Thursday, December 10, 2009

Why reshooting isn't a bad thing.

My husband told me a story yesterday about a co-worker of his who's relative heard about this blog and has a lot of love for photography. Apparently he's now following my blog like a religion and trying to do some of the techniques I've written about. I'm completely flattered and shrinking under the mounting pressure. I can't spell for my life and my grammar is terrible. To all my unseen minions I hope none of you can read past an eight grade level and my slaughtering of the English language goes unnoticed. Seriously though, a big thanks to anyone taking the time to read my self-aggrandizing propaganda that some might confuse with a photography guide.

Now please forgive me as I post more photos of my son. He's a month and two days old now and I can't help but think he's getting cuter every day. He started smiling at me (but only when the camera is put away of course) and I can't wait to catch a big fat smile and post it all over the internet. The first shot shown was done at my studio the other night. This is as close to a smile as he would give. Just watch this child will be my "serious one" and I'll end up with thousands of images of his first year, all of which lack facial expression.

The next image is my re-shoot of the Christmas card photos. This is more of what I was originally thinking when I designed the shot in my head. Sometimes it takes several re-shoots before I get an image just right and honestly I think it's a good thing to revisit an idea until you've perfected it. For me making an image is often like a chemistry experiment; that is, you need to apply the scientific method. Let's compare the two:
  1. First you must ask a question (or in the photographer's case, be given an assignment).
  2. Do research (consider the techniques and equipment the shot might require).
  3. Construct a hypothesis (location scout, draw diagrams and form a shot/pose list).
  4. Test with an experiment (shoot like there is no tomorrow)!
  5. Analysis and conclusion (Lightroom and Photoshop).
  6. Decide if hypothesis is true or false. Go back to step 3 if false (re-shoot.)
  7. Report results (blog about your image.)

I'm still not perfectly happy with this shot. I may shoot again until it's exactly what I see in my mind. I am thinking of using a wider angle and bring Alex a lot closer to the camera to make him larger in the frame so more of the Christmas tree is visible. I also want a more pleasant look on his face. Still haven't decided if I should put him back in the box. I know that the white wrapping paper, though a nice idea, didn't look as good as I had hoped.  Plus I need to do this shot before he's old enough to talk back.

If I decide to do this shot again I'll post results. Until then I have plans to discuss studio lighting for the next few days. There is a lot of tutorials about shootings on a white background floating around the world wide web. I'm going to add my own say on the matter as well as how to shoot on black backgrounds.

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