Friday, August 31, 2007

Prague and Chicago

Last month I was in Prague doing a workshop and in early June I was in Chicago doing a workshop. Workshops have always been and will always be "surprise parties" as far as I am concerned at least the workshops I teach, since I honestly have little idea of what to expect and often times an even smaller idea of what we as a class will be shooting over the course of the workshop. This approach may seem a bit "unprofessional" but I know most if not all of my students have benefitted immensely from 'impulse' versus an orchestrated and planned shoot. Case in point was upon showing up in Prague, we learned of both the Kayaking Championships and the Prague Marathon. It was never my intention to shoot either prior to booking Prague as a workshop location, but as the students will tell you, both of these venues provided some welcomed and unexpected surprises photographically speaking. As we all lined the 'blue carpet' at the start of the race, (we arrived an hour before race time) we were all presented with the opportunity to shoot some great marathon photos. Casting some great shadows onto this carpet were other spectators behind us and to the sides and WOW what a GRAPHIC opportunity this presented and as the runners came through this scene, I was ready with my 12-24mm, cropping the feet of one group of runners whilst the 'long' shadows add a graphic element as well as lead the eye to the running feet.

It was several weeks later while in Chicago, that another group of students and myself were on a 'mission' to shoot some of the most interesting 'head shots' of the many people who were attending that day's Gospel Festival being held at Millineum Park.

I told each student to focus their attention soley on frame filling compositions that showed ONLY the back of a person's head.

Shorlty after suggesting this 'assignment', it started to rain HARD and the umbrellas came up quicker than the Crocus on a warm February day! Switching my attention to the crowd I back off with my 70-200mm and frist made an image of 'pattern' at 100mm as you see here but was also quick to adjust my exposure, (f/16 at a 1/4 second with the help of a 4-stop ND filter) and then I went to work on this same colorful and patternly scene choosing to ZOOM the lens during my 1/4 second exposure and voila, another worthy stock shot of "inclement weather". Enjoy!

Bryan Peterson

1 comment:

Bonnie Cready Rezabek said...

I love the umbrella shots Bryan and for me one of the best lessons absorbed from the Chicago Workshop -- rather than putting a damper on the outing, the skies opening up in Millennium Park created new and exciting photo opportunities!