So the last few posts I’ve done have been more photography related news, and my own announcement of publications I’ve helped produce being published than anything of recent or instructional photographic value. The latest posts have NOT been heavily related to individual photographic efforts, or photography that I have taken in general, nor the wild harebrained effort involved in getting the shot. As I know that some people read the blog just for things like that, this post is dedicated to none other than a Senior Community.

(Nikon D3, 320ISO, Nikon 18-35mmF3.5-4.5@24mm. 1/30th@F5.6. Nikon SB900 Speedlight set to 1/2 power zoomed to 70mm to camera left pointed at the ceiling for diffusion. Single Nikon Sb900 Speedlight set to half power zoomed to 200mm Pointed at the ceiling for diffusion to camera right, back by the wall. Both Speedlights fired by SU-800 Speedlight commander linked to a SC-28 off camera cable held where both speedlights could see it by Michael Guio)

Yup. It’s like that. Crestwood Village Senior Living community and apartment homes. Exciting huh? I’d easily say that falls under the category of the non glamorus side of photography, except that it provides a very unique opportunity assuming you have an idea in your head, have a dream in your head, want to MAKE an image instead of take one. Generally this can be difficult as there isn’t always time to consider your creative options, but part of being a photographer is making something out of nothing. It’s what most of your clients will ask from you, and as long as you have an idea in your head, even if it seems like it’s left field; why not try it out? LIterally do what they ask, and make something from nothing…..

(Nikon D3, 250ISO, Nikon 28-70mmF2.8@38mm 1/160th@F10)

That shot is the ambient light shot of the photo I want to take, barring a few minor changes. The best way to make a photo out of nothing, is to start with exactly that, adding lights where you want them. Showing what you want to show. My thoughts on this image were that of out of a wedding. It’s usually very dark at a wedding, it’s usually lit by spotlight, and usually it’s very romantic. The hardest part about photography is having enough light in most cases. This is a great opportunity where there is enough light, but you can tailor it into whatever you want it to be.

(Nikon D3, 250ISO, Nikon 28-70mmF2.8@60mm, 1/160th@F10. Single SB800 Speedlight set to SU-4 mode pointed up at the piano player from on the keys set to 1/32nd power, zoomed out to 24mm. Single SB-900 unit zoomed to 200mm set to 1/2th power in the background on a stand. Single SB-900 unit set to 1/4th power shot through a FotoRosa 16″ softbox held above the couple dancing by Michael Guio. The SB-900’s were fired with the SU-800 Speedlight Commander from on Camera, the SB800 was fired as a result of the flash from the SB900’s)

That’s the final shot. Little puddle lighting, little spotlight flare, little romantic dance light. A lot like a wedding which was what I was looking for. I don’t think these two are getting married, but they could have been married 75 years, which is definitely a reason to dance. I think it could use a little color, but at the time I was running a bit behind and I had to go back and take the safe shot. The shot that is the first one shown in the blog is the safe shot, and yea I shot that one last. I went for the gold straight away, which isn’t always the best way to do things, but in the end I’m relatively happy with the image. There are things I’d do differently next time, but that’s what you learn by trying new things. I also think that the lady on the piano is scary beyond all reason. She’ll probably get cropped out of the final image that gets used by the Village, but that’s ok as sometimes clients crop things like you wouldn’t, or use things nowhere close to how you want. For all I know, the Village would rather have what I consider to be the very bland shot that I started this post with. Whatever they decide, as long as they are pleased with having options to choose from.

In the end, starting with nothing and making something is always a great option. It’s not often that I get to do something like that and would love to continue doing more of it. It creates a much more dynamic image, which in some cases is point. Making something normal, and making it better than that. Don’t take the picture, make the picture. More soon.