Shooting What I Love!
August 25, 2014 § 2 Comments
A number of consultants in the world of professional photography are advising photographers to shoot what they love, not what they think a potential client might want to see…great advice! I love shooting a lot of different things. When I first started out, I, like a lot of people, shot scenics while on vacations, or in my case, bumming around the country with a couple of friends. We went to a lot of our National Parks, and I got some nice shots of scenics and wildlife. Eventually I went to art school and studied studio lighting…and shot still life images almost exclusively. I think I’m a pretty good still life shooter, but truth be told, if I could make a living shooting only available light, I’d pack my strobes away forever. I do love shooting portraits though, and combining that with my love of shooting nature with available light, got me around to shooting portraits of animals. I’ve been shooting animal portraits for many years, and just last week, I asked my son if he’d like to head to the Cleveland Zoo to do some shooting. We went on a particularly hot humid day, so I didn’t last too long. Also, when it’s that hot, a lot of the animals aren’t all that active, so I plan on going back in a few weeks to resume my “Zoo Portrait” series…stay tuned. I sometimes stand around for a long time just waiting for my subject to look a certain way, or strike a certain pose…it’s not like I can tell them what to do, so it’s just a matter of being patient, and being ready for whatever happens. I like to separate my subject from the cluttered background and do a composite on my favorite dark slate background. I included the original image of a Meerkat to show what I have to start with. All of the other animals have similarly busy backgrounds. I use my favorite software programs…Topaz and OnOne to bring out textures and color, and Photoshop to strip out the subject and position it on my dark background. Getting back to my opening, as much as I love shooting in the studio, give me my DLSR, and a zoo full of interesting animals, and I’ll be “as happy as a pig in…” well, you know what I mean!
Any questions? Feel free to ask…and thanks for looking!