Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Ideas vs Reality


A somewhat flawed attempt at shooting with a lot of motion in it. I loved the colours in the latest dress that Amanda got, so wanted to shoot it with a vivid green surrounding, to really set off the orange & blue. I had this idea in my head to try and capture some motion in the dress and blur in the background, along with Amanda moving. Lots of motion & blur, but with some detail and sharp focus - out of focus and motion blur are pretty different things. Something that is sharply focused but moving looks very different to something thrown out of focus completely. The shoes in this shot are a good example of that - sharp but blurry. We went to Laguna Gloria on a very windy Saturday afternoon to try out this idea. On reflection, I think we should have gone a bit later in the day to get somewhat softer light. I also didn't have my head screwed on right, because the longest lens I brought was an 85mm 1.8. If I was looking for lots of background blur and shallow depth of field, something longer would have been a much better choice - next time I'm bringing the 400mm! The second silly mistake I made was that shooting mid day in Texas, on a bright sunny day isn't the most conducive to using slow shutter speeds. I wanted to pan the movement, to further blur the background and capture some of that sharp/ motion feel I mentioned - but that needs shutter speeds down around 1/60s or slower. 1/30s would have been ideal. Then combine that with wanting to shoot close to wide open, again for the shallow depth of field and you have a problem. Shutter speeds around 1/2000s make this tough! Even at ISO50. So next time, a polariser and/or ND would really help to make this shot work. The polariser will help the colours pop a bit more and saturate the way I had it in my head. The photo above has had the colours pushed further than I'd like in post processing, to get close to the idea I had - the polariser would be great in that respect, doing double duty as a 2-stop ND and saturating the end result. I quite like this result though, Amanda in the air, face sharp enough, still lots of movement and it has a lot of the design elements I had in mind for the shot. Amanda did a great job of running/ jumping around after our 18 mile run that morning! It was also just fun to hang out with her on such a beautiful day and do something fun. The kind people in my portrait class really seemed to like this result - even though I had a hard time getting a final print that I was happy with. I think though that what I struggle to accept is the difference between the image on the page and the idea that I had in my head. Some, very few times, those ideas come out in the end result fully formed. Other days, happy accidents occur and you go off in a whole new direction. This is just one that doesn't quite live up to the idea I've got still in the back of my head. I think I'll give this another go, just as soon as Amanda feels up to it.


Amanda said...

Well, we're not doing anything Saturday afternoon yet!

MikeW said...

My head hurts when I look at that picture.
Hurry up and post something new please! ; )

Germaine said...

Live and learn... I wish my experiments would turn out this well. 8)