Monday, December 22, 2008

From My Portfolio

This is one of my favorite photos taken during the Denver Digital Photography Holiday Lights meet-up earlier this month. One of the city's annual holiday traditions is to decorate the Denver City and County Building to the nines. Because it happens every year, it makes it difficult to get a shot of this common subject that hasn't been taken before. But one of my personal challenges for the evening was to capture something unexpected.

Photo instructor Russ Burden's favorite technique is to "exhaust all possibilities." He achieves this by taking numerous photos of the same subject using different lens. And he moves around the area or subject he's shooting, taking a photos from all different angles, directions and perspectives. When he's done, he has several photos to choose from that tell the "story" he wishes to portray about that subject.

With that in mind, I moved up behind this great display of Santa on his sleigh with the reindeer. Using my tripod, I moved around the display shooting from different perspectives, sometimes trying to shoot above
Santa, then below him, then to the side of him. I changed up my apertures to experiment with depth of field, and I used different lens to see how I might "tell this story" better. My idea was: how does Santa view the world when he's making his rounds on Christmas Eve? Sometimes I focused on Santa's head; other times I shot focusing on the reindeer with Santa blurred.

Out of about five photographs I shot, I liked this one the best. It makes Santa "look" as if he's checking out the lighting display himself. I like that the building is blurred putting the focus on Santa's head, and that we can't see Santa's face. Maybe he is taking a breather before he heads out to some far place to deliver gifts. It leaves room for the viewer to create their own interpretation, and that's pretty cool.

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