I have been lucky enough to have photographed all the stores for Nandos Zimbabwe in the past, so when they opened a new branch in Gweru, Zimbabwe I was asked to pack my bags and head out to do my thing. The brief was to capture all the different design elements in the brand new store at night as well as during the day. The images had to showcase the every angle of the store, without any people in the images so I had to work around the stores trading hours. This meant late nights and early mornings, but as I am sure you will agree the effort certainly yielded the results!
As most of you know I am a big fan of drone photography and never hesitate to let you all know about it whenever I can! However this time I would like to extoll the virtues of my long suffering family and friends! It was drummed into me when I studied photography that a great picture often needs some from of human element to either give it a feel of place, size or perspective. This was considered even more prevalent with sunset pictures, and that without some form of subject matter to tie it all together they where considered 'wallpaper' pictures. I have never had an issue with creating wallpaper but did take into consideration the teachings and have always tried to add a subject matter to my sunsets.
In most cases this has been my previously mentioned long suffering family and friends. They are quite used to being ordered into place in front of a variety of backgrounds, some more life threatening than others, with a resigned but compliant attitude. In the case of the 'wallpaper' above I felt I needed some form of human element to both contrast the power of the storm as well as showcase the sheer size of it. So to the rescue came my wife and father in our small boat and I must say they took my request to go roaring off into quite a lightning charged storm with as much enthusiasm for my dangerous request as they could muster.
However I assume that you are as impressed with the results as I and my models are, however unsure they still are that is was almost worth their lives to capture! So what are my ramblings building up to, basically be kind to your friends and family as you never know when you will need them to out their lives at risk for you to get that amazing picture!
I was extremely lucky, and my models where quite frightened, by the lighting thrown around by the storm, the above capture was by pure luck and I didn't even know I had it until I reviewed the images in Lightroom after the shoot. The only thing that ruins the shot somewhat for me is the boat angling to the right of the frame leads the eye away from the storm and the lightning bolt.
I am blessed to have had excellent training in my field of profession and we strive to pass on some of that knowledge as often as possible through our Introduction to Photography Courses. However, despite the power of knowledge it can be almost useless if it is not applied in the right manner. There is no exception to this in the field of photography and thats why getting out and using your camera so you gain as much field experience as possible is invaluable.
As a working professional I have the opportunity to do this every day, and with a wide scope of clients, locations and personal interests the experience that I gain everyday is invaluable. You can also never stop learning, something I am always happy to admit to.
Despite all this wonderful experience and the often complex way in which we have to shoot some of our corporate work, its always fantastic to be able to get back to the real basics, and often the results are stunning.
This happened recently while I was on a short holiday in Mozambique, we had rented a dhow for the day and were heading off to the tropical beauty that is Paradise Island in the Bazaruto Archipelago. I was on holiday and thus very chilled, had no brief from a client and just one lens on my camera, almost bliss! So back to basics it was, to photograph the boat from as many angles as possible to showcase the Dhows' different functions and character.
When I talk about composition in our Intro courses I always try to emphasis that you need to move around your subject as much as possible to get as many different angles of your subject as you can, this is very basic stuff but I am left wondering if a little bit of experience doesn't help you decide that basics are often better!