May 4, 2014 at 8:14 am #18607May 4, 2014 at 11:06 am #18608cameraclickerParticipant
I would like a bit more depth of field on the first one, “prayer”. Possibly a bit more depth of field on “…So Help Me God”. Otherwise I think it was a really good effort. I think we read that book in grade 9, or 10, I forget, and I don’t remember most of the story, except stepping on glasses and shooting a dog. And, something about a Halloween costume that had some chicken wire in it, that was marked by a knife. One day I’ll have to track down a copy and read it again.
I think you have good focus and caught good expression.May 4, 2014 at 12:05 pm #18609
Thanks CameraClicker! I appreciate the fast critique and encouragement!May 4, 2014 at 12:15 pm #18610nesgranParticipant
I like the expressions and the contrast in the black and white images. They are punchy, moody and the cut off appendages work well in the images to create mood. For example the arm in the shot of the girl sitting down and looking like she might cry, it is pretty foreboding.
As for things to improve some of the shots are lacking a little in depth of field like the shot weapons of choice where the guy in the left is out of focus. It is however a bit difficult to give advice since we can’t see exif and and see if it is even feasible. On the whole I think you’ve done well however some shots are let down by not having everything sharp that should be sharp.May 4, 2014 at 1:00 pm #18611Worst Case ScenarioParticipant
They all look good to me, the only one I would alter is Prosecution. The light right behind the guy catches your eye and draws it from his face. It’s a 10 sec job if you are half decent at photoshop.
I know that working with theatre lights is a nightmare (is that why they are in BW?).May 4, 2014 at 3:05 pm #18615emfParticipant
I really like these! I haven’t read this book for about 17 years but the images illustrated the story so well, I understood every one clearly. I agree with Nesgran about the cut off arms etc. It helps create a cinematic, film noir atmosphere and strengthens the narrative. I liked the shallow DOF, for the same reason.
I like most of the images on there own but the work well as a series too.May 5, 2014 at 9:47 am #18622
Nesgran: Good call on some of the DOF issues. All of these were shot on a 5DMkIII with an 85mm f/1.2L on a monopod. I was in full manual, between 1.8 – 2.8 and 1/125 – 1/250 and ISO 2000. Looking back, I could’ve shifted some settings around to keep all proper areas in focus, especially because of the monopod. Thanks for pointing it out, and for the kind words on the composition
Worst Case: You’re absolutely right about that light next to the actor. I was a little too focused on the action in front of me and didn’t check the lights reflecting off the set in the background. My PS game isn’t that great but this is a good way to get better. And although the theater lights were challenging, with sometimes a stop or more of difference between actors only a few feet from each other, I really enjoyed it; since I was in manual, it was a great practice adjusting exposure/aperture/ISO on the fly. I actually love shooting in theaters because of the light; when the lights are set correctly, and I can hit my marks according to action on stage, it’s like being a photojournalist (my favorite) in a predictable and dramatic studio lighting environment. I went with BW because it fit the mood of the show, its theme of the literal struggle between light and dark, and as a way to tie it into the movie.
EMF: This was my favorite show to shoot. Because it was in a small 82-seat theater, the action happens within a few feet of the audience, which helped me get shots I couldn’t otherwise get in a more traditional theatrical environment. I’m so glad you liked them. The whole series is 130 shots total, which I gave to each member of the cast yesterday as a memento of their amazing work. The tears in their eyes as they saw them made me grateful for the opportunity, and for this amazing field of photography.May 5, 2014 at 12:54 pm #18624nesgranParticipant
That makes sense but it was brighter in there than I imagined. ISO 6400 is doable on the 5DIII, especially if you shoot in B&W so that could afford you a little higher shutter speed and/or smaller aperture. Unless you have coloured lights Tv mode can work well, especially since you can set desired aperture ranges within the automatic selection. The automation in the camera will do a quicker job of it than you can.May 7, 2014 at 7:41 am #18635EyeDocPhotogParticipant
I think your shots are top shelf, my friend. You really captured the essence of the scenes. Love the dramatic B&W… first rate.May 7, 2014 at 3:58 pm #18639
Thank you so much, EyeDoc! You made my day!May 8, 2014 at 12:45 am #18646Bagga_TxipsParticipant
Very nice indeed, but often too dark. The blacks are good, maybe too black, but does the histogram or even the shot show a truly white white? In any tricky lighting situation like this maybe it’s a good idea to bracket a bit?May 8, 2014 at 7:16 am #18649cameraclickerParticipant
In any tricky lighting situation like this maybe it’s a good idea to bracket a bit?
Bagga_Txips, unless you are planning on HDR, bracketing is a waste of time. Frequently the object is to capture the critical moment. That’s difficult to do if you have to take multiple photos to get exposure correct. If you are shooting people and employing bracketing, it is a sign you don’t know what you are doing. With a digital camera, shoot to raw files and you can push exposure 3 or 4 stops either way for most shots, and if you are that far out, you need help!
I don’t think brighter would be better. I looked at the histogram for Closing Argument and the chrome on his suspenders is clipping. True, you could brighten the shot half a stop, but I don’t like it as much when it is that bright. I think the photos work very well as presented. Remember too, a scene like Scout Stops the Mob takes place in the middle of the night, illuminated by street lamps and a light Atticus strung with a long extension cord with a bulb at the end, hung over the jail’s door so he could read. There is not a lot of light. Other scenes are supposed to be indoors, in the late 1930’s, depression era, south. The interior courthouse lights came on when the sun had gone from all the windows but the trial was continuing.
If I were to take exception to any of the scenes, it would be Atticus Takes Aim. He shot the rabid dog in the middle of the day, from the middle of the street, but look at the lighting in the scene. On the other hand, in a small theatre, daytime bright overhead light might be a little much for the audience. Either way, the photographer has to deal with the lighting provided in a situation like that (I doubt flash would be allowed and if you used flash, it would wash out the dramatic theatre lighting), and I think Andy did an excellent job.May 10, 2014 at 10:49 am #18693
I really appreciate the analysis and great feedback, cameraclicker! You understood exactly what I was trying to accomplish, and the conditions under which I was working. THANKS!May 10, 2014 at 1:13 pm #18694EyeDocPhotogParticipant
My niche is I only shoot children. AND only candids at that – no posing, studio lighting checks, “hold it right there” or “a little more head tilt to the right, and chin up a tad.” My models are ALWAYS running, jumping, wrestling with siblings, splashing each other, laughing while rolling down a grassy hill, giving me funny looks – anything a kid would normally do. I have to contend with changing light, focus & composition within SECONDS or I miss the shot.
This is why I tell the families who hire me (albeit not too often as I already have a day job) that a yield of 3-4 out of every 10 shots I take is a good day.
All this being said, I can say I fully understand the challenges that Andy had while taking these shots AND why he did a fabulous job.He was shooting a SHOW – no one was posing for him and he had to THINK FAST with each shot (lighting, composition, DOF). I don’t want to sound as though he and I are BETTER than anyone else who does not shoot ‘transient scenes,’ but there are different skills involved.
To those who might say his lighting could have been better or a shallower / deeper DOF would’ve worked, I reply: try to get these shots FIRST. Without the benefit of a speedlite, backdrop, or brighter / dimmer ambient lighting. Your statements will change, to be sure.
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