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Tag Archives: Shutter speed
Today’s images are outtakes from a small fashion show at the Midtown Global Market last Saturday. I want to share them and a few nuggets about getting better shots in difficult situations.
Helpful tips for event/portrait/candid photography:
1. Of course, pay attention to light. This event was inside, but located in the main court, right underneath a large, diffusive skylight. There was a lot of great light everywhere; That observation let shoot the last image in amazing, diffused natural light, no flash.
2. Don’t be afraid to shoot ISO 1600 if you need the shutter speed; Most contemporary digital cameras have outstanding quality at this ISO. Any problematic noise can be removed with software solutions.
3. Shoot a long lens with low aperture; All these images were shot at f/2.8 on a Canon 70-200mm tele. A very sharp lens, it also allows you to shoot strangers without entering their personal space and will hold depth of field in critical areas.
4. Use Flash; the first three were shot with the use of flash, a Fong Dome diffuser on the flash, camera exposure compensation set at -2/3 EV and the flash output set at -1/3 EV. The effect is to darken the background overall, and not over-flash the subject…this is my taste, but I find the combination can work very well…but not in all situations.
5. MOVE YOUR SUBJECT. In many cases I’ll ask my subject to reposition, so he/she is well off any background. This allows my intended subject to become dominate, especially with the flash falling on only my subject;
6. Go shoot public events like these. The offer a great opportunity to practice in a setting that is less intrusive for the photographer. There were lots of people taking pictures, including me and another professional. No one I asked for a photograph turned me down.
7. SCOUT. I arrived an hour ahead of the time the organizers asked me to be there. Left my camera in the car, walked the area, observed light, considered backgrounds, color in the space. Then I went back out, grabbed my gear and began to work.
Today’s image is a re-post from quite a long time ago. Its also one of my personal favorites for many reasons.
I want to use today’s image to talk about concepts in photography and using visual design elements to work with those concepts. I don’t always go out and shoot with clear concepts in mind. Sometimes I go out to shoot just to be out shooting. Sometimes I go out to shoot and I don’t shoot anything. There are no rules you must follow, but there are always opportunities. Having concepts in mind that you enjoy working with will allow you:
1) To recognize new opportunities where you might not have seen them previously;
2) Permission to begin shooting if you get stuck or feel uninspired;
3) To develop a style, or look, to your images that is all your own.
CALM; a concept I work with often on Lake Superior - Shooting a subject with multiple personalities, like Lake Superior, can take a long time to get to know. It has a reputation for being surly, but I’ve spent the last few years photographing it in very different moods. The mood I like the best is when its dead calm, which happens QUITE OFTEN. I have really grown to enjoy this quiet, gentle yet powerful personality of the lake and work with that personality as a CONCEPT for many of my shots.
The visual design elements I used in this image (and many I shoot) were: super-slow shutter speeds combined with BIG WAVE ACTION of Lake Superior, shooting FOR black and white conversion in Photoshop, and a very simple, dramatic line/subject.
Sit down, make a list of adjectives that describe subjects you enjoy shooting, then build on those “concepts” using visual design elements, lighting, etc. to bring the concept (s) forward in your image. Then the next time you’re out shooting and feel unsure about what it is you’re trying to accomplish, come back to the concepts that draw you to the subject matter in the first place.
I’d love to hear from others in the comment section about what subjects they enjoy shooting and what concepts they work with when shooting that subject.