Master of Light
I don't generally like the term of Master, but one of the areas which I believe suits me is Master of Light.
Photography I have been involved with since early teens and fetish photography kicked off before I was 18. I always enjoyed sending that roll of film off on mail-order developing, waiting for that little package to come back and the photos printed in a nifty 6x4 inch window with a little strip of negatives.
Taking photos has taken a bit of a backbench recently with life ongoings. I sold off the big expensive digital camera I ended up with during university and went back to shooting film using a camera I rescued at a little market stall in Spain. Iv'e been using a mobile phone for convenience shots which has probably made me a bit lazy recently.
People don't like carrying cameras with lenses anymore and want something done quickly, now, instantly right this moment rather than waiting for a much more cinematic view. I like having the various lenses to make the shot look the way I want it to and the mechanical feel of an older camera using film.
Something that irritates me is when people think sticking a filter of a selfi is art. If you point and click a device several times just out of habbit in a zombie state using a fully automatic mobile phone, the result becomes an image, a record of events yes but souless and lost in the world of many others like. Your not creating a photograph your creating a digital image.
There are literly hundreds of thousands of giant media servers packed with technology holding billions of pictures of cats and pouting fish selfies. A unique photograph has been thought of with composition and not forgetting the narrative behind the reason to take the photograph in the first place with consideration of lighting.
Unless lighting is used with some consideration your merely documenting an event rather than making a photograph. Lighting is the key source of any picture that is to be captured as without it you just have a black blank space.
I see too many shots with poor lighting it makes me want to shake the person that pressed the shutter button and say for god's sake do you even know what a diffuser or reflector is or even the correct use of depth of field would be a good start in keeping the main area of interest in focus. It is greatly under-appreciated the background behind a photograph and how much goes into making that perfect moment which you don't see off-camera.
Everyone says they are a photographer now, but really the skill is being lost and diluted with technology and repetition. People are not photographers just ebcause they own a camera, they are documenters of digital images.
Here is a simple rundown of my recent shot as shown below to give an idea of what you can not see to create a unique photograph.
The studio itself is my Verlies. It has had a lot of work put into it with renovations and this particular room space was the recent fruits off 3-4 months of labour to create to shoot in. Finding a studio is doable so this doesn't count towards the time to create this shot in this instance.
In this shot, the suitable model was found and a suitable rigger to tie the model as safely as possible. In this shot are two flashes, myself and Boots being a studio assistant with a large silver reflector.
I am sat inches away from the model with my lens at 12mm, the giant reflector is next to the model of the left, there is a high powered flash with a honeycomb cone attachment floating above the model behind the floating sheer fabric and a flash to my right with a large umbrella diffuser.
The rope rigger is to the side keeping an eye on the model and all this is happening in around 10x10 feet of space while I am on the floor contracting all kinds of weird shapes to get the angle I want while swearing at the light.
Anyone involved in a shoot with me will know lighting is my thing. With film photography, you get only one shot and you need to get it right. If you need to depend on digital editing to get your lighting right then the end result will look fake. Often I see shots with dark shadows where a simple reflector could have made a massive improvement. It also makes any shot look flat and 2d if there is no rear lighting for this kind of scene.
If you Master your lighting then your photographs will have life in them. Taking 500 stills of the same product from slightly different angles just means you have 500 stills of the same mistakes. I only wish people would have more consideration in what they are shooting there would be more interesting things to see to help inspire others.
Social media pressure and modern mobile phones make taking images soulless and suck the joy out of creating something special to instead sell souls for likes. Is that cheese sandwich in front of you really needing 12 shots on social media rather than just sitting there and enjoying it. Send it me to eat instead while you pout with the side salad.