In case you didn’t know, I love animals. It’s gotten to the point that I’ll count out the approximate footsteps and speed of movement necessary to “accidentally” cross paths with a dog and owner walking vaguely toward me from a quarter mile away.
There’s only so much non-photo work I can do before I either have a boredom-related breakdown or start obsessively photographing whatever’s within reach. The problem with the latter option is that everything you look at daily just seems boring. It might not be, but it’s just so ordinary you don’t even thing about its value as the subject of a image.
That’s why I implemented a tactic from a few years back: Crowd sourcing anti-boredom assignments.
The first run of this was just after I graduated with my Associate’s Degree. I was still fresh enough that I didn’t have constant work, and I was also so used to assignments that it was a bit tricky to think of one-off images that didn’t involve a full-blown project. After pondering the situation, I asked the folks of the internet to suggest everyday items of which I could create unique images. The resulting images from those suggestions yielded 6 pictures that are still in my permanent portfolio, and 3 of the most popular stock images I’ve ever shot.
Well, I’ve had a ton of supplementary work lately and I’ve been gettin’ the ol’ photo itch. So, I put out the request and the feedback was just lovely.
There were a few that I’d certainly like to try out (lava lamp, pocket watch, tea kettle…) but those will have to wait for next time. One of the pleasant side effects of the project was that it got me pondering the visual value of other common items. As it is, I’ve been making home-made sausage lately and realized those should also be included in the lineup. PB&J was easily the most time-consuming.
If you’re ever in a pickle and need a bit of inspiration, be sure to turn to the internet. The folks of the interwebs are full of interesting ideas.
I’d like to follow up my post from a couple weeks ago regarding retouching and the general process of “Photoshopping.” To be clear this is not really part 2 of that post series. That will be on it’s way in a few days. This is more so the other end of the argument.
While it’s the best possible choice to get things right in-camera, sometimes it’s just not an option. By just not an option, I mean nowhere remotely close to an option. A good example is advertisement photography.
You probably know that no product or service is ever the same as you see it in an ad. EVER. If you disagree, I’d like you to compare your Whopper you’ll be having for lunch with the one on the menu. Sure – this is slightly different issue. That burger never existed in the first place – it was made out of mashed potatoes and spackle before the picture was even taken. Instead, let’s focus on something clearly different than the original picture.
You’ve probably seen this video:
That’s an issue that happens more than you’d think/more than you’d like to know/ALL THE TIME.
However, there is one reason to justify such an obscene level of post production – finances. Sometimes it’s just impractical to fly a model to outer Mongolia. If there’s a small budget, if time constraints are fundamentally impossible, or if the picture of the setting already exists – sometimes the picture can be stitched together later. Now, I know what you (might) be saying: “Where’s the photographic skill? isn’t that just going to breakdown to someone drawing on a computer until the final image looks ‘good enough’ ?”
Sure -there’s a descent amount of isolating, some burning/dodging, and a handful of trial and error. BUT…
The picture still HAS to be correct in camera. In many ways, it has to be “more correct” than a normal picture. It all comes down to my favorite part of photography: LIGHT.
If the background was photographed outside at sunset and the person/object was shot in a black studio with on-board flash, the color, angle of light, depth of field, and separation will look completely wrong . So many factors have to be considered, I feel this type of post production absolutely qualifies as “good photography.”
Of course, I’m always open to comments and varying opinions.
That said – here’s a small sampling of some “image combination” I started as a side project a number of months ago. Let me know what you think!
I got pretty stoked about the prospect and went to the local scrap-booking store to pick up a wide array of gaudy colorful backdrops (the gaudiness is subdued due to the shallow depth of field). So, while I’m fairly pleased with the results, there are certainly some tweaks left to be made.
This a project that’s been in the works for a few months now.
So my girlfriend collects rocks. It’s been a topic of debate occasionally (I’m not big on nick knacks). Most walks in the woods/on the beach/around a field result in overly heavy fanny packs. I’ll admit I complain occasionally.
That said – I take back all my whining.
Rocks are pretty cool. Did you know obsidian is actually translucent? Because it’s volcanic glass, and whatnot, you can shoot light THROUGH it. My gal showed me that… so if you did know, don’t rub it in… OH! Did you also know that shiny, multi-colored colored one is a massive pain to shoot. See – the problem with a dark, crystalline rock that reflects at every possible angle, it that you have to find that one, single, solitary, PERFECT spot for the light. It’s irksome, to say the least.
So, here are some rockin’ pics. Because these are generic enough, I decided to put them on my fine-art site, JonKArtogrphy. Stop by and pick up a print if you’d like.