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Monday, July 14, 2008

Starting Point: One Light

I'll admit it, I have fallen in love with the Strobist way of thinking about light: Less gear, more thinking, better images.There was a entry today about  Timothy Greenfield-Sanders who shoots with a large 8x10 camera, but with only one light  proported light source.  In the interview posted on the Strobist site, Timothy states that "There are critics of my work who say 'well he takes the same picture over and over again.'"  He agrees with that comment, but states that he is is making a document of a person and a time.  The images he produces have individuals with very stern faces in simple backgrounds.  The viewer is forced to see the subject.

I have never been one to specialize in anything.  I like being a jack of all traits, master or none.  It has served me very well through the years and I intend to keep it up.  I can see though the virtues of mastering every tool that you want to use.  Off-camera lighting is full of tools and toys.  I recently bought three pocket wizards solely for the purpose of being able to do off camera lighting. I have made the committment to myself, that before I buy anything else. I must learn how to squeeze every bit of usefullness out of what I have.  Going back to simple light forces the photographer and viewer to slow down and look at the subject. Capturing essence is more important to me than documenting.  One should never find being good at something as an acceptable criticism.  However, to keep doing the same thign over and over, simply because it works, doesn't leave much room to grow either.