Monday, January 23, 2012

Sharing... too much?

By and large, I try to keep this blog focused on my photography and all that goes into it. Lately, I have been unable to focus enough to write a coherent thought. Put simply: my family has been in turmoil.

Since the beginning of the year we have faced three fairly massive ordeals: personal bankruptcy, preparations for another surgery, and now a change in custody.

Any one of those things would be plenty for most folks. Somehow we are juggling them simultaneously.

This stress has left me with precious little grey matter to compose my thoughts at the end of the day. Too many distractions, too much white noise. Soon, this will all be past. For now, I am trying to help my daughter through an extremely rough spot in her life. I am holding my wife's hand as we get ready to let another surgeon slice into my body. And somewhere in there, I am trying to see through the fog towards a new and different future.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Starting the New Year Off Right

Over the holiday break, Nancy and I worked on some new lighting ideas that I had been ruminating over. What I wanted to do was create a soft glowing light, punctuated by a sharp edged light that could potentially show off texture and also silhouette the subject. Sounds bigger than it was.

The hard part was trying to find something that would allow me to create a BIG soft light without taking up the entirety of our tiny studio. I thought about getting out the big Softlighter (5' across!!) and decided nah.  We ended up taking a queen sized bed sheet from Wally-mart and shooting a small strobe through it. Very gentle wrapping light.

Meanwhile I realized that what I was really shooting was primarily shadows. That means that somehow, those shadows need to be legible. We worked on this for about an hour, trying ideas, and giving up when the ideas hit a wall. When we went inside to check out the results, we were both pretty darned happy.

The following morning, our friend Gordon came over for his portrait session. Fifteen minutes later we had some amazing shots in the can. In both Gordon's shot and Nancy's photos, I was trying to capture their tattoos as well as the texture of their skin, while at the same time keeping things smooth and soft. Not an easy task at all.