People say that they are their own worse critics. I hear that day in and day out in the Photo department at the Enterprise, sometimes, I think I’m the biggest culprit. As a general news photographer for a community newspaper on Cape Cod, I’m expected to cover a wide field of photo assignments. On any day, I could shoot high school sports, jewelry for local advertisements and town politicians in a town meeting format. There are some days when I know that I’ve nailed it, and others, it’s tough to talk to the editor with confidence about what you’re passing in. Some of the toughest aspects of news photography is the uncontrolled nature of lighting. In commercial work, photographers can (sometimes) rely on well lit sets and a number of assistants. In my case, it’s me, an assignment slip and available light. Or so I thought…
www.Strobist.com has helped bring a little bit of that control of light into my shots. And it shows. The blog, written by David Hobby whose a staff photographer for the Baltimore Sun, advocates the use of off camera lighting through the use of small, radio fired strobes and is at the forefront of blog writing for the photo enthusiast/amateur.
Here’s an example of how I’ve used some of Hobby’s techniques in my shots.
The shot uses an off camera flash (a vivitar 285 hv with a pocket wizard) fired from camera right in order to fill in the left side of the subject’s face. He’s facing the late afternoon sun and without the flash, would have had dark shadows on one side of his face. Problem solved with a little fill.