Flashy photography

We started the flash photography course last Friday, and so far it’s fantastic. It’s pretty much Strobism, but with über-credentialed lighting experts right there and available for questioning. The first half is on digital SLR – finally – and after that it’s onto medium-format transparency film, which is quite frankly evil, as transparencies give you zero room for error: if your multiple-flashgun exposures are even slightly out, they’ll look awful. But they make up for evilness by being beautiful1: medium format film is 5 inches wide, and as transparencies are positive images – think slides, but three times bigger – you get wonderful little high-definition images without printing anything. I’ve never tried anything medium format before, so I’m looking forward to this.

Our homework for this week is to take one photo using direct / bounce flash, but to make it good. This is also vindictive in the extreme. Sure, one photo sounds easy, but in practice nothing’s ever quite right. The very fact that it’s not much work means it’s a lot of work, if you see what I mean.

My traditional reaction to these projects is to start off planning something wildly ambitious, then realise it’s unworkable and so come up with something waaayy simple, then decide it’s too boring and quickly figure out something inbetween as the deadline approaches. I had an idea this evening that seemed about right, and it ended up taking two hours of crawling around in loft insulation. I now itch like hell. I’ve also lost all perspective on the resulting image – hopefully it’ll seem ok in the morning…if it does, I’ll blog it and see what other people think.

  1. can’t see anything wrong with this philosophy []