|This is my living room couch.
I got it the same time as the big comfy chair (see
the previous page). As much as I love the big
comfy chair, I hate this couch (for photography, that is).
Although it is small for sitting, it's just too big for
photography, or rather, my living-room-as-a-studio is too
small. I usually can't light it evenly from left to
right, because I don't quite have the room width to do that,
and lighting it from above is not possible, despite my high
ceilings. When I mention this to Tiana, she immediately
challenges me to try again. So we do. And such
is the magic of Tiana that we create the best couch pictures
Oh look (below) -- a cropped image. I love how
I have a graduate degree in Computer Science. My
class' very first homework assignment in our very first
class was an easy one: prove a semi-simple half page
program worked. Well, I struggled with that little
program of hours, and I could not prove that it worked.
I felt that here I was, on my very first graduate school
assignment, and I was already failing.
The next class, the professor asked if anyone had any
questions about the homework, and if not, we'd move on to
the day's lesson. I raised my hand & admitted
that I couldn't prove that the program worked. The
professor stopped, chose three random values as inputs into
the program, traced it through, showing how each program
variable changed, until the right conclusion was found.
See?, he asked. Sure, I said, the program works
most of the time, but not all of the time, but
try the program using three values I select. I gave
him the values, and he dutifully traced through the program
again. Deep into the program, given the values I selected,
the program attempted a "divide by zero" command,
which typically causes a program to abort & crash.
He started at the blackboard for a second, and said to the
class -- all you who proved that the program worked -- you
Several years later, this professor was about to retire,
and the department asked for anecdotes for his retirement
celebration. I shared this story. The professor
wrote me an elegant thank you note, saying essentially that
I was the kind of student he cherished. Most students
would just sit there & takes notes on every word he
said, but the best students are the ones who challenged
that way about models -- the best ones are the ones who
challenge you. There is little satisfaction in making
the same photograph over & over -- you've always got
to be raising the bar.
couch is challenging for photography, it does have redeeming
features. The couch has a curve, so that people at
opposite ends of the couch can turn their heads & talk
with each other without straining their neck. I also
like the graphic pattern of the pillow.
the whole width of the room, I was able to suspend a big
soft box high and to the left of the camera. Tiana,
with her perfect skin, looks like a porcelain figure.
note that I presented color images on the
previous page; I still
prefer B&W, so I'm showing only my version of sepia
toning on this page.
Tiana is simply
got to admit that I'm looking at the previous session's
images as I'm drafting these pages. As charming as
the new model, Ashley is/was, there simply is no comparison
with Tiana. She is so comfortable in her skin, she
is so expressive, so impressive. She is simply amazing.
|Lately, I've been trying to step back &
to include more of the surrounding space in the image --
the images above and to the right are good examples.
I think this might be a little more sophisticated way to
go -- I used to try to crop things close, to feature the
figure & only the figure. These more inclusive
images convey more, I think -- they show the natural relationship
of the model to her surroundings.
Meanwhile, I've always like off-center compositions,
and I do tend to look for them. Here, on the right,
Tiana is just a tad off center, but it provides a bit of
movement to the image -- at least, the viewer's eye has
to move around a bit.