Saturday, April 30, 2011

Camp much?

One of my favorite parts about thevisualCollective trips is camping. Interacting with mother nature in a much more intimate way than I usually do, holed up in the dungeon in my house. Camping offers me a whole host of photographic opportunities that I usually don't have. Photographing tents, fires, weather, etc. I love it.

In Zion, I finally had the opportunity to take a whack at an image that's been stuck in my head for some time now. Like most of what I shot on this trip, I'm not particularly happy with it. But, it was good to get a first draft done and at least try the concept out.

I like the colors and I like how there is a line of lit objects, starting at the fire and moving to the tent.
I don't like how little ambient light I had. In Zion, sunset is abrupt and a solid hour earlier than the official sunset. I wasn't prepared and that's my own fault. Next time, I'd like to have much more ambient so I can do something a little less dramatic and a little more balanced.

I think the tent is probably too bright as well - it seems to be much more of a dominating focus point than I originally intended. In my next attempt, I'll get an angle that shows more of the tent but with it less lit up.

In terms of technicality, it's a fairly simple setup. My Einstein is sitting on the floor of the tent, facing the camera. Bare bulb, somewhere around 1/2 or 1/3 power. Andrew is lit with a boomed and umbrella'd Vivitar flash at something like 1/4 power. Off camera, Taylor is acting as a VAL.

Setup shot

For the first few frames, I just had Andrew keep playing the guitar. Eventually though, I had to ask him to stop and do a few particular poses.

I realized on this trip that I'm not very good at directing models. When I've got a good vision in my head of what I want, I can get across the basic idea and mood I'm looking for... but other than that, I rely on the model to pose and act pretty much independently of me. When I don't have a good idea of the image I am trying to make, any direction goes out the window and I flounder and flail with the model.

I've got a few more images from the trip that I'll likely post over the next week or so. It's drinking reading week here at NAU, which mean's everyone is studying hard for finals.... 0_0