I love photos. theres something about that split second captured and documented. People take them all the time… but very often they are badly done. The problem with most photos is because you only have a split second to capture, you have to select the right split second. Most of the time people will use a photo camera like a video camera to try and record a moment, but unless you get the right ‘moment’, all you could end up with is an upside down shot of some guys ass in the sky.
People need to train to themselves to take better photos, and what better way to do it, than sat on the sofa eating cakes and watching DVDs? I’m serious, yes even the cakes help… (something with fresh cream preferably)
The next time you’re watching the Loopkicks DVD… oh wait, you don’t have it yet? unlucky you probably live in the US… you could have had my free copy… guess you missed that one (end sarcasm level 10) … or watching any action scene DVD, extreme sports channel… Jacke Chan etc, use the pause button all the way through it. Anything high with fast kicks, tweaks or styles are perfect. Use still advance to locate the best frame of the move. And once found, analyse why it looks great. Hopefully you’ll see that the subject is probably super extended in its body/limb position, well lit, uncluttered background and the face is clearly visible. That my friends is a ‘front cover’.
If you’re not a photographer, then you still need to do this, because then you can direct yourself to finding the right location for a shot and steer your mate photographer into the best angle, so you don’t have a wasted moment. Don’t assume for one second that any old media student with an entry level ‘pro’ camera can take a good photo… that’s why they’re a student, they’re learning! Particularly if you’re about to do something nuts and only once. I’ve seen people photo something off a block in the shade with the flash firing, when there’s a perfectly good block in the sun right next to it. Duh.
At least use this to remember what to do: SAFE – Sun, Angle, Face, Extension
Sun = the light generally. Pick well lit days, locations and people.
Angle = think about it, you can be creative, don’t take a tourist shot.
Face = Always try and get the face in the shot, we identify with subjects better if we can see they’re human, not just a blob in the sky.
Extension = (DVD practice) know when the ‘click’ needs to happen before the action starts, and make sure the subject pose is at its maximum ultimateness!
Oh and point n shooters, turn off the auto modes, learn your manual settings, and half depress the shutter button, and you’ll find your kit isn’t quite as bad as you thought!
here’s an example for you. Your mate is going to do a Gainer off a high ledge. The chances are you would stand on the ground looking up at him in the sun, he flips backwards throwing his face thats now in the shade away from the lens and you end up with a blob in the sky. Not good. How about my version. Get on the ledge with them, as they flip backwards, their face stares straight down the lens, they fill the shot, and you get the scene below of all your mates watching the flip happen. ta-daa… beauty… ergh… I can already hear people moaning…
… ‘yeah but you can’t see how high it is then’… shut up, use a video camera if you want to capture the bleedin obvious, we’re making art here people!
I’m done – mark