Learning More From Mistakes Than Successes
I have spent nearly 20 years as a Journalist working in both radio and television. Which is why I have always been drawn to a journalistic style of shooting. In the beginning my very first camera was a Browning Box camera with a nasty light leak that I bought at a garage sale for 50 cents. I loved that camera, and the very first thing I shot was a house fire down the street from my home in Detroit. I am drawn to the Journalistic style because you cannot duplicate that unrehearsed expression of joy, love and triumph on a persons face, it is a look that cannot be faked. With that being said it is not the only thing that I shoot, I believe you have to step out of your box, if you don't; you will not grow. You need new challenges whether you fail or succeed you will learn something.
I believe that I have learned more from failure than I ever will from my successes. I tell my kids all the time you can't bat a thousand, but that doesn't mean you shouldn't try each and every time with each and every thing you do. This shot is not even close to being perfect, but it was something I had always wanted to try. I convinced a Producer at my station to be a model for me. I bought the hat at a local store I think it was around 20 bucks, the London Fog was bought at Goodwill for 10 and the lighter is a Zippo lighter for 15 bucks. He brought is own shirt and I gave him an old tie. The total cost for this shoot was 40 bucks, at most. I wanted to shoot a Noir style photo in an alleyway and I as turned off the street I saw the stairs of the fire escape on one of the buildings was down and I thought to myself the photo gods are shining on me.
A piece of magenta filter placed on a flash about 15 feet away from my subject, a second light just to camera right sitting inside of a softbox. When I look at this photo today I see a lot of mistakes, the softbox light should be much closer to my person, his head should be tilted up and the camera should be a little lower and to the left. The cool thing is I learned a great deal from this shoot and will likely do something similar to this again in the very near future.