Jan 17, 2009

Learning to Take Pictures With Seikatsu Koba

I tell people repeatedly that I am not a photographer. I pretty convinced that my photography gene is recessive, if not completely excised from my DNA. Yet in my role as wandering hack, I often have to provide some visual support to my text. I could, of course, hire a real photographer, but that then eats into my profits. So I spend a little more time trying to get good pictures.

With the fashion pieces, it's fairly common for me to actually buy things and wear them before commenting on them. For illustration, I can either take pics of the items in the store or of me wearing them. Doubtless the latter option panders to my not-so-unconscious narcissism, but its also a good use of me as a resource - a sort of movable clothes hanger.

So to improve my skills, I asked my friend and photographer extraordinaire, Seikatsu Koba, where I could get so simple pose balls for modeling (yeah, I hear you snickering; "Oh, see, there goes Siggy wanting to be a model after all.) Instead, she gave me an afternoon of free tutoring in how to take a picture.

What she really wanted me to learn was how to angle my camera and manipulate light. And the latter was an eye-opening for me. I didn't realise that I could change the settings of the world so as to capitalize on different lighting possibilities. Using the "Environment Editor in the "World" settings, I could select from a whole list of preset lighting settings, and even manipulate within them. You do this my moving the sun!

The results of the tutorial are on my Flickr site as Seik's Tutorial. If you want to see some of the ways on which I learned how to manipulate angles and light, click the link to go take a peek.

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