The assignment was to photograph an open gallery held in an artist's studio disguised as the backyard of a lovely, Hillsborough home. My assignment was to submit a photo as quickly as possible, since the exhibition would be closing in three weeks. And because community photos only run on Mondays, I didn't have much time between the Saturday shoot date and the Sunday deadline.
My host, Steve Lewis, is a bit of a Renaissance Man, an artist who photographed, painted, and sculpted. Being a photographer, I was a little nervous, as one usually is when working with another practitioner fully capable of making informed criticism of one's work. I had to remind myself, as I remind all of you, that the pursuit of every specialty area, including community photography, will require a specific skill set. It didn't take long to realized that using speedlights was a very foreign thing to many photographers, especially those who tend to photograph landscapes, architecture,and other subjects too large to illuminate artificially. But for better or for worse, working with artificial lights, particularly speed lights, has become second nature to me.
I spoke with Steve about this, and discovered that a small room by the garden held his paintings, some mounted, some on the floor, with others presented in a slide show on the LCD above the fireplace. When I asked if he wanted to be identified as a photographer, he said he thought of himself more as a painter. Light bulb. My focus shifted from the photos in the back yard to the paintings in this anteroom.
I shifted to Manual exposure and applied the shutter speed and aperture settings selected by the camera. By adding an on-camera flash bounced behind me and to the left, I got this image (Photo #3).
I was grateful for the chance to do some lighting experiments on this assignment. All of my subjects were very gracious with their time, and particular tolerant of my efforts in setting up the indoor shot. I learned a lot from the outdoor shot, and am anxious to apply what I learned on a future assignment. Perhaps I should remember to bring a polarizing filter to tame some of that glare. Looking back, it might have been just the ticket.