Portraits and Luck

I had made a tongue-in-cheek promise to my hosts to provide replacement profile pictures and, as this was my last day with them, I hauled out my light mod equipment and started firing as Ashley played DJ Hero and Alex played… something else.


Single-player games have their place but in the context of portrait photography they suck as the player is reduced to kinetic statuary.  Hands glued to fake turntable, eyes glued to depiction of a fake club, and ears glued to pedestrian scratch mixes I got 120 shots that were roughly identical except for lighting.  I later got one where I was much happier:


It’s cheating to have the subject physically manipulate the light source but it usually works to get something a spot more interesting.  I stared at this photo a lot during development to the point where Alex asked me why.  I replied “because in the background you can make out the server stats page.  It’s photographic proof that someone uses it”.

Alex calls himself tough to photograph and I now know why. His musician reflexes allow him to sense incoming photons from a flash and flex unseen muscles to make him look awkward.  For example:


Maybe that was staged…

Even after this, I think the shots I took while driving to Mitch’s on Thanksgiving where I had one eye on the road and the other on the rear-view mirror near to where I had positioned the LCD display on the camera in live view and physically moving the camera forward and backward to focus came out better.

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The iron law returns: If you want something to look interesting, don’t light all of it.

I went to bed at the crack of five looking forward to 1250 miles to drive on the way back home.