Oct 12, 2010

Open to Opportunities

It's a door; they're everywhere, in every country. So why make a picture of one? What makes one door worth shooting over another, especially when visiting an ancient Asian Palace? Or, for me, worth waiting ten minutes to have the light in the right place? Well, that's it: the light. 

When making photographs, light is the only reason to fire the shutter. Photography is all about recording light reflected off of stuff. Sometimes it reflects in nice ways and creates interesting shadows and highlights. 

I love to read books. All kinds of books. Stories that are fictional, stories that are documentary, and stories that are funny. Sometimes, light reflects off of stuff and tells a story. I'd like to learn to find those stories, see them, record them. I want to make the pictures of people's stories--families, couples, individuals, kids. I'm not much for writing stories myself, but I reckon I could record the stories reflecting around me.

And that's why I don't have pictures of the whole sweeping scale of the Emperor's Palace. The story of the whole is pretty tough to record all in one image. So, I tried the technique of finding the small stories to hint at the whole--maybe like a preview for a movie; if it tells too much, then there's no reason to go see how the whole story plays out.

These are a few more of Ray that I promised to share here. Not a lot of story here, except for the hint about what kind of fellow Ray is: confident, East-meets-West, sharp. And of course, he's a lot of fun.

Still, we wouldn't see it without the light. This is every portrait photog's favorite light: soft and indirect. It's brighter on the right, but Ray's dark suit and hair frame his face very nicely in the light on the right, as well.

This one? Well, let's call high definition.
You can find more of Ray on my Facebook Page. Be warned: there are a lot.

Light here may be telling a story that's not quite accurate, however. These old friends met just moments before when I offered to take a picture of the whole group for these peppy Japanese gals. They were super grateful, and wouldn't let Ray and I go without taking a picture for us...and then they couldn't let us be in the picture without them! And, of course, five more pictures with each of their cameras, too. Taking pictures for people leads to some of the best memories you can ever have on vacation.


  1. Love this, Levi! Great lighting on the door, great model in Ray, and insightful explanation of the storytelling you do. Love it.

  2. I love the high definition one!
    Thanks Levi!!!!!!!