“Your first 10,000 photographs are your worst.”
~ Henri Cartier-Bresson
Ryan is up for the weekend, and he and Nick decided to go bouldering at Planet Granite. Ryan has a project he’s working on in which he needed some photos of himself, and although I love taking pictures, and I’ve been asked to take pictures for family parties, I’ve never done an actual “photo shoot” with one main subject. I’m sure bouldering is also one of those activities you normally don’t get many pictures of yourself doing, so I thought this would be a great opportunity for both of us! Granted, I only have one camera and one lens, no fancy equipment or training, so I know this may not have produced photos that a “real” photo shoot would have, but bear with me. I just like taking pictures.
I’m used to trying to get shots that are “photojournalism” style – candids that show what’s going on – but I realized that when people think of a “photo shoot” they expect to see more than just candid shots. I tried to get some close ups, but then I realized you couldn’t really tell what was going on in them, and the action happened so fast as the guys were trying to figure out routes. Plus, I didn’t want to distract them while they were trying to climb. This was tough!
I decided to just stick with action shots for a while. It was neat to see the guys make their way up the walls and then jump off.
There’s a ramp in the bouldering area that leads up to the second floor – with a climbing wall above it. Crazy!
I tried getting shots from different angles; it was hard for me to keep up with the lighting conditions because we kept moving to different walls, to try different routes.
I wasn’t able to get many of Ryan’s face! So after they were done bouldering, we took some more specific “portrait” shots.
We went outside and had some fun with forced perspective … which with the TransAmerica building and the Palace of Fine Arts was difficult since they’re SO far away!
We had to get a shot with the Golden Gate Bridge in the background … but the sun was so harsh at that time! Bad planning on my part. I also just wanted to include this pic of a bird that was stalking me nearby. Scary!
All in all, this was pretty fun – I realized that I need a lot more work on portrait-type shots, and adjusting camera settings with quickly changing conditions. My composition could use a little work as well – I’m used to taking pictures without people in them, actually, and it’s funny – I never realized how much my view changes when people are the subjects in the photos. It’s like when you see an otherwise adorable picture of a couple … with a pole (from the background) sticking out of one of their heads. If you like taking pictures, but think you need work, grab a patient friend or loved one, and do a mock photo shoot! With digital cameras, you can snap to your heart’s content, and sift through what you’ve got later. Some of the shots you thought were great might not have turned out at all, but you’ll also probably find some gems that you didn’t even realize you took!