Sunday, February 22, 2009

Julie (43/100) - The more you look the less you see

This was a disaster from start to finish. This is Pranati who fitted my freshly lensed "Harry Potter" spectacles during late night shopping this evening. For some reason - that totally escapes me now - I thought I would ask to take her photo. There were two people serving. There were four sets of customers in the shop. There were down-lights everywhere. The walls were covered with mirrors. Any angle that I could think of included ME! I think this was set on 1600 and at the extremity of the pathetic lens - hence the terrible focus. Getting her to continue her work meant involving other customers which was a no no. Aaarrgggghhhh ...

So I figured the flash to be pretty useless. And although I have made a difusser, being geometrically challenged, I managed to cut the hinge out of the diffuser not out of the throw-away bit. So now have to drink the next iced-coffee to get an empty bottle.

So this is all wrong - but I learnt a lesson. No insides of shops. Ensure that the subject has a task to go on with where their supervisor is NOT watching them.


bitingmidge said...

That me person can be a problem!

Are we trying to hard to place people in context when all we need is a picture of their face clearly occupied?

Perhaps we think too much?

Julie said...

I am trying VERY hard to place people in context ... but that is because I came into this project thinking that a portrait showed head only.

As I storm up to 50, I want to set myself clearly defined objectives for each set of 10 from thereon out. Will reread the hints during this coming week. I must admit that I have totally redefined what I think of as a portrait.

There is still a range of technical issues/problems for me to deal with: I go too quickly from shot to shot without enough thinking. I need to slow down and take fewer shots. Be able to see the shot before I ask the subject instead of shooting like buggery to get out of their hair as fast as I can.

freefalling said...

I don't think you think too much - I think you expect too much.
I mean who takes brilliant photos every single time they set out to photograph someone?
Even the really great portrait takers - there will usually only be a handful of photos you really connect with and just imagine how many they took!
Take it easy on yourselves!

Ann said...

I don't think you can define beforehand what type of shot you want to take for each one, unless you are going to go out and only look for those situations. Personally, I don't have that much time. I think you have to try and find the shot that best fits the person and situation, and the camera you are working with at the time. Can't see these ones either, will comment tomorrow.

Julie said...

That is about where I find myself: going out to look for specific shots. I am aware of the demographic that I am short in. I refuse to go for just anyone who is available. I want character. And I want my subject to be doing something that I find interesting.

Does it come across that I am only interested in the salt-of-the-earth types?

Given all that: there are obvious short-comings in my technique. This is what I want to work on. Setting up shots that will force me to work on specific techniques.

bitingmidge said...

I too am looking (but not finding oftem) something extra!

It may be a dog, or a hat or a lady with a parasol, but the world I inhabit is full of beige people wearing baseball caps and sunnies and their shorts way too high! I think that to rattle off a hundred shots of just anyone is defeating the purpose of the exercise a bit. I think I'm looking for either a specific "subject" (say Jess with the tats a few weeks ago) or the record of a chat.

The latter is much easier for me, although it's not easy when one goes out specifically to do it.

The trick is to turn whatever one is looking for into a photograph which can be interepreted by others I think, whether correctly interpreted or not (Liam's grandma) matters nought.

Julie said...

Yes, the eye-of-the-beholder is not my responsibility ...

I don't specifically go out looking for a chat but I do normally just strike up conversations with people that I find doing interesting things. So that is not difficult for me and doesn't make me feel fake. I have rationalised all that. Like this arvo down at the fish markets, walking along one of the trawler piers a young guy went to take his shirt of at the same time saying "I'll take me shirt off, that's what yer lookin'for, right: young, handsome, black man with abs?"

I burst out laughing and, gesticulating down my body, replied "Yeah, right - it rooly looks like that's what I'm lookin' for, dosenit!"

We had a long, equal chat after that.

But I have returned home kicking myself because I squibbed out on a major: the big-5-zero smack in the middle of my missing demographic. And I fluffed it. Didn't have the courage to ask!!

Directed at self: gggrrrrrr!!!!!!

Ann said...

I haven't managed to take a decent shot in a shop. Its something I would like to master but don't know if I will be able to. I need to find some people at work shots but everytime I see someone they are so occupied I don't want to interrupt.