OUTBACK KARATE \ KEEPING THE INSTINCT STRONG

I find the mental challenge of photography just as challenging if not more than the technical aspects. To keep the mind sharp and my techniques strong I often collaborate with people who are passionate about their vocation or hobby. Placing your creative stamp are crucial keys within any project.

Another key to keeping the instinct strong is fighting against impossible elements and trialling new techniques for future development. Often time there are failings within this but ultimately this is the only way to flesh out processes and build upon technology and inherent methodology.

In this region of the outback there is often little or no cloud and the sun is often flat and harsh and requires a lot of wattage to overcome.

This requires adjustments to standard indoor or overcast conditions that are prevalent in studios and neighbouring environments including:

– only using the inner baffle on modifiers
– keeping the f-stop between f4 and f9
– placing rim lighting quite close to subjects and focusing
– working with white uniforms in the midday sun using a variable 1 – 9 ND filter
– keeping a very close eye on white balance and off camera flash / gel temperatures
– sometimes the use of a telephoto or medium telephoto is out of the question

There isn’t a book or an online video that can teach you how to react to situations with a strong instinct when things go wrong or a piece of equipment doesn’t perform the way it is supposed to and a fix is needed often on the fly and always with a client hovering directly over your shoulder.

The acknowledgement of this internal mental skill comes from my background in audio engineering where every problems has an original and signal path is king. This translates into photography with light replacing the audio signal. The camera works as mixing desk, the modifiers as plugins, the subjects and light power rating as the signal source.

If you’re afraid of a situation or a technique and have had failings in the past I would encourage you to focus on this rather than your tried and true methods so that when the situation / technique arises again you can jump into it with full confidence knowing that you’ve done your homework.

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