Thursday, March 13, 2008

Library: Final Four

Being a "Lone Wolf" type of photographer, it's often difficult for me to concentrate and do my best when in a big group. With a dozen of us FlickrClubSA shooters in a confined area there was a lot of chatter and almost always someone in your shot. I would patiently wait for them to finish and move on, but then someone else would have to actually ask me to move out of their shot. I guess my situational awareness was a little too focused.
It was a bit wild at times, but I still managed to get people-free photos of the subjects that interested me.

These poor blue benches hardly ever get assed since the terraces are never open to the public. I liked the geometry of this shot, the colors, the simplicity.
It's easy to get a nice exposure when everything is under the same light and there's no sky to worry about.
Other people shot this same scene a bunch of times, but I don't see too many results posted. Probably because I remembered to use 'Cloudy' white-balance and didn't try to punch-up the colors, then posted first. Who knows?

My favorite from the series.
Situational awareness informed me that this little girl had repeatedly escaped from her mom inside the library to come outside and play, followed by yelled "Get in here!!!"s.
Well hell, why own a wireless remote flash system if you aren't going to try and use it for something besides already-setup shots?
I set my flash to 1/2 power and put it on the ground between the benches laying on it's side, so the output wouldn't point up and be too strong. I was after a feathered light for anyone sitting with an added bounce off the ground for the scene, while also adding the possibility of hitting anyone walking past with a more direct flash.
The result was lucky, in that she climbed up on the benches like I hoped and played around for a moment before finding my flash and smiling at her discovery.
What wasn't luck is the fact that I had already shot a test exposure and made some adjustments, then had the patience to wait for the smile while already pre-focused.

The Ugly Bug
By now we're on the 4th floor terrace, accessible only by using the stairs down from the fifth.
This huge stink-bug was also shot by more than a few people at the meeting.
Only reason I include this photo is that it's part of the story.
I had zero luck getting a good photo of it because all of the people and camera lenses nearby had convinced the insect to haul ass for safer ground.
By the time I tried for a picture it was on the run for the wall, and there's no way to get good focus on something this close when it is moving.
I pressed the shutter button when it had paused for a moment, but by the time autofocus was finished the bug was moving again--then the barefoot girl came around the corner--then the shutter tripped--then the barefoot girl screamed and jumped 4 feet up and over--then everyone laughed.
It was fun.

Once the stinkbug reached the wall it set up camp and relaxed for a few minutes.
Knowing a few things about the weakness of insect (and reptile) circulatory systems after they have undergone strenuous activity, it wasn't hard to nail a sharp shot of it. Without my usual automatic macro flash, I didn't have the tools for a better photo with more depth of focus, but there was enough ambient light for a decent shot.

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