you have good eyes

100 Paces – Photography in Black and White

The end of the year is a great time (as we all know) and sometimes a slower time for the lighting department in a CG company.  It must be somewhat a nature of the ebb and flow of work since we are further towards the end of the production pipeline.  All of us know this at Reel FX, and I like to say it is the quiet before the storm…meaning we should have a big flow of work that will pick up after the holidays.  It’s probably similar for many businesses that do a greater majority of work for the year from January to August.  With that said, the lighters have been busy with research and development for our lighting team and preparing for new shows that start early next year.  I am very excited for the work we will be doing this year…more to come later.  It gets to a point where we have looked at our tools on the computer enough and and we want to get out of our chairs.  It not like an uprising or revolution per se, but a chance to stretch our legs and get a little taste of sunlight.  =)

Which brings us to today’s post of the 100  Paces Lighting Exercise. Tiffany (Reel FX friend) showed me this article that talked about various lighting exercises for a new photographer.  After a quick read through, it certainly did have some nice ideas for ways to freshen up your photography skills…or even just break it down to the basics.  I would say that all photographers (not just the beginners) could benefit from taking part in these exercises.

To kick things off, a handful of us at Reel FX decided to do black and white photography so that we would really focus on lighting and composition.  And I do have to say, it was very refreshing to do this. We use the 100 Paces photography exercise to have an organized photo shoot for a 2 hour session of shooting. It was focused, but in a non-pressure situation. This way were able to really slow down and take a look at what was in front of us. It felt very similar to the idea that when you walk down a street, you notice so much more that in you were passenger-ing in a car. The goal was really just to find beauty in ordinary things.  Sometimes you need to slow down for a minute to see them, but it’s there.  As long as your picture tells a story, then that is all we are really after…!

Speaking for myself, I always have tried to incorporate some of these concepts such as the rule of thirds in my shooting.  But, some of the other ideas, really, quite often slip my mind…or I just rely on intuition to accomplish them. This is all good and well, but even if any of you photographers out there have a natural talent for “it,” well, it never hurts to take an afternoon and try to refine some of those skills…or find some reasoning behind that “gut feeling ” when composing a shot.  It will definitely push your photography forward and may possibly assist in finding  a shot that could have be previous overlooked.  It’s always good to shoot for the greatness, but sometimes you just need to switch things up, and make it simple.

1/200 sec, f/9, ISO 200, 85mm (Nikon D300, 16-85 mm f/3.5-5.6)

1/30 sec, f/9, ISO 200, 85mm (Nikon D300, 16-85 mm f/3.5-5.6)

1/640 sec, f/2.8, ISO 200, 200mm (Nikon D300, 70-200mm f/2.8 VRII)

1/1250 sec, f/4, ISO 200, 200mm (Nikon D300, 70-200mm f/2.8 VRII)

1/400 sec, f/2.8, ISO 200, 200mm (Nikon D300, 70-200mm f/2.8 VRII)

1/250 sec, f/6.3, ISO 200, 200mm (Nikon D300, 70-200mm f/2.8 VRII)

See more on my flicker photostream jayaxe04.


2 responses

  1. Thanks Jay, the link to the exercises is great, 100 paces sounds super fun, I know I would enjoy that.

    December 6, 2010 at 12:53 pm

    • Hey Paul! It was definitely a refreshing look at photography. …and a success for the rfx-ers. We are already planning our next photography exercise.

      December 6, 2010 at 2:04 pm

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