a live hamster; not a drawing. All of the animals in these pictures were part of a photograph and not artistically recreated. Thus the hamster was composited into the picture,i.e. the hamster was isolated from a photograph and inserted into another picture with the other elements already there or also composited.

Can we imagine what is involved? If you have ever tried to isolate and remove an element from a picture, even with today’s advanced software, you will understand that it is far from easy; especially to achieve such clean edges and superb blending.

It is one thing to think of the idea for such a picture which is clever and creative in and of itself. Then the creator needs to decide which elements to include. What will make this a great picture rather than just a good one? Lastly, but not least, is the execution, ergo artistry. Tracy Willis has done all of the above and done it with flare!

Dogs in a Vespa on a First Date

“Dogs in a Vespa on a First Date by Tracy Willis”

In the picture above, the motion of the Vespa is totally believable because of the positioning of the dog’s ears, their posture and the blending of the roadway and grassy areas to give the appearance of motion.

I need to point out that Tracy is not best known for this type of work and when you visit her website and check out her About Page you will realize that she has garnered many awards and is noted for her newborn photography. As you have witnessed here, however, she is far from one dimensional.

Let’s just take a quick look at two other pieces of her work that I found both beautiful and representative of her craftsmanship.

This photograph of a boy and girl reading a book could have been from the Renaissance era. It is done in the style of a chiaroscuro painting with the strong contrast of light and dark and with the light coming predominantly from one direction.


Boy and Girl Reading done in a Renaissance Style
“Boy and Girl Reading done in a Renaissance Style by Tracy Willis”

And this picture…just look at those eyes! They eyes are the doorway to the soul. If you were the parent of this boy wouldn’t you just love to have this picture?


Soulful Boy with Toy Trunk
“Soulful Boy with Toy Trunk by Tracy Willis”

You can see more of Tracy’s Animal Antics pictures by checking out that gallery after clicking the link, but while you are at it, look at the other galleries as well. You won’t be disappointed!

We don’t want to spoil the illusion here, but this is art we are speaking of and on her blog, Tracy Willis provides some clues about how she creates these masterpieces of composite photographic artistry.

‘First Date’ a look behind the scenes at how I create my art

AND

‘Bedtime Story’ a look behind the scenes of my latest hamster picture

PS – If, by any chance, you are a struggling photographer or a photographer ‘wannabe,’ read Tracy’s inspirational article: Don’t ever give up…..

 

Full Disclosure:

I first heard about Tracy Willis via this article – I Make Photos of Dogs Being Humans

The titles under the pictures are mine and not that of Tracy Willis. (I use them as tags so photographs can be easily found on the Internet.)

NOTE – All photographs are used with permission of photographer Tracy Willis. They are Copyrighted with All Rights Reserved.

Special Thanks to Tracy for allowing me to share her work and enjoy her creativity!

 

JBRish.com originally published this post

See previous posts about talented and extraordinary photographers HERE

Tin Man Lee – Wildlife Photographer Extraordinaire

A Photographer of Wildlife’s Life!

JBRish readers may remember my article: Tin Man Lee – Vision and Talent of a Wildlife Photographer

Tin Man Lee has been at it again! He has created a short video about his harrowing and adventurous trip to the Falkland Islands to film penguins and other wildlife. The video will provide only a morsel of is talent as a photographer.

The Quest For Penguins from Tin Man Lee on Vimeo.

In addition to this beautiful video, Tin Man Lee has announced his forthcoming ebooks and video tutorial that will soon be for sale. The video tutorial will demonstrate some of the techniques he used to garner advancement of three photos for the Wildlife Photographer of the Year contest of the BBC.

You can find more information about them on his blog HERE

Thanks to Tin Man Lee for keeping us up to date with his wonderful experiences.

 

JBRish.com originally published this post

See previous posts about talented and extraordinary photographers HERE

The Presidential Photography of Pete Souza

Pete Souza Photographs the President

This video showcases the photography of official White House Photographer Pete Souza and his work in capturing the day-to-day events and personal life of President Obama and his administration. Photography helps to preserve the history of the times and Pete Souza does it very well!

From Toy to Creative Realism – Felix Hernandez

I have highlighted a number of very creative people on my website and I have said it before, but I need to say it yet again. The amount of talent that is “out there” is amazing! It is hard to believe what someone who is focused can accomplish.

Felix Hernandez takes a simple toy car and crafts a very realistic scene using artificial ingredients and Photoshop-type post production techniques. It is truly stunning to watch this come together as a finished project.

Watch the animation below, The Love Car, to appreciate true artistic creativity.

Scott Bourne – Gifts from A Life in Photography

“The great use of life is to spend it for something that will outlast it.” – William James

Let me preface this post by pointing out what a great time it is to be interested in photography or to be a photographer whether it is from a hobbyist or professional perspective. It is so easy to take for granted the wealth of information available to us today because of the Internet.

There aren’t many artists, professionals in any field or accomplished practitioners of a given skill who would willingly and freely give away their hard-earned knowledge. Many of us, when we learn a special trick or secret, would like to hold it as though it would give us an edge. Scott Bourne is not one of those people.


picture of Scott Bourne
Picture Courtesy of a screen shot from YouTube Video, The Grid #49 – Guest: Scott Bourne

For those who don’t know Scott, I would like to make the introduction. He can be found almost on a daily basis sharing his knowledge and skills. This is information he has worked years to codify and embrace and he offers it to anyone with the inclination to read or listen.

Recently, for example, he posted an article describing the use of the relatively new Adobe Portfolio option. Naturally he tried it first and then wrote about his experiences and not only that, he posted his portfolio (not completed at the time I am writing this; just experimental) for all to see. This isn’t just theory, this is real!

Another thing I have to appreciate is that Scott is a no-nonsense guy. You wouldn’t have to read too many posts or listen to more than one podcast to find that out! And that’s a good thing! When he says that he has tried almost every new camera, he means it. He can speak to the pros and cons of many cameras available currently and he does. I don’t have the resources, time or skill to assess these things, but you can get a head start in such matters by listening to Scott on his photofocus podcasts or by reading his posts at photofocus.com

Enough by way of introduction. Let me share some of Scott Bourne’s work and explain why I admire and follow him. (By the way…I am not a relative of Scott’s. I have no vested interest in writing this post except to recommend his work as a resource for those who want to become better photographers in general, and especially those interested in bird photography.)

It is not easy to pick out the work I like best because there is so much goodness out there.

Let me just share a few pictures.


Wolf with pup
All Photos used with permission and Copyright by Scott Bourne

This is a beautiful, tender picture capturing the relationship of the adult with a pup. The viewer can sense the emotional connection and the wariness of the ever-vigilant adult.

Perhaps Scott is best known for his bird photographs and this picture of a barn owl is amazing. Not only is this a beautiful picture of the animal, but the composition is perfect. (arrows are from the screen capture and are not part of the original photo)


Barn owl in window
All Photos used with permission and Copyright by Scott Bourne

I enjoy bird photography and one of the most difficult pictures to capture is an excellent photograph of a bird in flight. There is even an abbreviation for it..BIF. Realize that one must capture the bird while it is flying by making sure to track it correctly with perhaps a zoom lens and making sure that the lighting and composition are as good as possible. Go into your back yard and try this even if it is not with a zoom lens. It is difficult. That’s what makes some of these pictures truly outstanding!


Egret in flight
All Photos used with permission and Copyright by Scott Bourne

The picture above is one of my favorites. It shows the motion of the bird and yet the face of the bird remains sharp. The viewer can sense the motion. I just find this captivating. NOTE – This was a screen shot and was slightly cropped on the right and left sides.


Tufted puffin
All Photos used with permission and Copyright by Scott Bourne

Who doesn’t like puffins? Doesn’t this Tufted Puffin look majestic? The details and colors are truly stunning!

Scott has made many trips to specifically photograph eagles. And he has a bevy of pictures of these regal birds so I will just include the two following as examples.


Fishing
All Photos used with permission and Copyright by Scott Bourne


Juvenile Eagle
All Photos used with permission and Copyright by Scott Bourne

This (above) is a juvenile eagle which has not grown into his adult coloring.

Not only does Scott Bourne have “the eye” to capture the essence of the bird such as plumage, movement and coloration. He also demonstrates his flare for the drama and beauty to be found in nature such as this shot at Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge in New Mexico.


Cranes at sunset at the Bosque
All Photos used with permission and Copyright by Scott Bourne

And it is not just birds. Scott enjoys all wildlife such as this Coastal Brown Bear; Grizzly.


Standing coastal brown bear
All Photos used with permission and Copyright by Scott Bourne

Thank you Scott Bourne for being so generous and giving so much to the photographic community. I know you have inspired many others and will continue to do so!

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Some bird photography resources created by Scott.

A Simple Primer on Photographing Birds in Flight

How To Photograph Birds | 20 Tips & Some Resources

About Bird Photography – Finding The Birds

Photographing Birds – What NOT To Do

More “general” resources from Scott:

10 Things Beginning Photographers Should Know

Details Matter – Going The Last Mile For A Better Photograph

On the Light Stalking website, Scott has several e-Books that are available free of charge. I have read some of them and I an assure you, just study