Sunday, July 25, 2010

Use the force...

I have a ton of books on photography, from exposure, to composition, to color and posing.  With all of this collective knowledge there is one thing that no book can full teach you and that is creativity.

I am amazed that most of my model portrait shoots are pretty much unscripted.  I often get a chill thinking to myself "what in the heck am I going to do?"  Knowing your location often helps, it makes it easier to place someone into the scene if you've used or visited it in the past.

The one thing that I know is if I don't like the existing lighting situation I will not hesitate to whip out a few speedlights to make everything Mo better.

Sometimes you think you've nailed it and sometimes you miss by a country mile.  Take this image from this week's shoot was a foul tip -

The beautiful thing about shooting RAW is that you have about 4 stops of control (plus or minus) which comes in handy when your creativity is working overtime.  The more shots I take, the more I learn.

Even though there are loads of technical ways to light a subject including using a hand held light meter, measuring the distance from the camera and the subject and dividing that by the guide number or using the fstop and dividing that into the guide number...  I am confused but the one thing that works for me is to try to see the light.  Try to view the scene through your viewfinder, set the fstop and the shutter speed and then pop your lights on full.  In most cases the light from the flash overwhelms the shot.  From that point on it's duck soup to find the right set point that will give you a nice balance between the ambient light, from the setting sun and the fill from your flash.  I'm sure that anyone who really knows flash photography is going to read this and say "he'd better hit the books again".  I will and hopefully I'm not too far off.

Use the force Luke...

Saturday, July 10, 2010

You never know what you'll get

A few weeks ago I got a request to shoot photos for a model from the Puna district.  She was planning to be in Waikoloa for a few days and agreed that we should get together to create some ocean side images. We really didn't have much of a plan, all she really wanted was to be on the sand and in the water.  There are times when having a plan makes life so much easier but then there are other times when the thrill of success is defined by the mystery.

We agreed to meet at one of my favorite plans to shoot beach scenes - Beach 69.  She arrived and we trotted down to the waters edge to see what we could see.  After a few test shots for lighting and color we started.  The sun was rapidly moving towards what became a spectacular sunset but more on that in another post.  After several poses and lots of shots we moved her into the water and that's when the magic started.  She is a natural poser and a lovely person to work with. After the sun set we reviewed what I'd been able to capture and we said Aloha.

Sometimes life is like a box of chocolates, you never know what you'll get.