Sunday, October 5, 2008

So what happens when things don't come together the way you planned?

OMG, this is inevitable! You plan out a shoot as meticulously as you can. Every detail is scoped - time of day, direction of light, flash units, white balance, models, on and on and on. Then the time comes and everything falls apart.

Iso 200, f/6.3, 1/60 sec, 62mm, Nikon SB900 + Vivitar 285HV for fill

The sun is setting on the opposite side of the field than you expected (oh yea, go check out the site a couple of days in advance at sunset). The 5 volunteers you requested turn out to be twenty 14 year olds on a short break from a birthday party that have to return within 15 minutes. Your cornfield turns out to be a mudfield. You go to set your flash to tungsten and see there is no tungsten setting. Who knew that incandescent is the same thing? You have to shoot 30 minutes before the light is in the sweet zone. And for some reason, the sky is absolutely void of clouds!

Iso 200, f/6.3, 1/60 sec, 31mm, Nikon SB900 + Vivitar 285HV for fill

This was the scenario that I ran into last night while shooting a photo for the latest Digital Grin competition. This round is especially difficult because the photos cannot have any post processing, everything has to be straight out of camera and shot at sunset or sunrise. I had been viewing the entries posted throughout the week and out of the first 50, the majority were some variation of the sun rising or setting. I decided that I needed something a bit more action based with a story behind it in order to be a front runner. The plan was to create an image of people stealing potatoes from a field at twilight. I know it sounds strange but in my mind, it played out pretty cool.

It would have been awesome; however, everything went wrong from the start. The thing that did work was my brother-in-law playing the part of the king of thieves. Even though I knew at the time that the image wasn't going to come together, I went ahead and shot several frames. When I uploaded them, my suspicions were confirmed. The sky was colorless. The depth was off. The "models" were all over the place. What is the next step? Salvage what's left.

Iso 200, f/6.3, 1/60 sec, 44mm, Nikon SB900 + Vivitar 285HV for fill

I dropped the idea of entering any of the images in the contest and decided to play around with them as composite portraits. Amazingly, I was really happy with how these came out after working them in Adobe Lightroom and Photoshop CS3. The bottom line is that I missed my contest photo for the evening but came up with some personal images that were far better than I imagined!

1 comment:

Jill Beninato said...

I really like your PP on these Travis...the way you posed the people reminds me of an album cover for a rockband or something...very interesting and you came out with some images that are probably better than what you were looking for in terms of the contest.