Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Final call

Summer is ending quickly for most students. Even quicker if you are a student athlete.

I have three weeks until I am officially back with The Towerlight. With that, I am already beginning to shoot a few images for our first issue; mostly sport portraits for the Fall Sports Preview. I would wait a little longer to shoot some of these, but the athletes are active in rigorous two-a-day practices for about two weeks starting in August.

Last year this photo illustration of Andrae Brown ran full cover for the special sports issue. Other than him forgetting shoes, I still love the image today. I'll be shooting the upcoming cover Thursday if everything planned lines up right. I am confident it will top last year.

Anyways, yesterday I shot the above of Towson senior men's soccer keeper, Billy Chiles. I was a bit scared in the morning because it was fairly cloudy and very humid. I expected heavy down pours. Luckily the sun poked through the clouds out during the shoot.

This image was preconceived before getting there. This is what I try and do for most portraits whether I have days or minutes to think of an image. I will always wing a second or third setup during the actual shoot if time allows. But I love preconceiving different image ideas in my head until one clicks. It is always a joy when a sketch turns out as planned and prints.

Most of the time shoots are fairly simple. But it's once I leave the shoot things become complicated. Even if I only get one or two poses I still have different variations of each. Sometimes subtle, sometimes extreme. Then I have to choose only one to run with. For non-photographers, it's tougher than one would think.

I encountered this problem with Billy. Here are my four final edits:

[Billy Chiles ONE]
[Billy Chiles TWO]
[Billy Chiles THREE]
[Billy Chiles FOUR]

Now, most of these are very similar and I'll end up submitting one or two of these images. If sports or cover needs an alternative image than I'll submit a second image not pictured above. But, it's my decision to narrow the images and really pick one, the main eye candy.

If I don't I am risking letting someone without a photographic eye to decide what to use, which is usually disastrous. Caveat: in most cases outside of the Towerlight it is more prone for my favorite image not to run because I often can't fight with a professional picture editor. They do know what is best, in most cases.

Letting someone else narrow my work and choosing an image is like letting me judge figure skating. I know absolutely nothing about figure skating, and I am not going to pretend I do know. That would be totally unfair.

I would love for everyone to know the "right" images to pick all of the time, unfortunately it never works that way. Many people are used to what they think is good or what they've seen in the past. And again, unfortunately they will fight you to the death because nowadays everyone is a photographer.

That's why I make the final call. But for the sake of argument, if you feel inclined, let me know which one you would run with in this instance here or on my Flickr page.

(NOTE: I am no longer putting a borders and copyright reminder stamp on images. I grew tired of doing it. So for all you image thieves the images are still Copyrighted and able to be tracked on my end. If you are still confused, scroll to the bottom of page.)


Anonymous Anonymous said...


I like #4 the most. It has the most dramatic clouds of the four, and the lighting is more pleasing to my eye. Second choice is #1.

Number 2 has the net in the foreground in a distracting position.


Tuesday, July 31, 2007 9:11:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


What about people always picking the worst possible picture? I'm pretty sure I do a pretty good job, Pat.

Maybe we should give one former photo editor a call to see if she wants to come back. HA.

Keep up the good work. I can't wait for the Bradford shot.


Friday, August 03, 2007 4:58:00 PM  

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