I usually shy away from using much in the way of light modifiers while I’m shooting portraits. The extra bulk of carrying around a reflector slows down the organic process that I usually like so much about portraiture. Plus, I like the hunt for those little spots in the natural world where light is bouncing around perfectly. Oh, and also wind. Reflectors are pretty much just wind sails. So, without an assistant they’re pretty much always falling over, which is, ah, a little embarrassing.
But, the aesthetic that a shiny reflector lends to a photograph is unique, in that light really doesn’t look like that in real life very often. In a weird way, it almost seems a little pretentious. Don’t ask me to explain that.
Anyway, I got more interested after realizing that I could use a full sized tripod as a support for a large reflector.
Using this blog to motivate some creativity, I wandered the Crofton/Odenton area with my very beautiful and talented friend K. I’ll call her ‘K’ cause she’s got a little 1969 paranoia in her blood. She’s also probably a fan of Men in Black, the beloved major motion picture.
Most of the last paragraph was filler, and is mostly untrue.
We made an excursion of the whole thing. Starting first next to the Fire House on 424, there is an old grey/blue building. It’s storage of some kind now, but it may have once been a church. Or maybe a prop in a movie about a coal town that went out of business, but set 25 years ago. But, the photos weren’t of the building, they were of K.
It was chance that K was available to shoot, when I just so happened to have the creative spasm. We didn’t plan anything. But K is a creative force in herself. She knew what she was doing, even if she was a little uncomfortable.
All of these images were white balanced for the key light, which in most cases was the sun via a gold reflector. In many of these cases, the bright sunlight was being redirected into dense shade. That is what creates the deeper blue colors in the shadows.
I appreciated that as a subject, K has her own fashion sense that she enjoys. She also gets the click-move-click-move interaction between a photographer and subject. Anyway, I’m not one to generally give much attention to shoes, but K had some pretty cool boots. Or, she wore them cool. I’m actually becoming less sure of cool in general theses days. So, grain of salt, you know?
Starting to feel the sting of rugged cool-girl in front of grungy backdrop photos, we hopped back in the car. We were having a good time, goofing off so we took some time getting to the next spot. Or, actually even figuring out where it was. Driving down Dairy Farm Rd, I spotted some potential.
It was at the top of a hill, on one of those access roads used by the power company. The reflector had to be placed a bit further away than I’d have liked, and also in the middle of a crap load of thorny weeds. It was less than ideal.
K was a trooper and she cartwheeled into the thorny foliage and we took a photo that looks like she’s standing up, but really she’s kneeling down. Camera magic!
On the way out of the briars, I did a bit of a dance with a very hard, very big thorny branch of some kind, and K took a photo of my battle wounds, though she laughed pretty hysterically when it happened, so her sympathy is suspect.
Well, that’s it for this time. At the end of this week, I plan to share some progress that I’ve made on a 3D model of my house that I have been working on. It’s not much to look at right now, but if not to share it here, then where?