FRACTICAL DUBUQUE, 2015
Model Jessica Hicks had proved herself both athletic and adventurous during our 2014
shoots in the rocky woods of Pisgah National Forest. So I was not surprised to find her
adept at slinging colored water, milk, flour and dirt, often while jumping from grit strewn
loading docks. And all the while wearing a dress.
The blurred nature photographs of the previous year's shoots were replaced with fast-shutter urban
images. This was exactly the fresh source of inspiration I required.
I began these shoots using a Canon EOS 5D Mark III. This camera has an interesting HDR
(High Dynamic Range) feature which I amply abused. HDR is designed to capture the full
dynamic range of scenes normally beyond the limits of digital cameras. It does this by
taking three pictures at three shutter speeds and then uses an algorithm to stitch them
together. The intention is for the photographer to use a tripod, or at least hold the camera
steady. I did neither, instead sometimes pivoting the camera a full 180 degrees. The results
were hit and miss at first, but I developed a knack for what would work. Later shoots were
with the Canon EOS 5DS. This is a newer camera with higher resolution. Unfortunately its
HDR feature has a very ordinary algorithm, but I found that using layering in Photoshop I
could mimic the old algorithm and do other interesting manipulation. For all these shoots
I used my trusty Sigma 35mm F/1.4 DG lens.
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