This post is one of several in a monthly educational blog circle made up of storytelling photographers and Offset artists. After you read how I shot my storytelling image for the month, click to the next artist at the bottom of my post and follow the circle the whole way around. Enjoy!
My son was busy saving the world in his favorite costume the other day, but he couldn't find the cape. Of course, everything had to stop while he located the exact one that came with the costume. (Absolutely no substitutions acceptable!) I had been taking pictures of him jumping off of things- a staple in our house- so I already had my camera as I followed him up to his room to look for the cape. He was pretty sure it was at the very bottom of a big tupperware toy tub (where else?), so he started digging and taking toys out amassing a bigger and bigger pile as he searched.
While he looked, I thought about how I could use the very low, back light in his room. Should I expose for him? (Rendering him much brighter and blowing the window light out?) Or should I expose for the light outside? (Making him into a silhouette.) He was kneeling at the bin digging now. I could've taken a shot, but decided it wouldn't tell a story unless he found the cape.
While he continued to look, I decided to use a setting that would fall in the middle, giving me a little detail on him but almost like a silhouette. By the way- is there a name for this type of exposure? I like to expose this way, because it suggests low light, but it still shows enough detail to add to the story. For example, you can very vaguely make out the Superman symbol on his chest.
Next, he stood and started digging. His profile is totally cute, but still I didn't shoot. I was holding out for the cape. As he continued to dig, I looked through my viewfinder at all four edges of my frame and decided that, if he was going to be surrounded by clutter, I should be "all in" in showing it. So I slid back as far as I could and reframed so that the image was wider, the clutter was all along the bottom and his head was still in the middle of the window.
FINALLY- he squealed and pulled the cape out. I was banking on the fact that the light would shine through the fabric so that you would know what it was, even with my dark exposure. I shot several frames as he pulled it out and examined it, but I chose this one because it was the only one where you could see the matching S on the cape. And then of course, after this, I had to put the camera down.... because wardrobe assistance was needed. :-)
Next hop on over to Ireland for the next artist in our blog circle, Renata Plaice! It's her first Storytellers Blog Circle, so please make sure to give her a visit. You won't be sorry... her work is gorgeous!