Beautiful Fall Days

An Atlanta photographer capturing portraits at Krog St Tunnel

Addy at Krog Street Tunnel

An Atlanta Photographer's Fall Days

Don't you just love fall? It's such a colorful time of year and, here in Atlanta, it means a little bit of heat relief and stunning weather. I love the beautiful oranges and deep reds and pinks of the changing leaves. 

The weather's been perfect for outdoor activities, especially taking photos! I've been a little disappointed that the trees haven't turned much in my neighborhood, yet a lot of them are dropping their leaves already. 

I'll get out and take a photo walk or two over the next few days and see if I can capture some fall colors. 

I had the pleasure of getting some photos of my niece, Addy, recently, though she announced at the beginning of the session that it wasn't her idea and she didn't feel like smiling. Ah, teenagers. 

Prime Lens for Portraits

I used my Nikon 85mm prime lens to get these, and oh how I love that lens. I shot the above photo at f/2 for that nice bokeh background, and I still managed to get both of her eyes in focus which can be tricky when the aperture is that wide. Stopping down a bit to about f/5 is often best for portraits so you get a deeper depth of field for sharp eye focus, but I really wanted the blurred-out background, so I'm glad I went with f/2 here.  

I really loved the next photo because I love breaking the rules sometimes. What rules? Glad you asked.

I had a fill flash and a reflector but I decided not to use either for this shot. I didn't use the reflector because in this instance, due to the trees, there was nowhere to put the reflector where it would fill the shadows on her face.

I didn't use the fill flash because I loved the way the light was moving across the bottom half of her face. With portraiture, if you're following the "rules" you'd use the fill flash or reflector or sometimes both to avoid any facial shadows. 

An Atlanta photographer capturing portraits near Krog St Tunnel


It was a little dark under the dappled shade so I used f/1.8 and was hoping for sharp, in-focus eyes which I knew was a stretch with such a narrow depth of field. I was happy when this photo had both of her eyes, her nose, and her lips in focus along with that amazing light playing across her face.

You've got to know all the rules of good portraiture but once you know the rules, you can learn how to bend them for a more creative look. 

Switching Creative Gears

On Sunday afternoon, I was in need of a creative influx and went to a friend's art studio for a live figure-drawing class, and it was great!

I had no idea what I was doing, but it got my creative juices flowing. I've talked about this before and I'll say it again - it doesn't matter if you think you're not creative, everyone has some creativity in them, you just need to find what inspires you. Approach it like a kid and don't worry if you feel like you're not good.

I was nervous because I knew that everyone there had experience drawing figures, and I barely had experience drawing anything. I used to like to play with a sketch pad - but it's been years since I picked up a pencil and tried drawing anything. 

It helped that I knew I'd be in a safe, encouraging environment and that's important.

I wasn't in my comfort zone attempting to sketch a live model but I'm glad I made myself go. This was challenging. The model was a fit young man but 20 minutes was the max for holding a pose, and I thought that was impressive, especially because he modeled for two hours.

We had to sketch quickly because, for most of the sketches, we only had a few minutes, though for two of the sketches, we had 20 minutes. I did seven sketches in total. I'll go out of my comfort zone again and show you one.

This was one of the quick sketches. You'll notice I didn't even attempt his profile, hands, or feet. I need to work on getting skeletal proportions right first! Poor man - I didn't do him justice.

An Atlanta photographer tries her hand at figure drawing


The experience inspired me and I'll definitely go back. The other people in the class were so encouraging it gave me such a creative lift, so I hope I can do the same for others, and I encourage you to pursue your creativity. 

Here we are - November! There are lots of opportunities to flex your creativity if you like to decorate for the holidays.

Have an amazing rest of your week, and see you between the raindrops - I saw a few yesterday for about 10 minutes!


Keep your eye out for more upcoming sales for the holidays on my site and in your email.