A great way to get to know yourself and others is through making portraits. National Geographic Photo Camp instructors utilize the process of portrait photography as an incredible tool through which students can look at themselves, each other, and the different people they encounter everyday. Baltimore students had the opportunity to take studio portraits of each other using lighting equipment at UMBC’s Department of Visual Arts. Students were introduced to basic lighting techniques and explored the myriad of ways photographers can choose to light their subjects to capture their personality. By changing the positioning of the studio lights students experimented with creating mood from different lighting set ups and even turned off the lights to play with light painting techniques. Here are some great examples of portraits students made during Photo Camp Baltimore.
Students also took their cameras outside the lighting studio to learn about creating environmental portraits. Making environmental portraits requires students to pay close attention to their surrounding and consider connections between people and their environments. The settings in which photographers make portraits are important because they can add to the viewer’s understanding of the subject. The room in which someone lives or works, their house, the city or street they walk, the place in which they seek relaxation-the setting of a portrait helps reveal more about the person.
Student and professional photographers alike can find it challenging to approach and interact with new subjects. The Baltimore City Farmer’s Market and Bazaar provided a colorful and energetic atmosphere for students to gain experience engaging with others in order to create environmental portraits.
During Photo Camp Baltimore students also visited Patapsco Valley State Park in Ellicott City, Maryland. Not too far from Baltimore City, the park provided a peaceful retreat from city life and a wonderful natural environment for students to further explore portrait photography.
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