Autumn girl

Beauty girl reading in forest...

Beauty girl reading in forest...
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3 Comments | Report
Goran_Jordanski March 01, 2018
Thanks to all !!!
Goran_Jordanski April 16, 2018
Thanks to all !!!
marcbaechtold PRO+
marcbaechtold May 14, 2018
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Behind The Lens

This photo was made in the place I live in, at the nearby park (the local church yard) wherein there are several oak trees protected by law, because they are many centuries old. Although the park is small, it provides a lot of inspiration and possibilities. In general, the quality of a location is totally irrelevant if you want and know how to make a good photo. If a photographer is good and has a good idea, they can use any location to make a good photo. Sometimes it`s not necessary to travel for hours to distant locations, or the exclusive ones etc. (of course, there are some exceptions and certain concrete demands), but now I`m speaking in general about it.
It was late afternoon, around 5 p.m., but it was almost dark because of the short winter days. At that time the Sun is practically at the horizon and if you are at the woods, you can`t even see the Sun.
It is obvious that we had a very bad light on this one. It was terrible, as a matter of fact. The location was in the middle of the park where the trees are thicken and their crowns are mostly mixed. There are lots of big trees that make strong and dark shadow in the surrounding and the model itself is sitting under such a tree, so she`s shadowed even more. One couldn`t see the sun from that spot because it was so low at the horizon in that moment, and the only light was coming from diffuse dissipation so these were the last moments of a daylight. While I was observing the location itself, I couldn`t resist to shoot a photo at this very spot. The moment I looked at that tree, and the space around it, I knew it would make a good photo. I had that photo in my head already. Everything was perfect and ready for action, and every second was a race with time. The biggest problem was the light, because on that occasion I didn`t have any addition eqipment with me, not even a flashlight. I had to improvise and find the best way to solve it, so I had to rely on the camera settings, the shooting angle, the approach and the idea.
In this case I used only a Canon 5D Mark III camera and a Canon EF 135mm f/2L USM lens. This photo shooting happened incidentally and unplanned, I didn`t bring my full equipment, just what I had on me in that moment. I didn`t have the time to return home and bring the equipment because the darkness was falling so I wouldn`t have returned in time and I woudld have missed the moment I wanted to capture. Also, I didn`t use camera tripod (I rarely use it in general, except for landscapes sometimes; never used it for portraits) or anything else. On this occasion it would be useful if I had a flashlight on me, or any other equipment for lighting, but unfortunately I had to manage it with what I had in that moment.
The inspiration for this photo came to me just by looking at those beautiful autumn colours, the leaves that coloured the entire park and kept falling while we were shooting. And that was it. It didn`t take me long to imagine the scene in my head: a beautiful girl (a good friend of mine), sitting in the woods, reading a book, relaxing and enjoying. I even wanted to see myself in that position. For me, it seemed like a kind of a small utopia because I`m usually very busy and I would really enjoy such kind of a break which I plan usually, but lack to accomplish.Nowadays rhythm of life is very intensive, and of a business even more. The entire idea appeared in the moment, and what`s left was just to bring it to life. We were "carried" by the surrounding and the idea came up. I had to be persistant to carry it out, despite all the technical difficulties in that moment. We didn`t have the equipment to create an interesting story, or the scene etc. I came to a conclusion that sometimes it`s best to follow the idea itself, as simple as it is. We found a book in the car, the girl sat down as she usually would in that situation, and that was it. Nothing unusual happened. We had a lack of leaves which would give a better autumn effect, but we worked with what we had.
Yes, I did. Since this situation was specific, I had to make few corrections. Although I usually avoid to work afterwards on photos because I like to keep them as origial as it gets, this time some corrections were required. The basis for the work is a raw file. At the shooting session, we had lack of leaves, which could provide us a stronger autumn effect; in postproduction some leaves are added to emphasize the effect of the autumn leaves, because when people think about autumn they usually immediately imagine falling leaves. So I had to add some to those real, exsistant, caught in the photo which were insuficiant, to make a better effect. The other part of the work on the photo was about colours, white balance and light a little bit, to lighten some parts which were impossible to lighten in the moment of shooting with the equipment I had on that occasion, but it wasn`t a lot of work on that one.A a matter of fact the biggest "changes" of the photo were about correcting the colours. Since there are several tree species, not all of them have the same colour of the leaves. In autumn some of them are yellow, some orange, some red... The leaves of this particular tree were more yellow than red, and I didn`t like it because I wanted to show the effect of a late autumn with red leaves. Since I didn`t want to change the location and find a tree with red leaves, I had to process the photo and change their colour. I couldn`t even wait for the late autumn, so the leaves change their colour themseves, because we had storms and winds those days and they would blow out all the leaves before that. If the conditions were ideal, the afterward processing would be unnecessarily. Unfortunately, it doesn`t happen often in reality. In this case, I had to process the photo to bring out what I wanted.
In my camera bag
Depending on what I want to shoot and where I`m going, I have few ready combinations and already packed eqipment bags. Nevertheless, the combination I use most frequently (every-day equipment) is a canon 5D Mark III wih several lenses and a flashlight. I prefer prime lenses and whenever I can, and am able to choose, I use them. The other lenses are my second choice. Unfortunately, I haven`t got all the lenses I would like to have, but I`m working on it. At the moment I always have on me one prime Sigma Art 35mm f/1.4 DG HSM, a Canon EF 50mm f/1.4 USM, a Canon EF 100mm f/2.8L Macro IS USM and of course...a Canon EF 135mm f/2L USM. Using this very lens I made the photo. It is a very good and powerful lens which saved me with its F-stop on this occasion, and gave an additional adventage to the photo itself because of its excellent DOF. I`ve also got and some other lenses, but I use them rarely and therefore they aren`t in my everyday bag. I have them waiting for specific purposes and demands. Exept those I mentioned, in my everyday bag I`ve also got, just in case, a Canon EF 24-105mm f/4L IS II USM. This lens can solve some other situations, when I cannot rely on my usual equipment. Apart from that, although I`ve got many flashlights, I usually have only one on me, the one I`m used to (a Canon Speedlite 580EX II). Of course, I always have spare batteries, as a matter of fact, a bunch of them (for a flashlight, for a camera), memory cards, mostly 64 Gbs, a few of them, a mini set for lens-cleaning, a grey card, a Gary Fong diffuser which can be useful... and a bunch of other small things. I rarely have a tripod in this package or some other heavy or large equipment, because I like to have my hands free and not a heavy bag on my back while I`m working. When I do shootings of a different, specific purpose, then I bring my "heavy artillery", an additional camera body, chests with equipment, tripods, diffusers, backgrounds, reflectors... and all the rest... and of course, a good will, a smile on my face and a good company. You cannot put those in a bag :-)
Every situation is specific itself. A phographer has to be capable of recognizing the best and most quality moment in any situation, and to have the right respond on it, the idea how to capture, to represent it to a future observer and how to express that moment in a best possible way to someone who didn`t experience it personnaly. This rule applies to all photography genres and every photo must have a soul, a story and a content, because it`s the only way to catch the attention of an observer, make them live it and imagine themselves in that moment. That is art. So, one should develop that aspect of personality, study the art (photography, painting...)- it` easy to learn the technical part of photography. You can find everywhere books, tutorials, courses and a million other ways to learn, you can achieve that aspect, but it`s not crucial or sufficiant. You can also learn from other people`s mistakes, and most from your owns, and it also requires a lot of work, patience and practice of what you`ve learnt, because the theory itself doesn`t mean anything. Many people think that a good photo means using an expensive, high quality equipment. It`s not that simple and it doesn`t work that way. Maybe it is important to have an expensive and high quality equipment, and it can help you to acheive the goal, but the equipment is not most important, it`s not even in the first place (or at least it shouldn`t be), but there are many beginners in photography who unfortunately think so, they rely on the equipment, make technically perfect photos... but those photos lack a soul, a story and many other things. One friend of mine, and a colleage, has a small anegdoth: he took a photo of something and a lot of people had seen that photo and they were thrilled; one among the comments came from a lady who said: "It`s a fantastic photo... It seems like you`ve got a very expensive equipment?". His answer was short and had a clear point:"Yes, but I`ve also got most quality and most expensive pots and saucepans one can find in the market, and the only dish I know how to cook are eggs." In conclusion (apart from technical knowledge): make experiments in photography, try different angles, avoid the clishe, explore, but also, while you`re making a photo, try in advance to imagine yourself as the observer who will look at that photo in the end, and try to imagine what would you live through and how would you see that photo, would it make an impression on you, would you like to have that photo, would you like to be at that very spot yourselves...in that role...etc. When you have positive answers to all these questions and you succeed to imagine and accomplish all that, then you strike the beam to make a good photo, but it`s just a part of the story. The equipment itself is your best friend, to help you make it even prettier and technically more supported. This photo of mine is just one stolen and captured moment from that day and it could look totally different in million versions, it`s up to a photographer to choose a moment, as well as the way to present and capture it. This is exacly why there is no unique rule on how to do something. It all depends on a photographer, a moment, tallent, knowledge etc. And needs and demands, of course. I`m speaking here about photos like mine. In some other genres and commercial photography there are different approaches and one shouldn`t mix these two approaches. So be specific, choose your genre and what it is that you want to do. As for handling this situation, yes- it`s very specific and can be hard to work in, if the conditions are like this; then you are required technical knowledge so you can solve the problem. The combination of all the mentioned aspects will provide you a good photo. I`m sure that eeryone know how to lighten up when it`s dark, and all the other technical aspects, so I`m not going to talk about it. The emphasis is on visual experience and on telling the story. The emphasis is also on the girl who`s, being a central figure in the photo, is placed in the center of the composition. Although she`s rather small in regard to the scene, she`s focused because of the story she`s telling. On the other side, I had to widen the scene in order to present the surrounding and tell the story. But one should be cautious at what level you`re about to present a model... or a scene...Because you can exaggerate enlarging or reducing something and create a wrong effect.There must be a balance. Also, don`t forse your model to pose. It can look unnatural, strange. I like my models to literally do what they usually do, so the scene itself looks natural, so I`m just trying to capture a detail, a moment and it appears so realistic and vivid, and so much closer to the observer. You should also keep in mind that when you shoot in shadow, avoid the light gleaming through the trees, especially the shadows on the face etc. There are many ways to solve this problem. You can change a position of a model, or to lighten the shadows or darken the light.All the things you use, provide you a different effect, so you need to decide what to choose in order to achieve the goal. In this case we didn`t have such problems, except for lack of light, which we solved with a bigger ISO, a corresponding F-stop and some work in postproduction. Remember, you create your own rules and your photo and its story. You`re in control of everything, so use this fact wisely.

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