LaRoque Challenge - Follow Up II

This is the second version of this post - I started the first version but then LaRoque took a few words out of my mouth prior to posting it and I thought I would revise it a little as well as reference his thoughts and expand on them instead of just posting what boiled down to an echo in slightly different words. Patrick used laboratory I will use the word play.

I want to talk about the importance of play. Serious play but play none the less. I am sure LaRoque's use of Laboratory is used in the exact same sense as I am using the word play it's just that laboratory conjures up shades of shooting StupidCrap™ in my head. For me they are worlds apart. Shooting StupidCrap™ is a far more pedantic exercise that usually is just checking some technical detail or verifying some characteristic that you already know or suspect. This wintertime challenge has been far from that - for me and evidently for Patrick as well.

All the behind the scenes stuff in this post was shot on my X100. Like the shot at the top. Let's take that to start off something that happened during play with this wintertime challenge. You probably can't see it but I can see something that came out of this playing around that has seeped in through the edges. Something I never planned on. First off is that I am using my X100 differently. Mostly as subconsciously looking at the way Patrick used his - the same? No but influenced definitely. More subtly and more importantly to me is the use of the geometry of the space. This is the seeped in part.

Here's what I mean. In playing around with various challenge response scenarios my mind was open to possibilities with no specific "job" in mind as some end product. Just a few starting ideas that I let go were they were going to go instead of forcing some end result. While I was shooting them I started playing with geometry and frames within frames in ways that had nothing to do with what I set out to do in the first place. It was part of the play even though it wasn't the main concept I was playing with. Key word play and being open to possibilities.

I could probably write dissertation on this but let's just show you what I mean in a couple of images. Remember the geometry discussion here. With respect to light/dark/light dark patterns. Well that led to square frames inside the main aspect ratio of the camera that I mentioned casually here.

Which led to stuff like this…

and this…

and a bunch of other examples which continued to stuff that I did in my last response to the challenge which are all over the place in terms of screwing with geometry like this…

Which may not be plainly obvious to you but to me they are. If you check out where the simulated sun strikes land on Anastasia, the wall, where the corner is, and look really hard at that real sun strike on the wall directly behind her. All of those angles where very evident and used with intent for this brief series of shots. Were they successfully used? You decide - I was playing. Heck I cut the angles in my gobo to match the way the real sun was hitting the wall behind Anasastia in these shots as you can see here…

Yea this shot was later and the real sun had moved on so you cannot see the match up here - should have shot that but really never intended to discuss this. In fact the flash shots at the end of the movement series were never planned. I was having fun, they were working, Anastasia thought they were cool and having fun. What the heck before we get slightly more serious.

The amazing part of this playing/laboratory process for me - actually astonishing is that Patrick picked up on that never posted behind the scenes shot and took it somewhere - I think I may have twittered'd'd it. All from play. Very specifically the cutouts in the gobo. Here is the really cool part…

Unintended playing with geometry in all this there is something that has crept into my shooting subconsciously. Check this out…

Notice anything similar with this and the behind the scenes shot at the top? May not float your boat but for me the giant thing I see is that playing with geometry has crept into my subconscious process of how I use the frame. I can see it a mile away because I know how I shoot and how I use the frame when I am composing images. Here I wasn't playing with geometry I wasn't even thinking about it. same with the shot at the top. I know where it came from certainly. This kind of thing stokes me up like nothing else. All from playing.

I am fairly certain that Patrick's brief words embody my rather long winded, semi-connected but hopefully illustrative commentary on this process and why I have no desire to call it quits when wintertime is over. This is the kind of stuff photographers should really be doing and looking at and playing with. No matter where you are at in your own process or which particular road you happen to be going down at this moment this is the magic of the creative part and the invaluable part of serious but not too serious play. Not my specifics but the process of play and where it takes you and the unplanned/un-planable places you go.

Moving on to some behind the scenes stuff. Hopefully you are interested - warning this is no completely work safe and it's completely non-technical…

So first things first. It's kinda early like 11am so first up is coffee and some chit chat.

Of course we need a breath of smoky air and some more chit chat

Okay - time for work. Maybe some wardrobe checking and chit chat

Doesn't really seem to fit…

Nope, definitely a no go. Check out subconcious geometry filter at work.

Ooooohhh, pretty, and shiney.

Okay, enough of that. Makeup and hair time. Actually shot a lot of these because I like them…

First up is the playing around with the motion which means the coat. Ebay - $12

And on and on with a couple of different wardrobe changes for the "real work" which was mostly just shooting some illustrations for my upcoming lighting field guide series.

Hopefully this was at all interesting in the least for those of you that wanted some more of this kind of thing. I will try to be more intentful on the behind the scenes stuff if only to actually do justice to my little Fuji X100. I use it for off the cuff casual snapshot stuff. Will also try to remember some of the setup type shots as people seem to get things out of them that I would never predict.

Have a great weekend.

RB

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