Chasing Light In The Off Season

With the racing season complete, I now get to turn my attention toward my personal work. It's not really work… but then again, it's part of what I do and the personal stuff is how I hope to continue to learn and grow.

I'll probably limit my equipment to my rangefinder and full frame DSLR. Those cameras require a more deliberate style of shooting and I feel that's where I need to be at this point in my career.

Specifically, I want to focus my attention on the subtleties of exposure settings and how it can effect my creative choices. Not just getting an accurate exposure but more about manipulating the nuances of the different shutter/aperture combinations and how they effect the creative aspect of the image… not just "shutter X aperture = exposure" … but how to use those options to get more from the image and tell a better story.

Light always tells a story… it's color, temperature, it's direction and effects on shadows and contrast. But there's more than that.

There's the personality of each lens… it's sweet spot and design characteristics. Using the combined exposure settings to increase or decrease contrast, depth of field, sharpness, even color saturation… I want to frame my image more as a cube as opposed to rectangle. I want to find layers in the subject(s) and in the light that add depth.  I think what I want to accomplish is similar to comparing the music from a jazz quartet to 20 piece orchestra.. while they do the same thing, they're different and the sound is different.

Lastly, I want to rely less on the obvious subject. I want the "wow" to come from the simplicity of an image while shooting everyday scenes and/or objects. Sure, having a Ferrari jump the curb at 100mph is an exciting photo. And, executing it well, insures the excitement remains intact. But I want the challenge of putting elements into a picture that make the ordinary, extraordinary.

I don't know that I'll get there… but, that's my objective.