Sometimes, I get hired to make seductive, crafty, escape-from-reality, photos of gorgeous, alluring, beautiful, women. Other times, I get hired to make less-crafty, more obvious, the-message-is-clear, pics of cute, pretty girls that say, fairly clearly, where things are going.
Yesterday was one of those days where the latter was the order of the day.
It's no secret the schoolgirl genre appeals to many men. It is what it is and things are what they are. Men are sexually drawn to youth. I suppose women are drawn to the same. I say, "I suppose" in my observation about women because I'm not a woman and, as a realistic sort of guy, I don't pretend to know what goes on in the minds of women.
To deny the sexually-provocative appeal of youth, i.e., youth in it's sex-appeal prime, is absurd. It's part of how we're wired. It's built into the design. For most men, young and old, it's a very basic instinct. And because of that, products are marketed and sold, sometimes obviously and sometimes less obviously, that exploit that instinct.
It's not just sexually-explicit adult products that prey on men's and women's attraction to youth, but hordes of products in the mainstream as well. Youth, beauty, and sexual allure are used to sell just about everything and anything. Sex sells! Youth sells! And sex, coupled with youth, often sells even better!
Sex and youth are also used to sell products aimed at our personal hopes and desires to reclaim our own youthful appearances and sense of being. Think everything from skin-care products to fashion to Viagra to, well, to almost anything else.
Morality-driven people struggle and battle against this sex-and-youth stuff. In fact, they often rail against almost everything where sex and sexually-provocative content is used as the carrot. IMO, they're fighting an eternally losing battle. People are what and who they are and all the morality in the world isn't going to change their basic instincts. Leastwise, not in the private domains of their personal thoughts and imaginations. The Thought Police don't have a prayer, as well they shouldn't.
Hey! I'm just saying!
I also had a chance yesterday to try out a new piece of glass I've recently added to my camera bag: A Canon EF 70-200 f/4L USM.
I know, I know... I should have bought the IS version of the 70-200 f/4L. Better yet, the f/2.8L IS version.
Frankly, I can't remember the last time I shot any pretty girl photographs at f/2.8. In fact, I rarely use an aperture wider than f/5.6. And since I almost always use strobes, IS becomes significantly less of an issue. For those occasional times I'm using reflectors only, I'll put the camera on sticks if the 70-200 f/4L (non IS) is in use.
For me, money spent on gear is always something I carefully consider, i.e., in terms of how much, and on what, I'm willing to spend. This stuff ain't hobby toys for me. They are the tools I use to fatten my wallet. Whenever I can buy a tool for less, i.e., a tool that gets the job adequately and effectively done for less, it means my wallet is that much fatter. I've said it before, I ain't a gear elitist. Plus, I haven't won the lottery... yet.
Yep! Being a practical and frugal guy, I tend to buy tools that closely match the job; my job. In this case, the f/4L (non-IS) should do me just fine when I need those focal lengths, especially considering how much less this lens costs than its higher-priced siblings.
The pretty, plaid-clad, 18+ schoolgirls at the top are Morgan, left, and Louisa, right. Image captured under the mid-day sun, right around noon, in the backyard of an upscale home high in the Hollywood hills. Those white blouses were tough to keep under control in that environment and I wasn't as successful at doing so as I would have liked to have been. Yesterday's client demands very bright, evenly-lit, images (they don't much like shadows) and prefers them shot in daylight exterior locations. That kept me walking a fine line with exposure, driving it to the slightly overexposed side.
I used a Canon 5D w/ Canon 70-200 f/4L at ISO 100, f/16 @ 200th for this image. I also used two, modified, front lights, set at 45s either side of me, to battle the sun and background ambient. I should have leveled that horizon line a bit. Oh well. Sometimes, I guess I get a bit myopic and don't notice things like that until after I've processed the image... and then laziness kicks in.