Wednesday, April 20, 2005

Spring Time

Colin and Angie, some flirty friends I have.

The snow is all gone (hopefully until next winter) and with it our preference to stay indoors. Today was the day for eating out on the patio as temperatures hit 23 degrees C. It's still not short and tank top weather but you don't have to wear that heavy winter coat anymore.

Today, after work, while walking home, I bumped into Colin and Angie. They were looking to find a resturant that sold pizza and were determined to sit outside on a patio. Since I haven't seen them in a while I thought I'd tag along interfering with any romantic outing they might have. To be honest I wasn't really thinking about that until after dinner when I noticed they were doing their flirty "eye thing".

The "eye thing" happens a lot with couples. It's that communication that happens between two people without the use of words. It's kind of an eerie magic. As a single person it's like being around a bunch of aliens. The couple in question will both start giggling at the same time for no apparent reason, they finish each other thoughts, they are in sync with one another. Kind of like the borg from Star Trek. I'm sure I'm not the only one who's noticed this. A quick eye movement in the proper direction, a raised eyebrow, lip pout, the subtle hair fling, by one person and the other person becomes happy, depressed, or crying in the corner. It's interesting to see this phenomena in action. You read about stuff like this in dating books and articles on meeting people (so I've been told) but to actually observe these things in "real life" is, well, pretty amazing.

As an animator I remember trying analyze the nuaunces of specific human movement just before doing some work on a job. Since I haven't animated characters in a while I haven't really paid much attention to the little details that people do. At least not on a conscious level. Until recently that is. After putting on the photographer hat, I've been looking at everything as a potential Kodak moment. I've been reading books and articles on taking better pictures of people and now whenever I look at someone I'm always trying to figure the best angle, the best lighting, and best pose to shoot them, and what lens to use. Suddenly, the subtle body movement that I've overlooked over all these years has hit me like a sledge hammer. Maybe it's the spring thing but it seems like all around town there are couples wandering the streets doing this flirty thing.

Something else I've noticed being a photographer is the fine line one walks when shooting candid pictures. When you take great pictures people are always clamering all over you to get copies and say how they enjoy your work, how you've captured the moment, etc, etc. It's when you're actually taking the pictures that you get the opposite effect. People hide behind things, state that they're ugly, unphotogenic, fat, have zits, the list goes on. Some may even want to punch you and maybe even destroy your camera... lots of negative energy. Understandable I suppose. So to help other photographers out there I have come up with four solutions.

1) get a longer lens. 1000mm lenses or more will allow you to shoot people from far far away without them noticing. Note: make sure you're at least across the street, a picture up someone's nose doesn't a great shot make plus you'll stand out with such a huge honking lens on your camera. (and if spotted you can always run away as you've got that extra block as a head start). The drawbacks here are the heavier equipment and the need for more light so you don't have to use a tripod.

2) Be around friends that love their picture taken. I find hanging around actor and performer types help.

3) Hire models to shoot. It'll be harder to get those candid shots but hey you're shooting people. The drawback here is monetary. Not everyone has money to blow.

4) Just give up doing candid pictures of people altogether and shoot animals, or go into landscape or still life photography.

Although options 1 and 3 are pretty pricey it seems that option 2 is your best bet.


Cupcake said...

How'd you colourize the photo. Muted colours in background while main subjects are full bright colours?

BagelHot said...

With the magic of Photoshop. I rotoscoped Colin and Angie, inverted the selection then desaturated the color of the background using the hue/saturation (ctrl+U - under photoshop 7.0) controls.

BagelHot said...

The D70 only shoots in color. So I started off with color to begin with. If you were to start off with a black and white photo you can colorize the photo using the tint setting under the brushes.

Zee said...

Wow. Colin's alive and in love. I haven't seen that guy in months it seems. He's looking good.

Anonymous said...

Hurray for Colin!! Such a great guy ... funny, detail-orientated, very aware of others, etc ... Now when there another great guy hooks-up (with a woman) all will be well in this world. She's out there Bagelhot, I'm sure of it!

Anonymous said...

And whats wrong with a great guy hooking up with another great guy? Isn't Bagel Hot the boyfriend of the Darryl man that's always on this blog??