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Location Assessment

Lesson 2 from: FAST CLASS: Lighting, Logistics, and Strategies for a Life in Photography

Joe McNally

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Lesson Info

2. Location Assessment

Lesson Info

Location Assessment

So location assessment. Let's been forward here. Okay, let's been forward. We are in this kind of cool location. What are we going to do? That's the When I finish this section, take camera in hand, and then we'll start looking at this place, you know, so form your own ideas as well. I mean, what do you look for in a location? Angles, light? I'm gonna probably instinctively when I get a camera in hand here, I'm probably gonna shoot from over there looking this way. I use what I can get. This is all lit over here. Okay, over here, it's like a black hole. You know, there's nothing going on round walls. This has life and all that sort of stuff. Is it completely wonderful know, because right through the windows, air tables, chairs, rain, pop up tents and all that stuff, I'm gonna have to kind of get rid of that as a photographer. That's going to be part of my mission. Minimize it, get rid of it, change it up. So it somehow becomes interesting. So already, as I'm looking at this location ins...

tinctively, I'm gonna go over here and look this way because this area of the bars lit. Gives me some natural glow. Gives me some backlight. Maybe that will be our first challenge. What would you do if you walked in here with one flash? How would you do that real quick. And we don't have to answer those questions now. Hopefully, I'll stumble around here in a little while and answer them on some level for you. You know you can like Whoa, Look at him. That's really dumb. Um, yeah. So, um, so we'll go forward on that level just in terms of driving forward the location assessment. We have to talent. I think I already mentioned that, right. Very distinctly different human beings. Okay. And so with the slash bar owner bartender Probably driven by a character light. How my already thinking about that? Uh, I'm thinking that if he is the owner, I'm gonna work with a fairly sizable depth of field because I want to see the place right now with her. If I'm gonna construe this to be, say, a location that we're using and she's a local singer and I'm on assignment to shoot her CD cover or something like that, then I am freed up to lose the place and just kind of have the context in the feel and the flavor of it is that might influence my choices of light, depth of field, all that sort of stuff. Coloration. So two different missions there are photographers. I know for many years, folks at the National Geographic are magnificent photographers, and I've heard this phrase many times. It's like, Well, I shoot what I want, and then I'll shoot something for the client. Uh, not in the realm of commercial photography and not anymore. Okay, back in the day when money and assignments fell from trees, you could afford to sort of, you know, be a little bit of a bone V vote, you know, on location. And it's kind of like, yes, it's and delivered to the client. You know, these these pictures, they have a certain genetic y you know? Yeah. You know, not so much anymore. It's a very considered decision for a client to say. All right, we accept your estimate of $15,000 you know, $2500 fee plus $12,500 in expenses for airfares, location fees, etcetera to get them to that point where they're willing to drop cash on you for the photograph. They want what they want, you know? And that's the That's a difficult interface, right? Have you guys experienced clients who kind of feel like photography is an assembly line product, like, you know, like stamping it out, you know, and it ate its very unpredictable. So location assessment access. Is everything okay? We have access to this bar. That's because creativelive made arrangements, paid money, signed checks and permissions and insurance. Whatever needed to happen to get us in here accesses everything. I've known this. This is this is kind of fun, because I would put together this slide show. This is a letter my father wrote in 1976 to help me as a young student photographer gain access to the 1976 Democratic National Convention in New York City. So I've been living with it my entire career. I was my first big time job, if you will. Um, and I realized right then you need to have access to these these kinds of places, So location assessment. Oh, my goodness. This is this was a bad idea. Um, that's all I can say, I'll show more images about it later on. There's a swamp in Florida, and I don't know, I saw Lord of the Rings far too many times. I had this idea of smoke and mist and a lady in the water on the boats and this and that, and the tall trees in the swampy forest in the enchanted kind of mystical place. And what I found was that good location for all of that. But also location that was populated with mosquitoes, alligators and water moccasins. Okay, so it was, um, dodgy. Okay, dodgy. Let's talk about this. All right? Guy walks into a bar. All right? Uh, and that's where we are today. Um, all right. What can I say, folks? I'm Irish Catholic, So perhaps I have an intuitively good sense of how to light a bar. Not to be generalized about it, but I actually love bars. Their charismatic. They're interesting. They have kind of this, you know, flavor that you can latch onto. So there's an empty bar, and then I start to light it. Okay? This is exactly what we're gonna do here. We're gonna build this set. So we had a dude. Okay? He was kind of a cool looking guy with a pork pie hat or whatever that kind of had is called. See these glasses and all that sort of stuff lit up flash is I think there were six or seven flashes used. All small flash on this job. Okay, there's a little soft box. Phil, Board on behind camera over in here. Talking Teoh. I think that's Callie in there. This is our trigger light over here. This was done, Lina Sites. Okay, so I'm moving my trigger light over here, connecting it to camera. It is triggering this soft box and a variety of other lights around the bar. And there is a final okay or close to a final. There is this one too. And we'll do that today. Okay? Different feel different. F stop. Different fields. Same guy, same position, same lights. But it looks very different now. What did I do in the background here? In terms of in terms of white balance, I threw myself into a tungsten white balance because I'm looking at those windows and they look kind of blah with just kind of cloudy daylight out there. So this is still hot white, but I knew the inflection of light as it came along in here would turn blue floor light up blue. Okay, but this is also a black hole as it feathered down in here. So where is that light? That light is coming from these lights which are in the dining room, going through these windows, coming down in here and creating a little splash of light down in here, Right? You've heard this times. You know, it's like it's like Sister Mary Ignatius explains it all for you. You're responsible for every pixel, young man, you know, Um and it's true you are responsible for every pixel you're responsible for, foreground, middle ground and background.

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