Timothy Armes' blog
Photography as I experience it
Posts Tagged ‘active lifestyle photographer’
Fact 1: One of the great things about photography is that there are so many types of photography to explore.
Fact 2: One of the frustrating things about photography is that that there are so many types of photography to explore. It can be quite overwhelming for those coming into our world.
For those contemplating professional photography as a career then the good news is that somewhere in this gargantuan gulf of photographic endeavours there’ll certainly be something that’s right for you. Whether you’re introvert or extrovert, a recluse or a team player, an image taker or an image maker, an artist or a technician, there’ll be a branch of photography which will suit your personality.
For example, as a professional fine-art wildlife photographer you’ll be spending hours waiting patiently for that perfect moment and then selling your images as pieces of art, whereas a traditional wedding photographer may need to deal with difficult mother-in-laws and control crowds of slightly merry people while managing the technicalities of his or her flash.
The vital thing is that you choose a form of photography that’s right for you.
I’m commercial/advertising photographer specialising in active lifestyle images, very often sports or outdoor oriented imagery, and I love my work. Commercial photography imposes its own requirements on the type of personality that’s best suited to this career, so I thought I’d present my own reasons for choosing this path – it may well help some of you to go in either the same direction, or else strike it off your list and look at the many other options available to you.
I recently had great fun photographing a local skate boarder who was up for a bit of a challenge – to skate in the middle of Valence town center wearing a suit! Here’s a quick run down of the whole creative process.
I organised the shoot with a fairly local professional model; there were no hard and fast plans, we simply headed for the Alps with the intention of getting some mountain lifestyle shots.
Although there were no specific requirements I never undertake a shoot without having quite a few planned shots, so I’d spent the previous week sketching image ideas as they came to me. For an easy-going shoot like this I’m not obsessional about actually getting all the shots that I’ve noted, but they do give me a starting point once on location, and from there I allow the shoot to evolve.
I thought it might be interesting for some of you if I explain how this image of a tennis player diving for the ball was created, starting with the concept and working through to the the post-production.
Each and every aspect of a successful photograph is important – the concept, the subject, the intention, the planning, the lighting, the composition, the final presentation, the list goes on and on….
Despite this, all too often the post-processing stage is neglected. Some photographers even condemn the practice, uttering arguments along the lines of “wishing to capture the scene exactly as is was”, and using this as an excuse for avoiding any post-processing effort. I’d like to have seen them have this discussion with Ansel Adams!
As an active lifestyle photographer, my aim is to take sports images that are about the emotion of being immersed in nature’s grandeur rather than in competition or pure performance. I aim for the viewer – any viewer – to feel the pull of the lifestyle that’s being portrayed so that they wish to be doing the same thing themselves. To this end the photography needs to be emotive as well.
For this first image I attached my camera and flash to the frame of the bicycle and then drove along side at slow speed. The camera was fired remotely using a Pocket Wizard. I waited for the evening light so we had to work fast to get a shot I was happy with.
This next shot is simple yet it really spoke to me. There’s a sense of isolation that’s appealing, and I romanticize the experience further by using a soft colour palette.