Perhaps it is my journalistic background or my genuine curiosity in spontaneity, whatever the reason, I do not like to set up photos… ever. I have always been that way and at this point, I view capturing real moments as a challenge worth accepting. As I have said in the past, unless absolutely necessary, I always prefer natural light as well. For this album with Nove, the natural sunlight was great and I gave no directions on where to stand, how to behave or what to do.
For this type of shoot, I enjoy taking my time for a number of reasons. The first being that over the course of 20-30 minutes I can really get a sense for where the best angles are situated in relation to the subject. The second, and arguably more important reason is that the people involved in the shoot begin to forget I am taking their picture. This is crucial. A photographer’s ability to blend in and essentially slip into the background cannot be overstated.
In my opinion, there is an important difference between telling Nove to look at his own painting with a sense of pride and have him do it naturally. In the photos I took, you can see his satisfaction; it is tangible and takes the photos to a place not attainable if I simply asked him to do the exact same thing. Even the photo where he plays to the camera was completely done on his own accord. For me, that is extremely important because that photo displays his personality. If I had asked him to behave this way for the photo, is it portraying his personality or mine?
As usual, I used the 15mm fish-eye as well as the 45mm tilt/shift. The tilt/shift worked great in this alleyway. With no other lens can the entire length of the ‘beco’ (alleyway) be in focus while everything else gets blurred out. It also forces the viewer to see Nove’s face first and everything else second. In this way I can dictate what takes priority within the frame.