Sunday, August 26, 2012

A day in the life

With the very first rays of sunrise, a photograph pushed it self upon me, whispering "get up, grab a camera, fast, before I'm gone!"

That lamp only gets the glint of sunrise through a window during the summer. I've looked at it before, and tried to catch the effect once before, but this was the first time I got the particular sparkle and shape that originally caught my eye. The surroundings are very dim and indistinct to the naked eye at that point, so the effect of the photo is quite natural and uncontrived.

Early in the day, I observed some of the squirrels who make their homes pretty close to ours.

Along with doing some violin practice, I tested a new bit of location lighting gear, to be sure it would perform as expected for some upcoming location work, executive portraits created on site rather than in my studio. The lights worked fine for the violin head. Next step will be some test portraits with a human volunteer, after which I expect to finally pass the lights into primary position, with the previous lights becoming backup gear.

In the afternoon, I followed a new feathered friend to the magic seed field.

Finally, at sunset, I took advantage of the soft, even light to shoot a flower that opened in a neighbor's yard. I added just a touch of flash from an off camera position. This was almost two stops weaker than the skylight exposure (overall exposure was 13 seconds at f/13, ISO 200). Very weak light and quite long exposure beats a strong flash of light for a tiny fraction of a second! At any rate, the contribution of the flash was subtle, but it gave just that little extra bit of life to the upper parts of the flower.

So, there's a day in the life...a "day off" for a working photographer, a day of survival for a few mammals and a bird, and an evening to show off for a flower - if it could only be aware of its beauty!

Jess Isaiah Levin

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