In my ongoing quest to enlighten those photographers that started in the digital era, I like to explain to people that there was actually a time when you had to create your image in the camera without any help from Photoshop; mainly because it wasn’t born yet. I know it’s scary to a lot of you because we talk about it in my online class with the PPSOP and in my “Stretching Your Frame of Mind” workshops I conduct around the planet. The thought of not being able to fix it later in front of a computer is chilling to say the least. YIKES!!!
I’m not opposed to using my Adobe CS5 program, because I tweak all my photos to some degree, but to me the challenge is taking my visual idea and shooting it in the camera. The digital age has made photographers lazy. Why move a step to the right to take the telephone out of someone’s head when you can just use the Content Aware tool to remove it later? Why concern yourself with learning that 1/60th of a second at F/8 is going to look a stop darker than 1/60th of a second at F/5.6. there’s Lightroom to take care of that mistake.
To me, shooting on manual will make you a better photographer than setting your camera to one of many program modes. It’s a good way to learn exposure ans shutter speed combinations.
In the top photo of the Saturn, everything was done in the camera. The color silver was chosen so it would reflect the ambient light of the sunset evenly without adding any additional light. My instruction to the location scout was to find a diner where the sun would set or rise directly behind it. Using my Sunpath software and my Morin 2000 hand bearing compass, I was able to know ahead of time if this location would work. Shooting close to Hollywood was always nice because I had access to any props I could conjure up in my imagination. It certainly helped here since the diner was abandoned; we added all the neon and interior lights.
The pavement looked terrible so I had a water truck come in and do what’s called a wetdown. This makes the driveway not on;y hide the cracks and discoloration, but being wet, it reflected the lights from the diner.
By the way, the man sitting out in front was the agencies Art Director. I put him there to add an editorial feel.
So, there you have it. A little pre-visualization and pre-production can achieve the same results as sitting in front of a computer for hours to create this photograph. I can assure you that you don’t have to have a big budget to be able to create in the camera. It comes down to whether being a well rounded photographer that takes the time to challenge himself is more important that being a good digital technician. Why not have the best of both worlds?
Visit my website at: www.joebaraban.com, and check out my 2012 workshop schedule at the top of this blog. Come shoot with me sometime!
Don’t forget to send me a question and photo to: AskJoeB@gmail.com