Thursday, April 03, 2014

Storytelling is about capturing moments

Nikon D2X, 24-70mm ƒ/2.8, ISO 800, ƒ/2.8, 1/40
Storytelling is about moments

You may think that sitting around a room where people are just talking things move at a much slower pace than say a baseball game.

You would be wrong. I think the action moves just as fast as in any sporting event.

Nikon D2X, 120-300mm ƒ/2.8, ISO 400, ƒ/8, 1/1500
Sports photographers are not pushing their shutter on motor drive and then picking a great moment in sports any more than they do with people sitting around in a room. The motor drive is to take the photos after the moment the photographer is capturing. This is because you don't know if the ball will pop out of the catcher's mitt and the player sliding home then is safe.

Nikon D2X, 70-200mm ƒ/2.8, ISO 400, ƒ/5, 1/160
The ever so slight head tilt or body posture can communicate so much. It doesn't have to be a big gesture like the one of the man with the hand gestures. It can be ever so subtle as the lady in the photo above.

Nikon D2Xs, 18-25mm ƒ/2.8, ISO 400, ƒ/6.3, 1/100
Can you see the moment?

One thing that can kill a great moment is not being able to see it.

As you can see in these two photos of the young girl the off-camera flash really adds life to the face giving more dynamic range and therefore more color and life into the photo. Capturing the moment is more than just squeezing the shutter at the right moment.

Can you see how much more "POP" this photo has with the off camera flash?

Photographers are doing all they can when they are telling a story. They must get the best light to help communicate the story on the subject and the best moment as well.

Sometimes I am crawling on the ground to get into a position so you can see the subjects faces and then since sometime the best location the subject has the sun right behind their heads as in the photo of the guys painting the fire hydrant [fire plug for those out west] I again use an off-camera flash to fill the subjects faces with light so they are not just silhouettes.

Other times I am getting as high as I can to look down on the subject to capture the expanse surroundings and their faces.

I rarely and having people pose and hold it for me as in this photo of the two ladies. This was just a moment and I shot it. It worked really well and I like the moment, but had I said hold it just a second, OK now 1 ..., 2 ..., 3 ... this would have killed the expressions. So even when people pose for you if they hold their expression it isn't as good as just before they hit their peak smile. I love to shoot just before they reach it.

This way they are smiling and not just posing.