In sales jargon we’re use to hearing, the expression two-fer means “an item or offer that comprises two items but is sold for the price of one.” So what in the world does that mean to photography and to all my fellow photographers that love to make photos as I have which is closing in on fifty years.
It means (to the photographers that have heard me talking about it in my online classes with the BSOP, and in my “Stretching Your Frame of Mind” workshops) don’t just settle for one variation of a final composition when you can easily walk away with a two-fer and not spend that much more time doing it.
When I’m out shooting, and when I’m composing, I’m already thinking about the second variation, and a lot of the time the third. In doing that, it gives me a much better chance to come home with a Keeper. It might be something as simple as shooting both horizontally and vertically. I will often change my POV from eye level to climbing up on a ladder to look down on the subject. I can tell you one thing I always do and that is to change the direction of the light. I’ll move around or have the subject move around so they are both side and back lit.
I’ll usually go out with just one or two lens that will cover anything I want from 17 to 70mm. I don’t mean just standing there and zooming in and out. I mean having the ability in shooting with a wide angle lens, a fairly normal focal length, and a medium telephoto.
Light is so fleeting that I seldom have time to try different filtration such as a ND or a polarizing filter, but if the timing is right they can offer me other different looks. The Polarizing filter can get rid of unwanted reflections (although I love reflections since they can add visual interest and tension). It can also darken the sky and make clouds stand out.
You have to remember that this will only work if the sun is at ninety degrees to where your lens is pointing to. You’ll also have problems trying to use a wide angle lens with it. A Neutral Density filter, especially one that’s at least two stops can make running water look smooth and also make the clouds appear to be moving.
In the above portrait, having the jockey looking into the lens gives off a completely different feeling as when he’s looking out of the frame. It took several seconds and a slight shift of my POV since the horse was moving around to leave with two versions of an environmental portrait. Of course shooting at sunrise didn’t hurt as far as the quality of the light is concerned.
So there’s many ways to make your image look different and it can be done in less than a minute; as long as you’re thinking about it in the first place. Next time you go out think about that two-fer…two keepers for the price of one!!
Visit my website at: www.joebaraban.com, and check out my 2016 workshop schedule at the top of this blog. Come shoot with me sometime.
Keep sending in your photos and questions to: AskJoeB@gmail.com, and I’ll create a video critique for you.