This is the shot that I was looking of for Chad Piece – a glassblower here in Ybor City – Tampa. I came upon him when we were walking along Ybor city during a meetup – and I knew I wanted to try an HDR>
Here’s the thing – While you may think that making an HDR picture of something (or someone) will look cool- the person you are usually trying to convince rarely has heard of HDR. You dont have time to sit there and give them the whole “you take multiple pictures and stack them then use software” shebang.
This is where I usually do two things to help me get a shot:
- Carry My Ipad : I can quickly get into a conversation with the person about what I do, what I shoot, and how I do it this way. I make sure that I keep all of my HDR Images in one folder, and make sure that I have them in the exact order I want to show them. This way I can just talk and swipe. The swiping keeps the attention.
- Test The Shoot: I am often wrong as to what I think will make a good HDR, and I dont want to waste anyones time trying. To that, I usually go on and try a shot at an insanely high ISO for me. Now, obviously this depends on what camera you have. I use the NIkon D3S – so this thing pretty much shoots in the dark.
The Test Shoot
Was this the shot that I totally wanted? Kinda sorta, but not really. That said, however, this shot gets me close to what I am looking for. More importantly, it lets the person see what I am trying – getting them more excited about letting me do it. So, now when I tell him “OK, you see this.. I am going to have to redo this.. with your face really close to the fire.. and you have to stay perfectly still… in front of the fire” I know he’s going to be excited about doing it. By shooting at 2200 ISO, I can quickly pick off a shot where him moving isn’t going to kill me first. In this case, I had my laptop a couple of doors down at a Pizza place with my friends. I immediately shot this picture and went back to the pizza place to work it. A quick 5 min treatment, and I went back with the laptop, full screen, Lights out in Lightroom to show him this picture.
He asked if I could send him the shot to send his mom, as it was the best pic he’s seen of himself. I thought that was kind of cool on two fronts:
- To me, there is sooo much I would’ve rather done in this picture. To me, I find all these imperfections. However, to the person whom you’re making the image, these things aren’t immediately apparent. Sometimes you need to sit back and remember that. How you make a person feel about the picture sometimes is more important than the technicality of the picture.
- In Chad asking that he wanted the picture for his mom, I knew I sold him on letting me really try it. I can then experiment with different ISO and Aperture settings to get what I want.
What I love about this shot is that Chad is definitely a character (and a Long Islander to boot. Was pumped about that), so I can see a couple of cool shoots coming out of this.