People matter

Read an online course yesterday about lighting models outdoors.  It’s a series offered by a lighting company to show how their products fit different needs.  I learned a little more about lighting but also picked up on an idea about subjects.

The photographer clearly stated he was tapping into his friends for this short lesson.  The “model” was a 2nd grade teacher friend of his and the “assistant” was a buddy also interested in photography.  The went to a park and played around with some scenes, using different lighting tools to develop the lesson.  I thought it was cool the informal approach to the project.  Professionals who photograph people for a living talk a lot about the production aspects of their commercial shoots.  To a beginner it all sounds pretty daunting, lining up models, permits, assistants, equipment, wardrobe, makeup, etc. – how can any novice know what they need to know!?!

Yet here’s this guy making a short instructional blog, getting a couple of friends to step in and have fun in the afternoon.  How easy is that?  And what a great learning opportunity, where you can experiment with different approaches, see the result and correct or make adjustments.  Of course this wasn’t a commercial shoot (the blog is free to anyone who goes to the site) so the pressures of meeting a budget or even a deadline were significantly less, but it still was a project with a definite outcome.

I realize adding people to photography increases the interest in the images.  Our brains are wired to lock onto faces or human forms in an image so our eyes go there first.  Putting people in a scene also gives perspective, a point of reference.  Why else do all those Grand Canyon photos have people standing on the rim?

So, I need to round up some friends for a short workshop on people-in-landscapes, and probably work on my exterior lighting skills as well.  Until then, I’ll have to turn to more convenient subjects….

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