Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Shooting in the Dark | Personal

The MINI Cooper S was the funnest car I've owned and I think about it every time I see one zip by on the freeway. What I miss most was the control that driving a 6-speed manual allowed me - selecting the right gear and accelerating hard out of a sharp turn; negotiating steep hills with engine braking; cruising to a stop light in neutral to save gas. You can do all these with an automatic but that's no fun.

In the same way you have so much more creative control shooting photos in Manual. For a long time I completely favored Aperture Priority on my camera because I didn't want to have to think about image exposure. However, my rate of success at getting the shot composition that I envisioned in my head was low. I ended up shooting a lot more frames just to get the shot I wanted. Shooting in Manual opened up a new world of composition for me and it was like falling in love with photography all over again. It takes a little more time to setup a shot but that gets easier with time. The best part is that when you set it right the first time, you shave loads of time on post-processing since the exposure settings stay the same in a group of shots. You can just apply an edit to that same batch of photos. I only wish that I started shooting Manual when I first picked up an SLR camera!

2 Saturdays ago I shot a live performance of Carlos Xavier performing songs off his upcoming album. The lighting proved to be really challenging because there were hot spotlights and colored cells that would hit the band and be constantly changing. Shooting in Manual was definitely invaluable to not getting my exposure thrown way off with all the dynamic lighting situations.

Carlos prepping right before taking the stage - 35mm | f/2 | 1/60 | ISO3200

35mm | f/2 | 1/80 | ISO2000

50mm | f/2 | 1/320 | ISO2500

50mm | f/2 | 1/200 | ISO2500

50mm | f/2 | 1/200 | ISO2500

50mm | f/2 | 1/100 | ISO800

35mm | f/2 | 1/60 | ISO3200

It was interesting to see all the interaction going on in the dark - 35mm | f/1.8 | 1/50 | ISO3200

35mm | f/2 | 1/50 | ISO3200

It would've been quite a challenge getting this silhouette shot in anything other than Manual mode - 35mm | f/2.2 | 1/160 | ISO3200

No comments: