Single Flash

Coming into this assignment, I was incredibly intimidated upon using flash. I was very worried that I would bug people by blasting off a bright light in their face or that I wouldn’t do it right. I’ve always been intimidated by flash and this only the second time I’ve ever used it. The first time was for a wedding.

I had some trouble picking out places to photograph. Although direct flash wasn’t too hard, I found bounce flash to be difficult because it mostly needed to be indoors. And, to make the situation perfect, I wanted white walls and a low ceiling. I think I need to write to some Columbia architects and let them know that all their buildings need to be built like this from now on. It would just be ideal.

For my direct flash, I found that Studio B opens their studio to ballroom dancing on Friday nights. Because I had a busy weekend ahead of me, I rushed down to the studio, knowing I wouldn’t be able to take pictures Saturday or Sunday night. Unfortunately, the studio had a ton of my other photographic enemy, glass and mirrors. I tried to stay on one side of the room where I wouldn’t be bouncing off of mirrors, but there was also a glass window directly in front of me. I did my best to avoid it all.

The ballroom dancing event was very fun and very appropriate for intimacy and interaction. I’m not as strong as I thought I was, though, and had trouble holding my camera with its immense battery grip in one hand, the flash in the other. My arm was shaking. I’m obviously a wimp. I feel like I captured the action pretty well at the event, although many of the pictures are obviously direct flash, some have unwanted shadows and many are underexposed.

My bounce flash assignment was much more difficult. My first choice was a tai chi class at The Armory downtown.  Now, I’ve been in the armory before, but not the gym where it was located. The ceiling was, obviously, very high and there was a lot of natural light coming in through the windows. I tried my best to shoot what I could, but because of the immense size of the room, could only photograph people closest to me while I bounced off the wall. And then, to make it worse, halfway through the glass the instructor thought it would be a brilliant idea to put everyone in a circle, backs to me. I hate circles.

I’m pleased with the content of my pictures, though. I think they have interesting situations going on. For my next assignment, though. I’m going to try to do less “event-y” stuff. Although these aren’t really event, they’re classes, the content seems similar. I kind of want to just go into a beauty shop for my next one, or just hang out with some people and make pictures. Just some more everyday stuff.

Photographs © Katie Currid 2010. All rights reserved.