Arm's Length Self Portrait — [Canon 5D w/ Lensbaby Composer]
Waikiki Beach, Honolulu, Hawaii
April 23, 2010
(click in the image for a larger version)
This was taken during my April trip to Honolulu to teach a few workshops at the University of Hawaii. For the past few years, I have indulged in a now traditional Lensbaby Walkabout along Waikiki Beach. The unique look of the Lensbaby Composer just seems to really fit the visual vibe of that place. It does wonderful things with the bright colors and and lights, whether on the beach itself, or on Kalakaua Avenue, the street that runs adjacent to it.
"Move your head so I can see Diamond Head"
This couple was setting up an arm's length self portrait shot using a method I had not seen before: He held out the camera, pointed in his direction with a view of Waikiki and Diamond Head in the background, while she made adjustments to the position and framing. Then she came around and joined him and he snapped the picture. Making photographs of other people taking pictures, especially in classic touristy locations such as this has been a thread in my photography for a long time. I just find that aspect of the photographic process interesting and the dynamics involved when are people posing their friends or themselves for a picture can often create an intriguing moment. The clever framing method employed by this couple was a new spin on this theme and I felt that the addition of the delicious Lensbaby blur only added to the scene.What's the Story?
Another thing I like about this image has to do with the story aspect of the scene. I am always looking for story potential in the images I create, either through obvious events in the scene I am photographing, or hinted at through juxtaposition, metaphor or suggestion. Sometimes I am aware of the narrative possibilities as I am making the image, as was the case here, and other times I do not discover the story until after I have taken the photo and am working with it in the digital darkroom. In this photograph I was intrigued by the sense of tension created by the contrast of the idyllic, almost fairytale sky and the relaxed vacation moment with the battered "DANGER" sign next to the couple. They are completely absorbed in making their sunset photographic memory, while the sign juts up ominously, breaking the smooth surface of the sky with its hard, angular warning.
Workshop in Maine Next Week
I'll be heading to Maine at the end of the week to teach my Real World Digital Photography class at the Maine Media Workshops, June 13 — 19. I look forward to going to Maine each year and teaching there. It's a great place for photography and the staff at The Workshops always helps to create a wonderful learning environment. As with all of my workshops, we will search for the extraordinary in the ordinary. There are a still a few spots left so sign up soon if you are interested.
Upcoming Workshops in L.A. & New Mexico
The Creative Digital Darkroom
June 28 — July 1
Marlborough School • Los Angeles, CA
Info & Registration Link
The Creative Eye: Photography & Digital Darkroom Essentials
July 25 — 31
Santa Fe Photographic Workshops • Santa Fe, New Mexico
Info & Registration Link
And coming up September 16 — 19 will be a 4-day version of my popular compositing and collage class, The Creative Collage with Adobe Photoshop at the Mesilla Digital Imaging Workshops in southern New Mexico.
In case you may have missed it, Adobe officially announced Lightroom 3 today. It's been in public beta for many months but the final version is now available. This is a major upgrade with lots of new features and improvements to old favorites. If you are already a Lightroom user, this is definitely worth the $99 upgrade price. Here's a link to a video with Julieanne Kost explaining all the new features in Lightroom 3.