Of little things and women

Published December 4th, 2011

Last week I participated in a photo shoot of a young couple that wanted some intimate shots of themselves. The woman also happens to be an aspiring model and was looking to round out her portfolio.

As I walked around the ‘set’ I unconsciously found myself shunning full-scene shots of the couple and instead looked for interesting details -- like the placement of her feet as they kissed, facial expressions during supposedly off-camera moments, and the light bouncing off the handcuffs that were introduced part-way through the shoot.

Occasionally the five photographers who were participating would show each other what we had on our cameras and when I showed one image to Rick, the organizer and owner of the studio, he said ‘Oh yeah, details. Women always go for the details.’

True? He definitely piqued my interest, and I’ve been wondering about that ever since.

In my life I tend to see the whole and how elements all come together – whether it’s in personal relationships, projects at w ...

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Cure photographer's block. Hit the street.

Published November 23rd, 2011

( Re-posted from my subscribable blog at eff_stop/blogspot.com. Original article published November 19.)

As a writer, I’ve certainly experienced my share of writer’s block. You might recognize the feeling... no inspiring ideas come to mind, a topic seems too big to tackle, you find the theme a bit boring, or you’re just plain intimidated.

If you’re an avid photographer, you’ve probably also suffered from photographer’s block from time to time. Symptoms include: aching to shoot something but not sure what you’re in the mood for, you have a subject but you’re not sure how to approach it, you’re feeling intimidated about trying a new technique you’ve been meaning to work on, or you take the easy route and set up a still life at home.

When you find yourself afflicted with any of these problems, consider the best form of creative photographic procrastination that I can think of: hit the street.

If you’ve never done it, just try it. I was terrified the first time, my inner voices pullin ...

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Following the heart

Published November 13th, 2011

When you post pictures on a public site that invites contacts to fave or comment on your work, after a while you start to think about what makes one photo more popular than other, and even if we're all here because we're passionate about photography, there's a little something in us that craves the love, don't you agree?

Have you ever posted an image that you think is really good, but it falls flat on the eyes that see it?

A good friend recently sent me a link to one of his images, asking me why I thought he wasn't getting more traction with it. It was one he was quite proud of, and it bothered him that it wasn't generating the response he'd hoped for. My first thought was how impressed I was that he put aside ego to get the opinion of another photographer. That takes guts, and a willingness to acknowledge a blind spot - which I suspect we all have.

So I set to work analyzing the situation.

First, the photo - a B&W - is technically quite perfect. Good tonal range, great compositi ...

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Shedding light on a few things

Published November 5th, 2011

After working with strobes in the studios of a few friends and professionals photographers, I'd been dreaming for some time of getting my own gear. Comes a Vistek flyer a-flying into my home with the morning paper yesterday, with visions of Elinchrom splashed across the page, so I decided to dream no more. A plan to purchase was quickly hatched.

As the trip to the store approached, I found myself getting increasingly (and inexplicably) anxious, to the point where, when the boxes containing the lights, backdrop and a few others things finally made their way into my home, I could only stare at them. An hour, and then two, passed as I busied myself doing anything but open the boxes, casting occasional wary glances towards the subjects of my anxiety.

I was perplexed. Not like me. I always jump in feet first, no fear. It was maddening! The boxes continued to lay unmolested on the floor.

Looking for answers, I wrote a Facebook post to my expert photographer friend Jim asking if this was ...

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