pressmen performance and photography

Monday, June 09, 2008

Why Use the Whaletail

Why use a light diffuser when working as a fake paparazzi /spoof Paparazzi/Event Photographer.
If one knows little about photography why would one want a diffuser. Here is what Darwin Wiggett wrote in the art of communicating light. "Learning to see is about understanding light, and how light affects the look of an object. Talented photographers use their understanding of light to enhance the viewer’s emotional response to a subject. In portraiture, for example, men are often photographed with strong, direct side lighting that enhances facial surface texture. Wrinkles, whiskers, chin clefts, and jaw lines become more pronounced with direct side lighting which amplifies facial features that most of us associate with rugged masculinity. In contrast, when your subject is a woman you may want to portray her as ‘soft’ and feminine. This is accomplished by using diffuse, front lighting that tends to flatten and hide skin imperfections and also emphasizes colour and tone so that the women’s eyes and lips are enhanced."
With Event photography it is essential that the guests are portrayed in the best way possible and part of how one achieves that is to find the best way to diffuse the light from the flashgun.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Do you have to kill the whale first or can you just drug it a bit? I found that it's best to use just a piece of the tail painted silver on one side and matt white on the other. Of course - possibly like you PressMen I've had trouble holding the slippery tail while I bounce the flash holding the flahgun in the other hand and balancing the camera on my tummy. A better way is to strap the tail behind the camera but it can obscure the viewfinder. I've gone back to using a normal diffuser and the old Braun bounce-flash attachment while I work out why the whale-tail is reported as being so good.
I guess I'm using it at an incorrect angle or maybe there is something fishy about the editorials and promotion for the whale-tail. Why are they so expensive - I picked up a couple of whole whale-tails in Folkestone for just 30p each including a bottle of sperm? Maybe I should ask for a specific type of whale-tail such as the Big White or Beluga or maybe the Southern Bottlenose whale rather than a Sperm whale?
However, anything that allows some diffuse light on to a subject could be used. The larger surface area - often the better. I'm experimenting with a polythene box in the shape of an eagle wing cube, that is translucent very much like 1/4 inch opal perspex. It has openings on the sides and inserts for colour filters either as a whole wing, a breast or individual feathers. I'm not sure it will catch on though.

1:15 pm  

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