Thursday, June 18, 2009

He Tangata

He aha te mea nui?
He tangata.
He tangata.
He tangata.

Half  Boog

So far I've been a lot more comfortable shooting landscapes than people. So I knew Strobist Boot Camp II's first exercise - a head shot, was going to be a challenge that would do me a lot of good. As the week has gone by though, I've been stressing more and more about the whole thing. I've accumulated enough gear to attempt many styles, and have been practising as much as I can with it all - learning to balance flash with ambient light; lighting from multiple angles; hard and soft light sources, coloured gels... Last night though, I was feeling a bit overwhelmed by it all.

I knew I wanted Boog as my model, and I wanted to capture his Kai Tahu side rather than the muso in him, but I really couldn't think of a suitable background. I was thinking about dark rooms or bare brick. Thank goodness I went on a recce this morning, and found the ideal backdrop: A copy of the Treaty of Waitangi on display at the Otago Early Settlers Museum. They had no problem letting us shoot there, and Boog showed up with a great prop and half moko. Once I'd settled on the light I wanted, the stress dropped away. I chose hard light with bare strobes - just a little CTO gel on the flash at camera left just behind Boog's shoulder. I also did a few shots with the umbrella on my key light, just for a little variety.

Pukana 2 Pukana 1 Warrior Look Left

I'm happy that I pulled off something that pushed the limits of my present ability and more importantly, have discovered that taking pictures of people is fun. Next week I'm planning some street photography. It's just like the Maori proverb goes:

What is the most important thing?
It's people
It's people
It's people.

Pukana BW

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