A few things that have been working lately while photographing models

Freya Gallows

A few tings that have been working lately:

  1. I've been accumulating weights to prevent things from moving while I do a studio setup. This helps a lot. I've got some iron weights that clamp around my boom stand. It turns out that you need at least 6-9 lbs to make it behave, which I didn't when I just had a 3 lb weight. I also have some old shelves removed from a bookcase that are just the thing for smoothing the edge of a paper backdrop.
  2. Making sure that, the day of a photo shoot, I write down at least ten ideas that I must do, often time looking back to the previous session's list of ideas to see if there's something I missed or could do better.
  3. Pairing up lights, such that I have two lights sharing a lightstand, each with a differently colored gel. It's a trick I learned from watching ballet performances, I think.

Also, a funny story about how my non-photographic interests collide with my photographic interests: I'm anti-car these days. My personal experience has shown me that the car was a practical form of transportation for America with it's height in the sixties and has been on the decline ever since.. and that the sooner that we realize this, the better off we'll be.

I was setting up a shoot with a model and she was asking about transportation and, given that the cost of getting to photographers was adding up, if I'd mind covering whatever her bus fare was. I told her that I was anti-car and I had no problems covering bus fare. She's one town over, so it shouldn't be too much trouble, right?

Well, she contacted me and said that, while it takes about 20 minutes to drive the distance, she was going to be spending around an hour and a half each way on the bus.

Now, I rode 200km two weekends ago and crashed my bike. Some of the recovery was a little troublesome, so I've been hitching rides to and from work from my wife on some days. The day we were shooting was one of these days, so my wife picked me up and then the model.

60,000 people in my area have abandoned mass-transit and started using their cars instead, largely because of transit cutbacks. I'm anti-car, but I also recognize that you can't expect people to magically stop driving just because it's ruining the environment or because it's rapidly burning up our limited supply of oil. But instead of asking why we can't have modern transportation infrastructure built around things other than cars, most people I've talked to have resigned themselves to it being an impossibility.


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