Expect the unexpected!
“To expect the unexpected shows a thoroughly modern intellect.” ~ Oscar Wilde
“No matter what, expect the unexpected. And whenever possible, BE the unexpected. ~ Linda Barry
“Unexpected things happen in life more than you expect.” ~ Plautus
That last quote sure is funny – if you are not expecting unexpected things then they all seem unexpected.
But seriously, is it possible to grab hold of something, be it an exciting image or opportunity, when we are not prepared for it? Generally speaking, we have to be ready to walk through that door, actually running through the portal when it opens! We need to be poised for activity, capable of action. Otherwise, we are stunned, unable to move or take action when a new and unplanned event presents itself.
With photography or any type of art really, we develop a practice. After hours and hours of crafting our vision, we come to expect a certain outcome. How do we keep it fresh, exciting, exhilarating?
Here’s where expecting the unexpected comes in. Ready to grab hold of random occurrences, shifts in perspective, or off the rails ideas, we set ourselves up for flashes of inspiration. This is absolutely essential for living a creative life. Otherwise, we all too easily find ourselves painting the same image over and over again, routinely going about life without joy. Sure it’s scary, but it’s worth it!
For these images, I continually changed my settings as I shot. My ISO was set at 200 for relatively bright sunlight during the late afternoon. I set my F-stop somewhere between 3.5 and 5.6 and adjusted my shutter speed accordingly to create a slightly darker than normal image. Each time I changed my F-stop I shot at least 20 rapid-fire images. I was not overly concerned with clarity as I knew I wanted an ethereal scene. I would post process with additional blur in Photoshop and add layers of light in a composite.
One cannot pose for this type of imagery. The photographer must be ready to capture candid expression as the individual reacts organically to their environment. This is true for bodily expression as well as facial expression.
The setup – inspiring scenery, playful clothing, music that makes the body move and transports the listener, and knowledge of your camera so you can easily switch tracts and make setting adjustments.
I like to live life like that too. Obviously, there are going to be things that through you off your game, set you back to zero, make fears and tears well up uncontrollably. But even among all of that, there are unexpected joys and encouraging opportunities to be had. All for the taking. One just has to be ready to grab hold of them.
Images were processed first in Lightroom. Coloring adjusted, highlights reduced (strong highlights from late afternoon light), shadows blackened in preparation for light colored overlays. Then they were brought into Photoshop to eliminate unwanted elements and overlay layers of light and texture. In the case of these last three, I used Galaxy Textures I created using Procreate on my iPad. The images were then brought back into Lightroom and tweaked further, adjusting light and shadow effects.
You can find Pure Light Textures here.
Oh, yes, and I spent the last couple of weeks working on my new portfolio website karenolsonphotography.com. My two sites link together, Renuko Style focusing on teaching and inspiration, KarenOlsonPhotography as a portfolio and place to book a portrait session. Have a look and send me feedback. I always love to hear from you.