Sunday, July 14, 2013

Camping in the Cave - Edelweiss Team Building

Firstly, apologizes for the long delay between blog posts.  The end of the school year along with the classes that I have been taken have limited my ability to write about my photography.  I am off to complete the final portion of my courses tomorrow but I thought that I would write a post about the team building activity that I covered before I left for summer break.

The Edelweiss team contacted me about covering one of their activities.  This required me to camp-out near a climbing cave in the Bulgarian countryside while the team setup lines and activities for the guests, who would arrive the next day.  I took this job as an opportunity to develop my problem solving skills as the relate to photography.  I knew that I would be shooting in a variety of conditions and a variety of subjects.  No one setting or thought process was going to work for all situations.  I was going to have to think on my feet to get decent images.

With about 150 guests arriving the task of capturing images of all participants and activities was difficult.  I've included a few of the shots that I took of the event below along with a description of the challenges that were presented in the shot along with the way in which I solved the problem.

After you finish a job like this, the good photographer always looks back on what they could have done to improve their work.  In this case, two major improvements could have been made.  First of all, I should have created a list of activities and somehow ensured that I collected images of all of the activities and most of the people at the event.  Planning is key.  Secondly, I was so concerned that I was bringing the right photographic equipment I omitted some of the basics such as sunscreen.  Planning for the pictures along with the challenges of the day is another item to consider when departing for a job like this one.

The experience was another fantastic chance to get out into the peace and quiet of the Bulgarian countryside as well as challenge myself and my photographic skills.

The above images presented issues by being back-lit.  After taking the photo I decided to ignore the blown out background and expose for the subject.  It seems to have led to a beautiful contrast between the green camouflage and the white sky behind the subject.

This image was taken inside of the cave where there was a large circular hole above the subjects.  The most challenging aspects of this shot were capturing an image in sharp focus and correcting for the color shifts.  The focus issue was dealt with my using continuous focus (back-button focus) to track the subjects and waiting for them to swing out of the direct sunlight.  Color issues created by light bouncing off of the orangeish cave wall (and therefore creating an orange tinge on the subject) were corrected in post.  

The contrast between the bright sun and the back-lit subjects in this image were dealt with in post.  A graduated filter adjustment was used to increase the exposure of the people.  This image was shot at f22 to create the sun-star effect that you see at the top of the image.

The side-lit conditions in this image forced me to use a flash and diffuser to light the shadows in the image as well as diffuse the fill light enough to cover the 24mm field of view.