Friday, August 30, 2013

Rancho Part II (or 4 Things I've Learned so Far)

In my last post I briefly touched on some things I learned on the basics of multi-exposure and HDR photos within the context of sunsets in my pursuit of becoming the world's greatest photo-blogger/videographer. Well upon reflection it appears there actually a number of things I've picked up on the past few weeks, some of them confounding technical details and others more general pieces of wisdom.

Mexicans Love their Murals. Then again, who doesn't?

1.)  With Knowledge, Comes Power, and a Much Longer Todo List.

If you want to be able to really get the most out of your photos during the editing process, you need to save them on your camera in their .RAW format.  This ensures that every detail gleaned from your camera's highly sensitive censors will be retained and available for later manipulation.  However, if you're not going to do anything more than tweak the contrast/saturation and splash on a digital filter or two, do not bother.  .RAW photos take up 4 times more space than .JPEGs and with many camera's (my Pentax 5II for instance) RAW photos won't even be compatible with the majority of photo editors, or else they's require a specific software update that can turn into a nightmare if you're using pirated software (Please don't sue me, Adobe, I'll pay you back when I start making money on this blog, I swear it)

Also, many online photo hosting services and their built-in photo editors can't process anything deeper than 8bit color (looking at you, Facebook) so that fantastically vibrant sunset you spent hours capturing and bring to life is more than likely just going to end up a blotchy eyesore for most of your audience anyway.
Calling for Lluvia (The horse next door)

Estefania warming up the room with her smile.

2.)   Having People Skills Will Make Your Job Easier, But There's a Work-Around for Everything

People become remarkably self-conscious when you walk up to them with a giant camera stuck to your face.  Most of the kids nervously shake their head when I utter '¿Puedo sacarle photographia?' in my awkward Spanish. It seems to evoke the most gratifying and candid poses from your models you should either strike up a casual conversation to establish some friendly report or else develop a preceding reputation persuasive enough to do all your talking for you.  Given my current progress connecting with strangers so far, I've decided it'll be faster to just concentrate on the reputation.   

One of the downsides of the hip-shot method is that you can never
be certain the image is in focus :/

In the meantime I've been relying on a 'shoot from the hip' technique I've developed that involves nonchalantly hold my camera at my side and trying to catch people unaware.  I feel like I've managed to be pretty subtle so far, but I have noticed a lot of strange looks lately.


3.)  Always Maintain Awareness.

Especially when trying to take close-up shots of ant colonies in the desert while wearing flip flops.

As spiteful as those little fuckers seem when they latch onto you, they are tender caresses compared to the sensation of landing barefoot on a broken piece of cactus.

And the picture turned out shit too

Everyday flies be bustlin.

4.) As Crucial as it may be in a Land without Running Water, Hand Sanitizer is Not Soap.

Sure, it may seem like the answer to all your germaphobic trials when your taking bucket baths and using a porta-potty every day, but everything has its limits.  Under no circumstances should you ever apply high-concentration isopropyl alcohol solution to your anus region.

You have been warned

These two powerhouses selflessly take the shit of over 200 people every single day