Saturday, September 19, 2009

Long Exposures plus Social Etiquette during shoots

This past summer has been quite an amazing photographic journey. We, by we I mean my business partner and I have embarked on some new processes and techniques that further enhanced the visual qualities of our photographs. It was said best in a conversation this past week, (by myself of course)  “I will always be a student of photography. As much knowledge as we can and have obtained about the traditional practices of photography, we will always be in a constant state learning as new processes, technology, cameras, and software enter the photography industry and continue to change the photographic medium.”

With that said, here are some Long Exposures that I began working on this past summer. Using no cable release, nor a remote, or wireless cable release, these photographs were made with my hand remaining on the shutter release for as much as 5 minutes.

Landscape of Memories

Long Exposures  (3)

Basket Ball Hoop 

Long Exposures  (2)

 Basket Ball Hoop #2

2:30 in the morning, the water is moving peacefully down the river. The clouds are rolling gently over head. Shooting stars pass quickly through the night sky. My hand grips the camera firmly. My finger depresses the shutter release. Minutes later, the light from the LCD screen illuminates my face as the image appears. For a moment, my breath escapes me.




Social Etiquette as defined by is as follows “ etiquette is a code of behavior that influences expectations for social behavior according to contemporary conventional norms within a society, social class, or group.” How does this definition play a role in photography? Well, from time to time, people tend to forget their manners and throw out the social etiquette that comes manners. While on a shoot for a client this afternoon, a family took it upon themselves to include themselves into our setting. With total disregard for what was taking place, the shoot they were interrupting, they moved in and took over a section of the backdrop we were in the process of using.  Is it rude to jump into someone else’s shoot and take over the area that a photographer and client are using? Of course it is. From time to time I have had individuals take notice to what I was photographing, during travels, street photography, or even in areas that I photograph often, and come up and stand next to me and make almost the same photograph. This is blatantly rude and disrespectful. One could take this as a compliment. You notice something that people were passing up and it generates the attention of others to the point that they themselves want or feel the need to have the same image that you are making. This also falls into the spectrum of social etiquette and improper manners.

Is it easy to delicate a situation where someone else essentially moves into your spot? Chances are no. If they swoop in and take the spot and start setting up, this spot might be their money shot. Which in that case, they will not be quick to give the spot up, even though they essentially took the location from you. Approaching the person/people about this may cause a nasty confrontation, which if you are present with a client, may not be a good idea.  Especially for business.  What are your options at this point? Well, for us we went about with our shoot. Moved down slightly and let them do “their thing”. While on looking, we took notice how the “photographer” (father of the family) was posing the family in a very unpleasing lighting situation. This validated for us that taking the spot over was a mistake on their part. Nasty shadows crept over the family members from the high key natural light that was splashing over them. The over powering speed light was no doubt giving the subjects way to much light at this point. Our shoot moved on smoothly. Minutes later, the family breaks apart and leaves saying “sorry and thank you” very impolitely. Did this deter us from making some very satisfying portraits? Not at all, it was just a socially and unprofessional way of creeping in on a location that was already in use. The point of all this, be respectful of when choosing a location to shoot in. Make sure if you are going to be close to another photographer, that you are not interrupting their shoot or being a part of their back drop. After all, you wouldnt want the same thing to be done to you, would you? I’d hope not.




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