This was a ‘studio’ based shoot. I observed that the experience was very different to the location-based shoot of found objects / subjects in my previous assignment. The set-up is described separately here. For this shoot there are far fewer shots, but the attention required to the preparation of the shoot, including lighting and layout of the subjects and positioning of the camera made it almost as time-consuming for the far fewer number of shots here as for the large number of shots in the previous assignment. Exploring and arriving at the concept of the work that is in some ways quite abstract also felt more complex than working with what is already given. The volume of output in photography is a poor indicator of the time input to make the shots – a misunderstanding based on an everyday approach to snapshot photography; where the act of pressing a button is equated to the act of making a photo.
A couple of interesting learnings during this shoot:
- I set exposure to ensure that the white board on which the objects were directly placed showed as white – to avoid any tricky dodging in post around the subjects (at least in the areas immediately around the objects). In camera, this resulted in very flat images of the subjects (also seen in the RAW contacts below). For this kind of work (I suppose akin to product photography) I found a significant extension of workload in to post-processing that may not be necessary in the case of shots of general scenes exposed for the main subject. Here, while the white back ground was not the subject, it was important for the context of the shots that it was white and easier to work the body of the subjects in post than adjust any off-white around them.
- Back-button focusing on the subjects did not give the exact placement of the area of focus I was hoping for on the subjects – there was a need for fine adjustment. As I use mirrorless, I’m able to use high-light peaking to view the exact areas that fall into focus – this combined with manual adjustment of the focus, allow me to precisely place the focal range. If I hadn’t thought to check this with manual focusing, the photos may not have been sharp exactly where I was expecting. A lesson that with this kind of fine work, taking the shot requires care that may be better achieved through manual intervention.
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