Once again, I’ve taken a look at last month’s pictures to see which ones take me. In this case, all four images are very simple, direct, frame filling compositions. One is from an assignment, and the credit for it’s power lies with the subject, not with me. All of them reassure me that I am learning as I go, which, after all, is my primary objective.
Laura Ring, a featured actress in The Odd Couple - Female Version. I threw together a simple three- light setup for a quick batch of these head/shoulder shots. They are all sharp and well exposed, but Laura brings the right combination of costume and attitude to catch one's eye. I made the capture - she makes the photo. Nikon D300, Nikon 17-55, ISO 400, 1/200, f5.6
In a real departure for me, I opted to let negative space rule this image. A photographer I respect "liked" this image on facebook - first time that's happened! Part of the lesson here is to trust my instincts. I saw it, I liked it, and I shot, even though I was there to practice capturing birds in flight. Nikon D300, Nikon 70-200 f2.8, ISO 200, 1/800, f4.0
Speaking of birds in flight, it sure helps to practice on big ones. I don't know if I like the image as much as I like the memory of making it. I had just arrived at Bolsa Chica and this guy lumbered by me before I'd walked a hundred yards. I acted quickly and clumsily, but still got the shot. That's a bit of a confidence builder. And I really dig the colors of his beak and face. Nikon D300, Nikon 70-200 f2.8, ISO 200, 1/1000, f4.0
Before my first official post-flashbus shoot, I practiced on my son. Now, maybe this just catches my eye because it's one of my children, but I think there's something more. In particular, I'm learning to fill the frame and not freak out over a missing bit of hair or ear. As I saw with the picture of Laura above, lighting gives a portrait dimension and detail, but the expression makes it touch the viewer. Nikon D300, Nikon 70-200 f2.8, ISO 200, 1/250, f5.6, shoot-through umbrella with gridded flash for key light; on-axis SB800 with Gary Fong Lightsphere as fill light.
What’s really nice is that there were other photos that I really liked in March, but they were for assignments that I cannot yet share. Later this month, I present my updated and revised workshop: Learning Light From Wrong; A Discussion of Photographic Lighting with a Shadowy Figure. I’m excited about how much I’ve learned since the first presentation in December of 2009. And I’m excited about how much more there is to learn. If you’re near Ventura on April 27, I hope you’ll join us!