Winter Doldrums Challenge

Way back last month I posted a couple of thoughts on speedlight use that for one reason or another sparked some sort of inspiration in Patrick LaRoque to make a really awesome set of self portraits using strobes to combat the winter doldrums. That in turn lit a fire under my lazy rear-end to up the ante a bit. Not a bad thing to do anytime - in fact something we should all be doing all of the time. Not an easy thing to get my head into in the wintertime.

In that spirit - I made the image at the top with speedlights. The ante that I upped is my love of playing with lines and chiaroscuro patterns as compositional elements. Speedlights are kind of a pain to do this with since you can't see what's going on and have to make adjustments and mental notes in terms of positioning etc. I also upped the ante by doing it extremely high key where all of the tones are extremely close in values while attempting to make all of the elements work graphically in the image in both obvious as well as subtle ways.

This image was a real stretch for me in a few ways. Which particular ones are not really important. What is important is that I took a lot away from it that I am really excited about incorporating in to other work in terms of things both tools and ideas. We all get lazy, we all get somehow mired down in taking the easy road - which happens when you don't expend the energy to do something different and make it work - the thing that you already know - will know will work. I know I do but that is not really that fun and certainly won't lead anywhere new for your photography.

Processing was a strait black and white conversion in ACR7 and a touch of grain simulation.

Take that LaRoque - let's see what you make next.


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