Friday, June 28, 2013

Principles: In Camera or In Photoshop.

When I was first taught about cameras, there was no such thing as photoshop or digital darkrooms. You had a real room that was dark or you had a good relationship with a lab.

This is one of the first pictures I ever took. It was with a Polaroid Swinger. It was THE coolest point and shoot of the times. 

When I was taught photoshop, I fell in love since I've never been fond of rooms that are dark. I learned all I could but, during the process, I also learned something unexpected. 

Just because it CAN be done in Photoshop doesn't mean it SHOULD be done in Photoshop. 

It's not about being "honest to the spirit of photography" or  being"old school" since I view Photoshop as just another tool in our quest to capture different than a lens or a tripod. 

The reason I stand by my claim that doing it "In Camera" is important? 

It's you. 

It's about stretching your mind and body. It's about learning patience. 
It's about handling surprises and rising to the occasion. 

In Photoshop, you get to control everything.
In life, you don't.

Sudden rainstorms or forgotten bug spray can demand an immediate opportunity to punt. 
Only then can you test yourself... get out of your box of comfort and learn to make a good shot out of whatever the fates determined would be your lot. 

These things will not be learned in Photoshop. 
And the more you learn, the more you come into your own and the more you understand, the better your work becomes. 

Monday, June 17, 2013

Assignment: House on Haig Point.

When I'm on location, I try not to take a lot of extra equipment... or people. Maybe a stylist or the interior designer. 

I do take extra lenses, usually four. I use available light whenever possible. I bracket and manually combine those shots. I'm not a fan of HDR. After a tour of the building, I have usually requested in advance to be left alone to roam freely. I make several passes with the different lenses. Tilt and shift, wide angle, and macro are usually in my saddle bag. Depending on the size of the place, it might take me 3 or 4 hours with more work in the digital darkroom. I'm always looking for the story. If I'm not writing the piece, I like to discuss the writer's slant so I can make sure to get a shot that reflects the tone of their article. 

The home on Haig Point is on a small island, accessible only by boat, off the coast of South Carolina. Like me, the owner is in love with arches. The home is a study of arched ceilings, windows and doorways. I seem to believe with some left-over child's delight that there is some secret magic in arches, so the home was a wonderland for me. To read this article and see a few of the shots, click this link.