Personal Projects ~

So Whitney & I did something last week that we try to do occasionally, and this was to schedule a day for personal projects at the studio. You get so busy with your everyday work that sometimes you just need to re-charge your batteries and try out new things: styles, lighting, subjects -- wherever your heart, brain, and soul take you.
Plus, we opened this up as a "drop-in" experience for anyone who wanted to drop by and participate.

Did anyone takes us up on it? Well, not this time around, although there were a number of people who definitely wanted to, but couldn't get away for it (a Wednesday afternoon) so we'll keep scheduling these in. But boy did we have fun!

We played with every style of lighting we could muster up, which is considerable: strobe, continuous, and even plain-old available. Which is hardly plain at at; the whole north wall of the studio is a roll-up door, so we can enjoy the best northern-light quality you can imagine. Whitney often uses that for her portraits of children, and used that with her image you see on the right. My image above was taken with my Elinchrom strobes.

Bliss Studio's intern Stacie got right with the program. A very talented artist and photographer, it was really fun to see her approach to lighting and posing, too.
Which, come to think of it, is the real benefit to the drop-in philosophy: sharing tips and learning new things goes both ways.

This is one of the images Stacie made and shared with us. She was exploring lighting and angles we hadn't noticed before. The most fun I have in the studio, when I get the most energized and feel the most creative, is when I have a group of people at a lighting workshop. Sometimes people who are learning have the most to teach.

And of course, post-production technique can (or at least should) round out the vision you began forming in your mind when the camera was in your hand. These two pictures illustrate that, as well as really showing how two people can interpret the very same subject in such different ways. This is Whitneys image of two sunflowers on the right, mine is below.

We both use Photoshop CS6, and we both really enjoy using OnOne software too. But all of that is about the same as saying we both use a darkroom.

We have this discussion all the time, and perhaps you should too. Does the use of post-production software enhance your vision and interpretation, or define it? It's a tough call, and the line separating those can be pretty vague sometimes. My own philosophy of photography and the "painterly" manner in which I tend to interpret  my subjects is something that began to form even back in the black & white darkroom, where at times it could take weeks to make the exact print I was looking for. Does photoshop merely speed up this process, or fundamentally alter it?

Your thoughts?

That'll make a great discussion for our next post! That, of course, and some of your photos.

You know where:           And drop in next time!

Later, amigos!