March 30th, 2011
Philosophy: I Break All the Rules I Can
black man playing a viola on stage
... because I can. With style.

Ok, let me back up a bit here. I break all the rules I've already mastered, and that's why I can break them with style. "Rules" in photography are just basic operating instructions for all the variables that control how an image winds up looking. With that said, some of my latest work features a LOT of rule breaking. Case in point is presented below. I originally set out to just shoot dramatic edge lit portraits of my Violist friend.... until I started getting to close and wound up getting flares. I've spent most of my career fighting flares like the black plague. I've deployed thousands of dollars worth of grip equipment on film sets to combat them... I don't hate flares, its just that most of the time I fight them, they just plain old don't look good.


They usually don't look good because I wasn't trying to induce them for artistic effect. That's why. That's also the key ingredient to great rule breaking, clear intent.

Once I started to get these flares I realized that if I made some framing adjustments, I could create some very dramatic shots, some of which feel like they were shot on a spotlight lit stage. Being a photographer who understands the value of producion design, real or otherwise percieved, I jumped on the idea, stat! Below are my favorite shots, post flare realization. As always, I've also included a behind the scenes setup photo.

My original intent above, my rule breaking below.

A wide shot of the setup used is pictured below.

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