In the Shadow of the Capitol

Monday, November 19, 2007 Concept/Objective:

Assignment ConstructThe objective of this assignment was to produce an attractive environmental portrait of the subject who rose to fame as the result of his revelations regarding a Capitol Hill scandal. The subject specifically stated before the assignment that he would not pose with a laptop or computer (which was the mechanism by which he rose to fame) which severely limited any conceptual ideas.

Pre-Production:

Assignment ConstructThe time of day and time of year we were doing this in meant that the location chosen would be significantly backlit further, it was a somewhat overcast day and we were working under the shadows of very tall trees - something which I really liked.

Assignment:

We arrived on sight and set up and I opted for a tungsten gel on the strobe which would force all the shadows to blue but the blown out sky would remain nearly white. I like the feeling of light and darkness that played across the subject’s face and ground. I knew that there was a fair amount of foot traffic that took place along the sidewalk and when a passerby in a trench coat walked into the frame heading towards the Capitol I knew I had just that one additional background element that would add something to the picture - it’s as if the passerby is the scandalized member of congress.

Post-Production:

It would have been easy to go into Camera RAW and process the images once for daylight and once for tungsten, and merge the elements together. However as someone trained in film I just don’t think that way - my desire is to get it right in camera whenever possible minimizing post production but more importantly allowing for the image to be used in an editorial fashion because there was no after the fact manipulation. We delivered mid-res filed to the client on a CD with final high-res files to be delivered based upon the client’s final choices.

Final Analysis:

Assignment ConstructArriving at the location with the light going from overcast to backlit and back again to overcast I felt a challenge to get the light right. The final result especially with my trench-coated element makes this an image I’m pleased with.

Posted by John Harrington on 11/19
PeopleOutdoor PortraitsPlacesCapitol HillOutdoors
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