Outside The Comfort Zone
This year, I’m embarking on a project that will take me out my comfort zone have me going against my own rules of photography. The final goals are not just to have an interesting and creative exhibit with my collective, but also to expand my horizons as a photographer. You can’t grow if you don’t constantly challenge yourself and put yourself in situations that you don’t normally shoot in.
I’m comfortable shooting architecture and keeping within my own rules of shooting just what I see with no interaction with the environment. I don’t compose photos as I usually shoot in forgotten spaces or historical buildings and I feel that I am just a witness passing through, documenting the space and not meant to interfere. Architecture is static (somewhat) – you can take your time to set up a photo, it doesn’t complain or get tired, and most of the time nothing surprising happens to ruin your shot.
I’m not comfortable composing a photo – moving objects around, adding items into a composition, fussing with the scene before me. I’ve always worked with the “available” – available light, available objects and available time. I’m also not comfortable working with people. They’re erratic, unpredictable, get tired, can be irritating, don’t see the vision in my mind, and worst of all – they move. I can’t spend 15 minutes setting up my camera properly or waiting for just the right light when there’s a person involved in the shot – the attention span just isn’t there and I don’t blame them for getting antsy. I’ve worked with people before, but the setting was outdoor shows and I had to shoot on the fly, there was no scene setting.
I’m excited to blend the two zones together in this project – comfortable and uncomfortable – into what I hope will be a project that challenges me and teaches me how to work with people in my photos. What is the show about? The title is The Velvet Divide: Breaking The Burlesque Taboo – and throughout the next 7 months six other photographers and I will be shooting within our comfortable architectural spaces and learning the subtle art of working with models and performers.
I’ve got until late October to perfect not only my photographic style, but my post-processing as well. I’ve been playing around with some previous Burlesque photos that I shot of Skin Tight Outta Sight back during Pride 2007 to get a feel for some processing techniques (above). It’s a work in progress – but who’s photography isn’t?
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