Sunday, July 8, 2012

Let Me Do It Right This Time part 1

     With so many pictures and so many things that happened within less than a 24-hour session, I have to divide this article.  Otherwise it'll be a very long read (I almost forgot no one likes that anymore).

     I was upset about last week's meeting with Fred.  I was very disappointed with myself.  What I hate most is that I'm becoming one of those people I resent: All Talk People.  So I have an excuse.  I work alone.  I can't perform as much with people around me.  And yet, I claimed I feel comfortable with Fred.  Well, I still hate what happened.  And I owe it to these photographers I've met to come up with better pictures than my test shots.
     I decided to go back to the location.  I carried the same gear, plus my trusty Samyang.  You see, I noticed I'm starting to rely much on my nifty-fifty or my kit lens.  And since I intend to get a panoramic shot, I just have to use my only 85mm.  So while I was setting my gear (days before), I made myself some guidelines:
1.  Shoot with Samyang 85mm at f/1.4 as much as possible.
2.  Avoid the nifty-fifty.  Use only when absolutely needed.
3.  When using the kit lens, restrict myself to using 18mm alone.
4.  Take as much time needed.  No use for many shots of the same frame.
5.  No excuses this time.
That's it.

     One thing concerns me, though.  It feels like cheating.  I first came to this location with a group and only got test shots.  Then I came with Fred the second time and didn't take any.  Now I'm back the third time alone and about to shoot for real.  Somehow it doesn't sound right.  But because of the past 2 visits here, I'm just angry at myself that I didn't deliver.  So I'm back to do some serious work.

At Rest
Pillow outside an abandoned house.  At this first use of 85mm, I was already glad I was alone.  It took me minutes to get this one shot.  Stepping backwards an inch at a time just to get the frame I want.  It was a good start.

Spiral Staircase
Up to this day, I'm still wondering why almost all the stairs in these houses are really tight.  I can barely climb this one without squeezing myself through.

Point A Cross
When I climbed this rooftop, this concrete chimney-like thing got my attention.  But it was that cross from a distant church that amused me.  I immediately thought of my Filipino friends who're fond of the Christian thing.  So I dedicate this shot to them.

     I love my Samyang lens.  But the focal length is one thing that's bothering me.  All the pictures I've taken so far were shot with this lens.  One thing I'm glad working alone is that I can move backwards an inch at a time, to get the framing I want (I do like to get it right at the shot rather than cropping it out post-process).  But there are times when I just need a shorter focal length for the shot. With such chaotic and tight spaces, I could worm my way in to take pictures, I just have to use my kit lens.

Flash Lit
Looked interesting at first but I set a custom white balance for the lights outside.  Using a flashlight to light-paint, I got this result by default.
Death Of Music
White balance fixed on post-process.  This guitar was hidden behind large cabinets.

Good Night, Grandma
Climbing up another house, I found this empty chair with the pillow still in place.  Despite all chaos, I feel like this chair stood its ground and still waiting to serve someone.

     My (very few) readers should know that although I process most of my pictures, this blue(/violet/purple/cyan/magenta/... ish) color was not part of editing.  They were all made by my little flashlight.

     Somehow, I feel odd on myself not being creeped out.  It's a ghost town.  Pitch black on most areas especially indoors.  No signs of life.  Eerily quiet.  And I'm alone!  There were a few moments when some horror movies come flashing in my mind.  But I guess I was just dead set to taking photos rather than entertaining what would have been a frightful night.  So on to the photos...

It's amazing how night and day turns a colorful and welcoming gate in the morning to a creepy thing at night.  Despite the street light, I still used my flashlight to highlight the gate amongst its surroundings.  It also helps the blues pop out more.

A Kid's Endeavor... no more
The door was open this way.  Sort of begging me to take a look.  I've seen other rooms that looked like a kid's room.  But this one caught my attention the most.

     The last image was quite challenging to me.  It was difficult to isolate my flashlight from the street light.  It took me some tries to get it right.

     I hope someone enjoyed reading and taking a look at my photos.  There's more to come on the next blog.

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