Sunday, April 24, 2011

Which Shots are the Best?

Ever wonder which shots of yours (assuming you're a model, photographer, or other photographic arts participant) are the best?  Maybe there is some proven recipe that's documented between the covers of some photographer's bible somewhere, but that's still undiscovered by myself.  So, how do I, determine which are my best shots?  This entry is not an undertaking to answer that question, but rather an opportunity to ponder the question and muse about the factors that weigh in on the consideration.  We're all faced with the decision in one way or another, and it would be interesting to hear how others approach this question.

One of the things I've learned fairly early on is that rarely do people (observers, viewers) have agreement about what is "best", or even on what looks pleasing to the eye.  People are all over the map.  I have shown pictures to friends and acqauintances, usually some shot I'm pleased with in one way or another, and noticed that people's reactions are anything but predictable.  Some will say it's great, others will indicate they don't think the model is that pretty, some are bold enough to tell me flaws in the photo (ouch, but it is helpful to learn from), others don't say much at all.  The takeaway for me is this: I have to decide for myself what is pleasing in my own eye.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Uncharted Destination

Sometimes having to feel our way along the path leads us toward an opportunity to discover something new, spurring our creativity in unforeseen ways.  Like many aspects of my work, it's this adventure that's one of the most rewarding dividends.

Just came back from doing a shoot yesterday.  It had been a fairly prolonged interchange of emails and endless text messages, working out a date and time for the shoot with Pang so I was glad to finally have it all set.  We were hoping to shoot at my studio (well, I was), or near my home where I have many spots eyed out for location shoots, but in the end she could not get the car to drive down to my area.  She lives about two hours drive from me, and in a an area I had not rightly explored - in fact, I'd never been to that city.  It was a question of going to her location, or not working together this weekend.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Photoshoot Hangover or Postprocessing Blues

So, I've just finished a photoshoot with a model, it's been a blast, she's gorgeous, been extremely cooperative and inventive, and now comes the really fun part - uploading the files to the computer and taking a closer look.  If possible, I like to do this with the model present, because I love seeing and hearing her reaction as we look through the pics together.  It's always a case of her (and me) being super excited as we sift through them.  Actually, this part of the "workflow" is like Christmas to me.  It is so much of a rush to open the pics, and see them in all their glory.  It's like being a kid and opening presents on Christmas morning.  Really!  I don't think that feeling will ever fade away for me.

But soon afterward comes the part that, to me, isn't so much fun.  It's kind of like having a hangover after a late night of drinking and having too much fun.  That's right - the post-processing phase.  It starts with getting organized in the filing system, adding my metadata, making two backups, etc.  That's the easy part, actually.  The hard part (or maybe I should say time consuming, and somewhat like drudgery) is sorting through 500+ photos to pic the best, then narrowing it down so a handful of shots I'll actually do detailed editing on.  Then, finally - editing them.