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Lighten Up!
Old 08-13-2007, 01:00 PM   #1 (permalink)
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I have a friend who is always on my back about why I use fill flash and reflectors when shooting out side. He primarily is a photojournalist and as a result uses only the available light to shoot most of his work. Fair enough, he gets some great shots, but my style is to use these light modifiers. Anyway, I was shooting a couple of days ago and at one point I turned off the flash and shot with only the available light. In the end, I think I like the natural light shot better (I guess I do, it's the first page in my book now). Anyway, here are two shots with different lighting.


For this shot, I turned the model's back to the available light and used fill flash
Model: Amanda Myers, Birmingham, Alabama


Here I turned her towards the available light, no fill flash
Model: Amanda Myers, Birmingham, Alabama

Also you will note in the second shot a little false color because of the reflected blue light from the water in the pool. (Oh, and the shot has been modified slightly from it's original content so you are allowed to see it on Glamour One.) Anyway, so my friend may be right, I should at least consider using available light more often when shooting for editorial content. (I hate it when anyone other than myself is right).

Here is a third shot of Amanda Myers. Another photographer (Teddy Ray) had done some pictures of a model swimming in our pool here at Southgate and I really liked them, so I did the right thing and simply stole the idea.


Swimsuit designed by Christian Behr for his new couture swimwear collection

Amanda is a beautiful girl and has done some wonderful work with many other photographers, Dennis Keim (dK) in Alabama comes to mind. When you are looking for a model to improve your book, if Amanda is available I highly recommend her.

Copy, borrow, steal, all are part of my daily grind. But taking advice? And admitting it? ..........Not so much!

On an unrelated note (okay, not so unrelated), I recently had a local photographer get in touch with me about mentoring him for a few sessions to improve his technique when shooting models. Since Duncan Ross of Fashion TV had contacted me about the new FTV Studios in South Beach, I took advantage of the opportunity to do a little instruction using both the studio for shooting as well as using it as a base for working on and around Lincoln Road.

The new studio is located at 350 Lincoln Road so it's a block off the beach and right on the main drag of the Lincoln Road walking mall here in South Beach. Lincoln Road is perfect for shooting (during season there are at least two commercial shoots going on almost every day) and of course is home to five of the top fashion agencies here in Miami.


The meeting and reception areas just off the shooting floor of the FTV Studios

Fish
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Last edited by Fish; 12-15-2008 at 05:16 PM..
 
Re: Lighten Up!
Old 08-13-2007, 01:14 PM   #2 (permalink)
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I really love the second image. Best wishes, gus
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Re: Lighten Up!
Old 08-13-2007, 01:28 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Personally, I disagree and prefer the first image. Also, I see some color distortion reflecting off the water in both images, albeit less in image #1. Wha'd'ya gonna do? It's gonna be there, to some degree, in that shooting environment. And look what happens to the color of her hair--back of her head--in the naturally-lit image? Not too flattering.
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Re: Lighten Up!
Old 08-13-2007, 05:37 PM   #4 (permalink)
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I have to agree with Jimmy, I like the light in the first one better, although I'd be very happy to have shot either one.
Awesome studio to work in, makes my livingroom and garage look pretty shabby.

Very fine work as usual from you.

Vic
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Re: Lighten Up!
Old 08-14-2007, 08:11 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Fish, I'm with Jimmy. The second one is excellent! It has a nice editorial look which, as a former news guy, I can appreciate. I dig it.

But the second one has some sweet lighting. Nice and even, not too flat. Really beautiful.

Both top notch, as is the norm for your stuff. But if it were my girlfriend you were shooting it's the first one I'd write the check for.
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Re: Lighten Up!
Old 08-14-2007, 08:34 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Fish,

Great post. FWIW, I like the first image better as well. Overall, looks cleaner and more "fashiony".
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Re: Lighten Up!
Old 08-14-2007, 03:54 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Fish,

I like both images, but the second looks more "real". The first one has a "make over" look and feel to it. I like available light personally, but understand the need for fill flash as well.

JW
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Re: Lighten Up!
Old 08-14-2007, 06:09 PM   #8 (permalink)
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P.S. If those two images where shot for a client, say for something editorial, which image of those two would a photo editor most likely choose? I understand it's a very subjective question but my instinct says #1.
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Rorschach Test
Old 08-14-2007, 06:40 PM   #9 (permalink)
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In my opinion, basically there is no right answer about the two pictures. Both are valid, but when I was reviewing them I was struck by how different I felt about these two pictures of the same model in the same environment where basically the difference is the lighting.

As a guy who comes to the table (as I have said often enough) as a commercial photographer shooting editorial content, my inclination is to prefer the first shot. In fact, after a cursive review I printed that picture as the first image in Amanda's book. It was only later when I spent more time with the images that I became enamored with the second picture, which I then thought enough of to put in the front of my own book. (Okay, I'll move some other picture back in front eventually, but the shot will definitely stay in my book.)

The first image is striking (Amanda is flat beautiful. Right, she's not flat, but you get the point.), and I got the lighting balanced out pretty good (not bad for a guy laying on his side trying to balance a 70-200 zoom a couple of inches off the concrete and dialing the settings in with my thumb). It is the way I like to shoot this picture. But, the second image has to my eye more emotional impact, more of the moment, more about her and less about me (my craft). Or maybe it's just me making something about nothing.

Anyway, I appreciate you guys looking at the pictures and taking the time to comment. It is why I posted them. This stuff really means a lot to me, it's what I do, it's who I am. And I do think it one of the few things worthy of an adult's attention!

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Re: Rorschach Test
Old 08-14-2007, 07:08 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fish View Post
This stuff really means a lot to me, it's what I do, it's who I am. And I do think it one of the few things worthy of an adult's attention!

Fishie
Beautiful photos of beautiful women hardly qualify as ink blot tests except, perhaps, if Freud or Kinsey were conducting the tests.

That aside, when a vocation like photography nearly consumes one's entire life--it ain't a simply a job, it's a state of being--I think it makes us question, even more, the truth that our images hold. Do we reflect reality as faithfully as possible? Or do we create fantasy with skill and trickery? And then there are those questions that have to do with "compromising one's craft" entering the picture. You know, should the image favor technical craft over human emotion and all that sort of stuff. Fortunately, these struggles keep us questing for photo Nirvana. It keeps us searching for the perfect light, pointing our optics and snapping shutters. And.... damn. Sorry. I'm getting all philosophical with this stuff. Hey! Fish! Whatever floats your boat, ya know?
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