Week 52+: Books

May 25, 2014  •  2 Comments

       Another theme, another week of challenges. The theme for this week is "Books." Naturally, tons of ideas come to mind. Books and coffee, books and companion animals, reading in the park, reading with a flashlight, etc. I wanted to do a few takes with my cats, but ultimately decided against it because I know (1) they wouldn't be cooperative and (2) I've used them way too often for my submissions. So, I decided to shoot books in a bookstore. I researched a few concepts and got two models to volunteer as my muses. On the rainiest day of the week, we trekked to Strand Bookstore in lower Manhattan. When we got there, I asked one of the managers what were their restrictions on photography in the bookstore. He said that it was fine as long as we didn't get any customers or employees in our shots. Thereafter, we moved to the second floor and began testing the flash before we got to the actual shoot. Not more than two takes in, an employee tells us we cannot shoot unless we have a special permit. I quickly related my conversation with the manager from the first floor regarding photographing in the store. However, the employee said that manager was wrong and we couldn't shoot. So we left and went over to Barnes and Noble a few blocks away.... and behold.... the same thing happens! As we were moving between the floors to leave the building, we came across a ladder and decided to sneak a few shots before we left. After three takes, this is what we got.

       Since I wasn't sure if I got my shot, I contemplated going to the library at my alma mater, or trekking to Grand Central. Since we had just been ousted from two bookstores, I didn't want to risk being told we couldn't photograph at my college's library or that my two models needed a special permit to be in the library since they didn't go there. So, we trekked to Grand Central and took a couple of shots in their bookstore on the main Concourse. 

      We took a couple of fun shots and then my battery died :( Apparently, this was not my day to shoot! I did not walk with my camera bag because I shot with the models directly after work and just couldn't handle the weight of my bag with all my backup batteries, etc. 

       I was really determined to get a few more shots, so I resorted to taking photos with my phone. Not an ideal, but a necessity at that point. I had the female model change into a maxi dress, and then we got to shooting in the dining Concourse. We took 10 shots. 

       After I got home, I immediately uploaded both sets of photos unto my computer and immediately began to evaluate the images. I was certain that I was not going to use the phone photos for my submission. It was just not up to par. The choice came down to two shots, both involving that ladder we shot with at B & N.  Even after days studying both photos, I was unsure which to submit. So I sought the opinion of someone else. Within 5 seconds of explaining the difference between the photos, he chose the B & W. He said that there was something that was simply more interesting in the B & W take than the other option. I couldn't agree more.

       For reference, I've included the "other option" and one of the shots that was taken with my phone. 

Which appeals to you more?

Special Thank yous to the two models who volunteered with less than 24 hours notice:) 

Photo Specs: 

     F-stop: f/5
     Exposure time: 1/80
     ISO speed: 1600
     Focal length: 41 mm

Comments

Ms.Vitri Photos
Thank you Les. You have such an amazing eye for detail.
I really was quite torn between two photos for my submission. Maybe all those hours editing & processing blurred my thinking? I'm happy that I eventually sought help to narrow my choices. The cropped version really does draw one's attention to the subjects in the shot, and the overall frame works better.
Indeed, lesson of the week was "Don't take no for an answer." Next time, I'll be sure to get permission in WRITING to shoot at the bookstore I actually wanted to shoot at:)
Les Gold(non-registered)
You absolutely made the right choice with the B&W. In the color shot, the row of lights, ceiling expanse and windows draw the eye away from the models. In the B&W, not only do the models stand out in higher contrast, but his right shoulder is turned, and the bright area draws the eye there, and then follows the ladder line and his gaze to the book and girl. The angle is better, as well as cropping out the distractions. Great shot.
Take home lesson: Don't take "no"
No comments posted.
Loading...

Archive
January (6) February (1) March April May June July August September October (1) November December
January February (1) March April May June July August September October November December
January February March (3) April May June July August September October November December
January February March April May (3) June (1) July August September October November December
January February March April May June July August September October November December
January February March April May June July August September October November December
January February March April May June July August September October November December
January February March April May June July August September October November December