El Dave Photography

A photographer and his toys. Updated weekly.

Stillness (2)

11:51 AM by , under , , ,

Stillness (by ElDave)

"Manifest plainness,
Embrace simplicity,
Reduce selfishness,
Have few desires."
— Lao Tsu

Gen's biography, courtesy of Strategy Wiki:

Gen is one of the Chinese opponents in the original Street Fighter. He is first introduced as a selectable character in Street Fighter Alpha 2. Gen is the only Street Fighter character that can change fighting styles in mid fight. He is known for his quote in English, spoken to a defeated opponent: "You are a big fool!" Incidentally, Gen says this before his final battle against M. Bison in Alpha 3.

Gen was produced by SOTA Toys and may still be available in stores or online.

One of the things I'm constantly working on is how to balance a photo. What I mean is, how to get the poses just right, are the characters in proportion to their background, am I following the rule of thirds, etc. etc. etc.

Despite being a photographer for going on 4 years now (I can hear more experienced photographers chuckling), framing still doesn't feel natural to me. I have the hardest time looking through the viewfinder and deciding what looks best. My mind is too clouded by all the things I've been taught, and I'm full of questions. "Is the light right?" "Is the angle good?" More accurately, I should say that I'm full of doubt. "I don't think the light is right." "I don't think the angle is good."

When I relax and shoot from the hip, the doubts vanish. Vanish isn't the right word... It's more like they were never there in the first place. I hold the camera up, don't bother looking at what I'm shooting, and click. Instead of trying to take a good picture, it's more like a game. It's fun!

I told you all of that to explain today's shot. April and I were at the Chicago Botanic Garden (as we often are) and we stopped at the fountains near the bonsai trees. Not wanting to miss an opportunity, I took Gen out of my bag, dipped him in the water, then struggled with his weak ankles to get him to pose in the water. People looked on in amazement as a grown man played with his toys in the fountain while I tried framing my shot. After snapping several I wasn't happy with, I gave up and fired a few "from the hip", including the one that started this post, which was what I WANTED to get when I was looking through the viewfinder.

Maybe Lao Tsu was on to something.

Here's a funny joke about EXIF!:

Camera: Canon EOS Digital Rebel XTi
Exposure: 0.008 sec (1/125)
Aperture: f/5.6
Focal Length: 55 mm
ISO Speed: 100
Exposure Bias: 0 EV
Flash: Off

File Size: 4.2 MB
File Type: JPEG
MIME Type: image/jpeg
Image Width: 2592
Image Height: 3888
Encoding Process: Baseline DCT, Huffman coding
Bits Per Sample: 8
Color Components: 3
X-Resolution: 72 dpi
Y-Resolution: 72 dpi
Orientation: Horizontal (normal)
Software: Adobe Photoshop CS3 Windows
Date and Time (Modified): 2009:05:13 13:41:34
YCbCr Positioning: Co-sited
Exposure Program: Aperture-priority AE
Date and Time (Original): 2009:05:03 10:42:47-05:00
Date and Time (Digitized): 2009:05:03 10:42:47
Metering Mode: Multi-segment
Color Space: sRGB
Focal Plane X-Resolution: 4433.29532497149 dpi
Focal Plane Y-Resolution: 4453.60824742268 dpi
Custom Rendered: Normal
Exposure Mode: Auto
White Balance: Manual
Scene Capture Type: Standard
Compression: JPEG (old-style)
Global Angle: 30
Global Altitude: 30
Copyright Flag: False
Photoshop Quality: 12
Photoshop Format: Standard
Progressive Scans: 3 Scans
XMPToolkit: Adobe XMP Core 4.1-c036 46.276720, Mon Feb 19 2007 22:40:08
Orientation: Horizontal (normal)
Metadata Date: 2009:05:13 13:41:34-05:00
Creator Tool: Adobe Photoshop CS3 Windows
Format: image/jpeg
Color Mode: 3
ICCProfile Name: sRGB IEC61966-2.1
Viewing Conditions Illuminant Type: D50
Measurement Observer: CIE 1931
Measurement Flare: 0.999%
Measurement Illuminant: D65
Color Transform: YCbCr
Flash Return: No return detection
Flash Mode: Off
Flash Function: False
Flash Red Eye Mode: False

Be good,

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2 Reply to "Stillness"

josh on May 13, 2009 at 2:22 PM

Awesome post brotha!

Nice subject as well.


april on May 13, 2009 at 4:03 PM

i think you have trouble cuz you're too tall. when you shoot from the hip, that's like eye-level for everyone else! :)