Rifqi's photo

My photographic journey

Sometimes in the field of photography, things don’t turn out the way you had planned – in fact, most times are like that, you usually end up with something different than you planned. It can be a bad thing but once in a while it’s not.

Just a short one today to share this shot. I had an idea a while ago for a certain light I wanted to try in a portrait, so I coerced my wife into dressing up a bit and posing for me. As always, I started with a test shot to check the exposure since I shoot everything in manual – which, on an unrelated note, I’m getting pretty good at guessing at my first try. I think I’m starting to get a definite feel for what power output I need from my flashes depending on what aperture I’m shooting at and what light modifiers I’m using. So that’s something to keep in mind if you’re feeling intimidated by manual flash or just shooting manual in general; let it take the time it needs and eventually it will be second nature and your photography will benefit from the flexibility it gives you compared to shooting in auto.

Anyways, let’s get back on track here. I was about to take a test shot but the light wasn’t all that good so the camera had trouble focusing on my wife’s face. Seeing how it was just a test shot and focus didn’t really matter, I simply focused on the brightest part in the frame, which was the hat she was wearing, and pressed the shutter. That shot is the one you see at the top here. The light is a bit brighter than I had planned (and the light I actually wanted to try with this shot didn’t really work the way I wanted, but that’s a different story) but that works well with the soft focus on the face.

PortraitAs a reference, here’s the shot as I intended it (though as mentioned before, the light didn’t work the way I wanted it to). I like the test shot better.

This just goes to show what a fickle beast photography can be; sometimes your plan, your vision, works perfectly and you get exactly the result you want; sometimes you get results below your expectations; sometimes you get results above expectations even if they’re completely different than you planned in the first place. So what’s the lesson from all this? You tell me, I don’t have all the answers (actually I do, I just don’t like to share). Well, if you insist, I guess the lesson is to be creative, to not get stuck in your set patterns, to be willing to experiment and embrace the unexpected.

So, do you have any similar stories? If you’ve been shooting for any amount of time I’m sure you do. Share them in the comments or on google+.

Join Rifqi’s photo on google+ to take part in more in depth discussion.

/Rifqi

Portrait Portrait

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2 Responses to “Happy accidents”

  1. Matthew Kunce

    For me it is all about the experimenting, especially with the flash. I love the fact that you had a vision and then worked on getting it. Even if it wasn’t exactly the way you ‘saw’ it you did get a shot you liked and you learned more about your settings, the light and yourself. It is nice to hear that manual is becoming easier. I have been shooting mostly manual for awhile and still don’t feel it is intuitive as of yet. I have hope.

    Reply
    • Rifqi

      There’s definitely something to be learned from every shoot, perhaps even more so from the ones that didn’t work out. It’s still less than a year since I really got into photography so I guess I still have lost of mistakes to make. I think shooting manually is like everything else, repetition will make it second nature.

      Reply

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