I can tell: These hand-held flash assignments are where you separate the real photographers from the just-muddling-through-and-trying-not-to-fail photographers.
I struggled and struggled and struggled with this assignment. Even now, I don’t know where I went wrong, but I suspect it was a multitude of places. I kept feeling like I had my settings wrong and reshooting. I still don’t know that I managed to get any RAW photos even though I know I set my camera to RAW and did a variety of shots that way. I went to a few different scenes: the mall, Barnes and Noble, the grocery store, the library, my friend’s house, my house.
I am totally not comfortable going up to strangers in situations like this and asking if I can invade their privacy, which is how I know I am not meant to earn a living as a news photographer. I’m a pretty outgoing person, but put a camera in my hands and suddenly I want to melt into the floor. Also, I feel like I fumble and futz with the equipment the entire time I’m shooting. Nothing feels natural, and when people move out of my shot just as I’ve got it composed and balanced and focused, it makes me want to cry.
I decided finally to create a shoot in my room, since after all what I want to do is work for an interior design magazine. I know it doesn’t have people, or interaction, but it is the closest approximation of what I think I might do later on. Unfortunately, printing these shots was a disaster. I tried five times with different settings and there was weird pink halation all around the table lamp. In some photos it was less noticeable, but definitely always there. Is this something to do with the depth of field? Or possibly the color balancing I did was off. I’m not sure. I just know it was unusable. So I ended up using a photo from the library. I like the angle, and I think I did successfully blend the two lights and then turn ugly green light into something human-looking in Photoshop, so I definitely learned something. And in the room shots, I had fun trying lots of different ways of getting light onto my objects: direct, bouncing off the ceiling, a mirror, the underside of a white shelf, and the guitar. So I do feel learning is taking place, even if the end result is less vibrant than I would like.
Rita was right: I miss the studio! Controlling everything was awesome.
Will keep plugging away at this and hopefully produce some things I like more as I become comfortable with all this equipment and the new steps and dimensions of thought it adds to the process of photography.