Sunday, October 12, 2008

Photo Assignment: Week Two

Here are the pics I presented to my photo class this week:

I took over 200 pictures in New Orleans, and I am not excited about any of them. I am taking photos with a manual exposure for the first time which is a lot harder for me than I expected. For all you non-photo people out there, when you are working on manual exposure, the photographer has control of the shutter speed and the amount of light that enters the camera. So what would end up happening for me is that I would see a scene unraveling before my eyes, I would pick up the camera and snap it, and then realize--oh, I did not adjust my lighting correctly or at all so my photograph is dark, here, let me try again--and then either the moment was gone or it still never looked right. Let's just say that it was quite a frustrating experience at the time and looking through my pictures is a disappointing reminder.

My teacher told me that I had nice subjects but the composition in most of my photos were a little sloppy, which I don't disagree with. I think I was just worried about making sure that the photo was lit up correctly that I wasn't paying attention. To my credit, I tried taking pictures of things that were that were not static and leave my photos more to chance, as was recommended to me last week, and so my subject was the people of New Orleans who in most cases, were moving.

The picture of the boy running down the sidewalk, my teacher told me, would be much better if I pulled back a little bit and got more of the street in the picture. But at that moment, the boy was running very fast and I knew I had only one second to get it and tried to get the best shot I could. I didn't even know at the time if I could capture that moment and was happy that I was able to get it that good. I think it''s going to take a lot of practice to build up that skill of focusing the camera at the right place at the right time--and a lot of luck.


Matt Apice said...

Here's my beef with manual exposure. Every photo class in the world mandates you use manual exposure so you have an appreciation of shutter speed and aperture, and I think it's horseshit. Every camera you will ever buy for the rest of your life will have a built-in light meter so you should be concentrating on composition and the moment, as opposed to letting technical hurdles frustrate you.

A much more vaulable learning experience is to work with aperture priority to get a sense depth of field, shutter priority to get a sense of movement, and fixed ISO's to appreciate grain.

No one cares how a picture got made, they care about the picture.

Wayne said...

I wouldn't beat yourself up. One tip is to make some of these black and white in photoshop or whatever photo program. You can then clearly see which have interesting stuff in them.

My picks would be the guy with the top hat, if you were a little closer and smiling guy with the trumpet. In that scene you seem to realize that people playing instruments is not inherently interesting, but people reacting to them is. The one with most potential, imo, was the kid with the football helmet, but you needed to turn the flash on to see his face.

Willytheprince said...

I really need to take a class. I feel like I might be in the same boat about leaving space. I am pretty big into zooming into a subject. (or cropping after).

I've never tried manual exposure, but I think you will get it in no time.

Emily said...

I think the best one is the young man with the trumpet standing apart from the rest of the band. I think that picture says something interesting.

Squeen said...

Preach it, Apice! I think he might be right...or does one need to have complete control of all those technical aspects in order to have complete control of the image? Either way, I'd like to see Apice in that class to stir the pot!

Wayne also makes a great point on observing people listening to music.

I think your eye is onto the right's just a matter of putting the pieces together.