Model Shoot

Model Shoot – Portrait Photography


“Hi, I’m Atra, your model for this portrait photography shoot.”

Black Vulture

“You call this a studio? Some dilapidated old lumber out here in the woods?”

“Well, the lighting is ok. Open shade works well on me.”

“So what is it you want? A formal full length portrait? That is a bit old-fashioned you know. You need a whole wall to show a print well. Most folks don’t have that much space.”

Black Vulture

What are you shooting at? Aperture at f/5 to f/5.6? That’s good for portrait work. Enough depth of field for my countenance and it softens the background.”

“And your focal length? 165mm, well that’s a bit long for people, but it works for us coragyps.”

“But look at those bright spots of light coming through the trees. They are distracting.”

“No, “bokeh” is not a good excuse. Move around a bit to get a denser background.”

Black Vulture

“Alright. How about an over-the-shoulder view. That shows off the great texture in my black plumage.”

“Go ahead, come in a little closer.”

Black Vulture

“But look at the background you picked now. There is a tree right behind me.”

“That’s bad, always bad for portraiture. Didn’t they teach you that?!”

Black Vulture

“A bit better, but this background is still too busy and distracting. How about we move over to that grassy spot?”

Black Vulture

“Now your cooking! We’ll make a photographer out of you yet! Soft background for me and still some indication of the natural environment. You know, I am a wild bird!”

“ Go ahead come in closer. I won’t bite so long as you look lively. Get my good looks large for folks to appreciate.”

Black Vulture

“What do you mean I blinked? I did not! I merely used my nictitating membrane to moisten my eyes so you get a nice catch light. That is important you know. Always focus on the eyes. And be sure to get a good catch light. Makes me look alive!”


“Well, you did ok. I think we can call it a wrap. Besides I am getting hungry and I was promised a fresh, juicy road kill as payment for this gig.”



GNPA-logoFernbankScienceCenter-logoThe above portrait of this good looking coragyps atratus, black vulture, was accepted for the “Native Animals of the Southwest” Exhibit at the Fernbank Science Center, Atlanta, Georgia, April 18 through July 10, 2015.



© 2015 Ludwig Keck

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