Thursday, 6 June 2013

Practicing with mannequins and statues

Most mornings, I walk around and take a few practice shots before work. Sometimes I get a good shot. At other times I just erase the memory card after the walk.

Yesterday was one of the good shot days. I walked by a shop window and saw these realistic, but very pale mannequins with white clothes. I decided to see if I could get a good shot.

By zooming in close, focusing on the closest mannequin, and using f5.6, I could blur the background to the point where the two other mannequins in the picture are only hinted at.

To avoid reflections from the shop window, I pressed the lens as close to the shop window glass as I could. This is a useful tip. I got it from one of Scott Kelby's Digital Photography books. I have forgotten which one though.

Shooting mannequins and statues are great practice when you do not have a model to work with, or when you are experimenting in ways that would bore a normal human being to tears. Also, if I shoot  a model, I feel an obligation to take pictures she is happy with. This means I cannot take big risks, and shoot in ways that might work out. So, practicing on a mannequin first, is a good way to take those first, fumbling steps, before you have worked the kinks out of the process.