Sunday, July 27, 2014

More Shooting Outside My Comfort Box

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I've been shooting pretty girls, i.e., glam, tease, nude, that stuff, for a long time; nearly two decades. That's how I've made much of my living and, albeit to a much lesser extent these days, I still do. (There's incredibly less available work these days for shooters like myself.) But it seems like the less I'm hired to shoot sexy photos of sexy models, the more I love photography and the more I find myself getting in touch with my inner hobbyist and shooting outside my comfort box. (That's in spite of my income from photography, leastwise as a pretty girl shooter, being so much less.)

For me, there's little that's challenging about shooting pretty girl pics. It's fun, for sure, but challenging? Not really. That's because, of course, I've done so much of it. For my personal project photography, I'm not much interested in shooting beautiful models in glamour images, especially via trade-for-pics (TFP) arrangements or that sort of thing. I have nothing to prove, glamour-shooting-wise. Certainly, not to myself which is what matters most.

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That's a big reason why, these days, I'm so keen on shooting pics that are outside my usual comfort box. Often, way outside of it. For me, they represent challenges, leastwise new challenges. Besides helping me get in touch with my inner hobbyist, these "other" sorts of shoots also appeal to my inner artist. I'm not saying shooting pretty girls isn't or can't be artistic and creative. It certainly can be!  But when you're doing so for clients, the art aspects are limited by what the clients want me to shoot and how they want me to shoot the pretty girls they hire me to photograph. I've arrived at a point in my photography life where any glam models I might shoot for fun, well, it's going to be in ways other than glam or tease.

I went out with my friend, Diana, last Friday for another story/theme-based shoot. This time out, I wanted to shoot some pics that had a slightly "X-Files" personality to them, coupled with a vintage feel for some of them. To accomplish this, Diana's 15-year-old son came along with us and he brought along a black body suit he owns.

For the image at the top of this update, I utilized a slow shutter-- Tv (shutter priority) at 1/4 second, ISO 100, f/16, all natural light with a 50mm prime on my Canon 5D2. I had Diana's son, in his black body suit, moving towards her while Diana remained still.  I wanted to create an image that appeared like an old fashioned ghost or apparition photo.

There was a time, historically, when a few early photographers created these sorts of images and, since photography was still relatively new to the general public, they tried passing them off as proof that otherworldly beings existed.  Anyway, that was my intent. At least my partial intent. By the way, I did nothing in post to alter the way Diana's son appears in the capture at the top. It was all exposure-driven. I remain a "get it right in the camera" sort of guy, including when/if I'm trying out some special effects that I have limited experience shooting.The post work I did on the photo was mostly aimed at creating a vintage or antique look and not in terms of creating how the "apparition" appears.

For the second photo I posted (above right) you can plainly see the black body suit Diana's son was wearing. It was quite hot while we were shooting and the kid needed to pull the headpiece off fairly often as he said he couldn't breathe too well in it and he was overheating. But he was a trooper!  I truly appreciated his willingness to endure the heat in that full body suit.

Here's another (below) from last Friday's "just for fun" shoot. For this one, I whipped out my Lensbaby Muse to create a different sort of look. Hey! It's in my bag. Might as well snap a few with it, right? I'm still trying to get the hang of using the Lensbaby. Eventually, I'll get it down to where I'm more adept at using it, at least I hope so. (Not that I plan to use it all that often.)  Diana, her son, and I are going out again this Monday for another shoot, one with a different story/theme and at a different location. Should be fun! For me, if or when photography ever stops being (for the most part) fun, I'll give up doing it.

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