The images made by ‘Generation S’ (Generation Strobist) show one of the biggest movements in technique and style of shooting pictures there has ever been in photography. The transition, lead by fearless leader Dave hobby has taught so many the importance, technique behind, and tools needed for manipulating light captured.
Here are the Top Five generation ‘S’ errors and oversights
1; Lighting faces from low angles
Every day we see people lit from above, the lights in your room are on the roof, the sun and bright sky are above you. We almost always see people with light from above, yet all too many generation S photographers light from low angles. Light stands get heavier and more expensive the higher they stand, they’re more vulnerable to falling and destroying your gear, but photographers should be after great images, not excuses.
2; Over-lit and Over-powered
Over-lit: How much lighting is really needed to make a great picture? Of course it depends on the concept, location and other variables, but have you considered the natural light, or what about just slightly modifying the light that’s already around? Try one reflector/mirror, a window, the light reflecting off a building downtown, or just one strobe? You can do a lot with a little if you see the light as you camera does, and how you can use it. Simplicity is Sexy
Over-powered: When that rim light is at zone 15 you might be able to tone it down a bit. When you’ve send your subject into convulsions you might have enough strobes pointed at them. I’m sure we all threw too many joules of energy at our subjects the first time we played with some off camera flash, but all the power isn’t necessary all the time.
3; Ignoring the best natural light.
Screw Mother Nature’s best efforts, we can make our own light and it’ll be better than her’s. Right? Well, not really, especially if you’re shooting on location; we can’t quite over-clock your sb800+CTO gel to light up that mountain range/cityscape/baseball field. Why force lighting on location when the ambient light sucks?
4; Technical first, concept second.
Photography is light, but images are concepts. You as a photographer are; concepts, skill, and vision. Lighting is what facilitates ideas; one of the bridges between a concept and presentation. When you shoot an image you use; lens choice, lighting (distance, spread, colour, quality), angle, composition, aperture/shutter/ISO, and every other technical skill you’ve learned to show people what you want them to see.
Use light as a mastered skill to convey your concepts; don’t rely on it as a subject or destination.
5; If I had… If I had…
We all want more gear, more assistants, a bigger studio, and more creative time. Make those things goals and find paths to work towards them. Sitting around using the excuses ‘If I had…. If I had…’ doesn’t make your pictures better, and the excuses don’t inspire great work.
Got beef with a trend? Add your opinion for Generation S failures
6; Having Strobes In Your Photos;
“A completely obnoxious trend. We get it, you have multiple flashes, no one is impressed. Hide them, re-compose, change your set-up but its not cool to leave them in your shot. There, its off my chest, a solid number 6!” -Baxter Redfern (Click here for his site)
**Note I made this list as a personal reaction to work I’ve seen by photographers who exhibit styles and techniques influenced by Dave Hobby’s blog. I don’t attribute these to any type of shortcoming or error on his behalf. In the nature of blogs being updated and adapting to trends and new ideas, I anticipate Dave has/will/would have recognized these trends, and comment on them.