Experiencing light in adversity and other tales.

Since last week, I’ve been thinking about writing this post to explain a little bit how the “creation” of the pictures I posted on “about daring and practising” was. Many of you asked and I decided I would tell the experience since I always appreciate reading it in other photographers’ blogs.

One of the things I learnt is that I need better lenses and a good computer (it took me ages to process all the pictures!) but, at the moment, I’ll keep working with my current gear and, as my brother told me, “learn how to fish with your simple rod.”

This photo shoot was a little improvised since I was asked to do it “in a rush” from one day to another and we met on a Saturday midday, with the worst light in the world. But it was a friend who asked so I couldn’t say no; plus it was group photos and I was looking forward to have the chance to take group pictures. They wanted these photographs to give them to a friend of theirs for her birthday. They four study a master on literature in University of Barcelona so we met in the historic and beautiful building of the university where they three study and where I spent five years studying English philology. The building and gardens are beautiful but I was having some problems with light, shadows and background! The spots I like in the garden were filled with awful direct sunlight which was not very becoming for a portrait. Shadows were limited and the ones I liked didn’t shelter the whole group.

Inside the building was almost perfection to me. I love this soft and gentle light that gets into a room by a shy window or door. Here we had a huge entrance with many doors. I placed them in front of the main door so they could have a front light but instead of using the dark background of the hall I preferred adding a new character in the picture which was the light coming in from the back door and this way it was side lighting which I LOVE.

For their poses I just placed them so I could see them perfectly, not having the girls at the front hiding the other two, and I moved around the “stage”. I asked them to feel comfortable and to feel comfortable in their movements and, above all, their hands position (how difficult it is to place your hands right!!) My direction was based on “are you feeling comfortable?” “are you feeling this position “yours”?” I wanted them to be a group but I also wanted them to feel individuals with an identity.


Later, we were looking for a place with soft light and went to the Biblioteca de Catalunya’s cloister(National Library of Catalonia). I always asked them to go to places that meant something to them and these two places were meaningful. The garden hosted a beautiful and both direct and soft light, and thanks to the cloister we could have both types of lighting. I suggested them to bring some things to “play” a little in the pictures, in this case the best elements were books!


And finally I suggested (for them and for my portfolio!) to take individual pictures of them, always trying to show their personalities which, by then, I had already discovered. That day I learnt to control light in adversity and to be so much aware of natural reflectors.

I took some good pictures, I’m not so happy with some others but, as I said in a previous post, I learnt many things and I also learnt all the things I need to control. I’m pretty happy with that.


About Emma Espejo

Graduated from English Philology in the University of Barcelona, I wanted to study a phd on Literature but ended dedicating my life to Photography. Full time teacher of English, and full time photographer (a passion can't be neglected). Working on my photography and making other people happy with my photographs makes me happy, as well as a good conversation, reading a good book and watching a good tv series. I'm a reader, dreamer, lover, photographer, writer, thinker... a little bit of everything.
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2 Responses to Experiencing light in adversity and other tales.

  1. Amendoza says:

    Aloha! Love this blog; it is truly inspiring along with the rest of your wordpress site. I’m slowly learning about photography and experimenting with my camera. Any advice for someone just starting out?

    • Emma Espejo says:

      Good to read!!! I can only say practice practice and practice… you’ll learn how to use your camera and all the camera can do and you’ll get your eye used to recognize a good picture. Good luck!! 🙂

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