Wednesday, April 06, 2011

Room for Improvement

After our burgers and beverages, A.S. and I walked northerly before parting ways and going on with our respective evenings. One element of my post-burger night was meeting up with my new friend G. to take a few photographs and video of him dancing. The results were, shall we say, not as impressive as I think possible. This is not a commentary on G.'s moves as much as my own limitations when it comes to photography. While I can take the hell out of a photograph of a plate of food -- given that the lighting is decent -- moving images have long been a challenge for me. I never quite know what shutter speed and aperture to use for the desired image to not be blurry, but to perhaps show motion. I often like to add flash and then a lower shutter speed to get a bit of blur/movement, but it's trial and error. This is an area of improvement for me, I think. I'm tired of going to music shows and taking a bunch of shitty photos (see this and this). I'm tired of seeing people dance and seeing the moments that would be great images ... but being unable to get myself together and have the settings and lighting work to my advantage. I also realized that, as a photographer, I've stopped moving. I root myself in one location or perspective and find it difficult to change once I'm there. This may be a reflection of my larger character, actually. So, in the case of the photos for G. I plopped myself and my tripod in one corner of the studio and didn't move. This was silly. I should have tried a few different angles. I used to be better, also, at forming a better photo/subject relationship, which allowed me and the person in front of the lens to work as a team. I feel like G. didn't really know what he wanted, and I didn't really know what he wanted or what I wanted, so the resulting images, while not completely without merit, were a little 'eh.' For example, I like the basic movement going on in this photograph, but the framing is bad, you can't see all of his face, and he's a little orange/red. And wouldn't it have been nice if the yoga mat shelf wasn't there? Yeah.
I was telling L. that it might be time for me to just suck it up and take a course. Yes, I majored in photography, but I feel like I learned more about how to think about an idea and convey it visually (which I never really do anymore) than the fundamentals. This is, in part, because I hate the fundamentals. There's a secret part of me that doesn't want to have to understand the machinations of the lens; I just want it to do what I want. I want the crib notes of a class, where you are given a short answer on 'what you do if your only light source is a candle and the walls are red and you want to take a photograph of spaghetti' or 'how to get true skin tones in a concert lighting atmosphere' or 'how to best capture a dancer's movement in medium light.' Medium light is not even a thing. So, an area in which I can improve.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I think those concert pics are there. -L