May 26, 2010

Portrait of a Couple - Two Who Litter


Create | Bring Into Being

Seeing these cups I immediately thought of my students working on their final portfolios which include a couples portrait. Morning dew on the tops indicated the cups had been out all night and I wondered about the pair who sat here gazing out on the Connecticut River in Turners Falls, MA.


I chose this angle to backlight the items and include the misty morning river, but only wanted just the cups in focus.

So I removed the lens and held it close in front of camera, creating a make-shift, tilt-shift lens, but could not get what I wanted.
However, I love the unpredictable imagery that can emerge from using this technique:


Like a photojournalist that gives aid after documenting his subject's plight, I cleaned up the litter. I felt self-conscious as a man reading a newspaper in his pickup truck took note of my activities.

I later realized that I could have simply moved the cups to create the effect I wanted.  My phojournalistic mindset is deep and I wanted to capture the integrity of the scene.  The authentic story.

Yesterday I saw the man in the pickup truck again.  I explained to him what I do and asked him what he thought of me taking pictures of litter.  As I talked, he kept his gaze as fixed on his crossword puzzle as the cigar clamped in the corner of his mouth.   I was disturbing his riverside peace.

"I figured it was a hobby," he replied.

Tech Tips: Nikon D700, 60mm 2.8 Micro Nikkor, ISO 200.  Try removing your lens (best is a fixed focal length), set the aperture to wide open, hold close to the camera, experiment with angling the lens slightly and use shutter speed for proper exposure. ©2010 John Nordell

3 comments :

Esposito Images said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Esposito Images said...

John,
This Friday will be the last day that I will be at Hallmark. I will always miss our quick informative conversations that we seem to get into. I'm so glad that you do what you do and write what you write. Spreading you mind out into the world through social media will always keep me connected and will look forward to reading your posts, blogs, and tweets!
Thank you for every minute of your time you have given me.

Jason Esposito

John Nordell said...

Jason, you are welcome. - John