Thursday, June 05, 2014

Shooting Outside My Box (Again)

Click to Enlarge
My box is a comfortable place. Well, to me it is. It's not everyone's box. It's mine and I know my way around it from all the corners, up and down its walls, and across it's ceiling and floor.  I've written about this before. The notion of shooting "outside the box" doesn't reflect some universal box. There is no one-size-fits-all box that reflects an imaginary and metaphorical photographic "box" that shooters either capture their photos from within or without. Instead, there are boxes and there are boxes. They're not all the same. My personal box is unlike many others' boxes while being similar to the boxes of some. My box represents a small percentage of some overall "box" that might, somehow, represent the entire world of photo-shooting boxes. (Assuming such a universal box exists, which I doubt it does.)

50mm prime on 5D classic w/Pro Mist 3. Click to Enlarge.
Last Sunday, I went out again with my friend, Diana, to shoot some "outside Jimmy's box" photos. Our goal wasn't for me to shoot outside my box even if that was what I was mostly doing. Our goals, Diana's and mine, were to shoot some cool pics, as vague as that sounds. We weren't trying to shoot outside any box. We weren't going for "edgy." I suppose we were going for "different," in an editorial style, but "different" is an entirely vague term as well, much like "edgy." As important as shooting something different was for us, we were (most of all) intent on having a good time shooting while exercising our creative minds which, in itself, is often a good time. Leastwise, for creative people who, I'm pretty sure, we both qualify as being.

Diana took care of the wardrobe and the modeling and I picked the location (Vasquez Rocks, in Agua Dulce, CA) and performed camera duty. We had discussed those things and more, quite a bit in fact, prior to shooting. So, it wasn't like Diana showed up with clothing that was a big surprise to me or I began snapping pictures of the sort that were a surprise to her.  We had our themes and goals and more pretty much nailed down before the shoot, including the props we intended to use.

Photographically, there were a couple of things I wanted to do. First, I wanted to shoot some of it with my cheap, plastic, Holga lens I had ordered from China... and I did. Using the Holga represented mounting a $16 piece of molded plastic -- plastic optics and all -- on a high-tech, $3600, camera body.  Low-tech meets high-tech as it were.  Personally, I'm a fan of low-fi, Lomo-like images. Often enough, the results are surprising. Surprising in good ways, that is.

Both Snapped with the Holga Lens. Click to Enlarge
Second, I wanted to use a couple of Pro Mist filters.  I had bought the Pro Mist filters years back but I had originally purchased them for shooting video, not stills.  Recently, I came across those filters stored in a box -- I had bought three of them, Pro Mist 1, 2, 3, but seem to have lost the Pro Mist 2 somewhere along the way -- and decided to get a couple of adapter rings so I could screw the filters onto my Canon "nifty-fifty" 50mm f/1.8 lens and another lens. (The "nifty-fifty" is another cheap, mostly plastic lens. But it's one that's eons ahead of the Holga in terms of the traditional quality of the images it produces; images every bit as good, if not better, than many lenses costing hundreds of dollar more.)

Captured with Pro Mist filter on my Canon "nifty-fifty." Click to Enlarge.

Of course I also shot without the filters-- with my "nifty-fifty" as well as my Canon 85mm f/1.8 and my Tamron 28-75 f/2.8.

Tamron 28-75, ISO 200, f/5.6 at 75mm. No filter. Click to Enlarge.
In all, it was lots of fun! The shoot was refreshing (for me) and creatively invigorating (for both of us.)  Yep! I was shooting outside my personal box and loving it! (As most of you probably know, my personal box is glamour.)

Here's one more of Diana below. It was shot with my Canon 85mm, f/1.8 prime with a Pro Mist filter screwed on. When Diana saw this photo, she said, "Wow! I wouldn't want to mess with me!"  Diana and I are already planning our next shoot. Should be fun again! In fact, I'm sure it will be. We have a completely different theme and location planned.   For you techies and gear heads, I should mention I recently purchased a Yongnuo YN568EX II speedlite and I used it, off-camera, as a fill light for many (if not most) of these photos, including the Holga images.  So far, I'm fairly impressed with that flash, more so considering its modest price.

Canon 85mm f/1.8 prime with Pro Mist filter. Click to Enlarge.

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