Sunday, December 14, 2008

King Kong, The Police, and Polka Dots

King Kong, The Police, & Polka Dots

1/30 sec at f/3.5, focal length: 18mm, ISO 400 - February 27, 2007
Photographed with Canon EOS 20D, Tamron AF 18-200mm f/3.5-6.3 XR Di II, hand held

As I'm writing this, our first snow of the season is falling. So for those of you that aren't feeling these last couple of posts, I'll have some nice wintery images very soon. I was hoping to get to Yosemite today, but forgot that we are watching my nephew for the next couple of days. I'll be there soon enough.

This is King Kong. That was the only thing that I could understand, he liked to be called King Kong. He was spanish speaking and drunk, and I was neither of those things. My friend, Bo and I spent quite a bit of time with King Kong on his front porch exchanging gestures and sentences broken down to only the most essential words. He was excited for us to be photographing him and he was putting on a show. The image shown here was the only moment that I saw him retreat into himself and seem to forget that we were there. I think it's beautiful and tragic at the same time. I think it is truly a telling moment of this man, whoever he is.

Our time with Mr. Kong was cut short by his very large, angry looking son, that stepped out of the house. In retrospect, I don't think he was really that angry, probably just suspicious of two strangers with large cameras that were on his porch trying to communicate with his dad. I wish that I would have worked for the portrait of the two of them together. I think it could have happened. But we got scared and left.

Please take the time to visit Bo Parker's blog - A Moment Preserved. Bo is a very dear friend of mine and has been an inspiration to me creatively. Bo's own creativity spans many mediums, though his blog focuses on photography. He's an extremely talented musician, gifted writer, and a wizard when it comes to graphic design (even though he didn't do ANY design work on his blog...tsk tsk). Any ways take a look. Be sure to browse the older posts to see his posted image of King Kong. It looks to be almost the same moment as the image above.

*A note on composition: With photography like this, the subject matter is constantly changing and the right moment can be elusive. So when that "decisive moment" does coincide with the click of your shutter, your intuition for good composition needs to be instinctive. This comes from continual practice of observation and composing of everything that passes in front of your eye balls, even if there is no camera in hand. Pay attention to how the light is interacting with the surfaces, where shadows are falling, where lines are going, where they're crossing. My instinct for composition allowed me to place the King in front of a dark doorway where no distracting lines were jutting out from the back of his head. He's nicely framed by the dark space behind him, and since he's filling most of that space there is no overwhelming black hole any where else in my image. Just something to think about.
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