Case study: Jazz Hands, Hollywood, 2011
This is a flash street photograph I shot, and let me explain it to you.
- I saw interesting lady with a hat.
- I crouched down, about to take a picture of her.
- Lady sees me crouching down and about to take a picture, and therefore poses for me (jazz hands gesture).
- I take a picture with flash.
- We both walk away.
People misinterpret this picture: they think the lady is shocked that I’m taking her picture. In reality, she’s posing for me with the jazz hands gesture — she saw I was going to take a picture of her (and because she knows that she is so glamorous), she gives me a gift by posing for me. And because she posed for me, the picture is much more dynamic and interesting.
Flash setup: I used a Canon 5D, Canon 24mm f2.8 lens, off-camera flash cable, and YuongNuo YN flash, with the flash positioned at a low angle, pointing up. The benefit of using a flash in this situation was that the lady was walking toward me (the sun was behind her), therefore if I did not use a flash, her face would be all black, dark, and silhouetted. By using a flash, I lit up her face, and hands. And you can see the little sunburst of light behind her head, from the sun.
Case study: Long distance flash
Shot with a film LEICA MP, 35mm, Leica SF 20, Kodak Portra 400.
- Aperture: f8
- Flash power: full power
- Focus distance: 3 meters
I shot this picture in a dark restaurant in Lansing, Michigan. I saw this bored couple, and thought it would be great for my ‘SUITS’ project. I turned the flash on full power, and just took one picture.
After taking the picture, I scared them and freaked them out because the flash was so bright. They stared at me, and I said, “Cool restaurant, huh?” (Pretending like I was just shooting the background). They both then smiled and said, “Yeah!”
Lesson: If you do shock people from shooting a street photograph with flash, just pretend like you shot something else.