I was teaching a lighting class in Punta Gorda, Florida a few years ago. It was a great group of folks and there was a diverse sea of equipment, we had expensive DSLR’s to minimal point and shoots. In the mix was a gentleman who was very quiet and kept to himself. He had an assortment of gear and knew that he wanted to photograph in black and white. This was refreshing, in this day and age we are so concerned with having color that drips off the paper when you tilt it, we sometimes forget the roots of how this all started.
After that class, Antonio Suares and I became good friends and stay in touch. One of the things that I admire about him is that he’s not afraid to go off to some no man land and find something interesting. He also puts a lot of thought into what he is photographing. Not just because its probably the most important part of photography, but he creates all of his photos in the camera. I’ll let that sink in for a moment while you are thinking, “How does one shoot digital photography without Photoshop?” My answer is how was it done before Photoshop? Simple, first you have to have an interesting subject. The “spray and pray” routine may get you quantity, but the quality may be on the weak side. Another ingredient that makes ones mouth water when you take a bite out of the photographic pie is light. Photography is all about light. As I have said in my classes, if you take a class either with me or online or wherever, you better make sure that light is in the instructor’s syllabus. Antonio has mastered composition and light. He’s doing it the way it used to be done, taking the effort to find a worthy subject and being patient while the light is changing for that magic moment. He presses the shutter button and in one instant, it’s all over and in the can.
I think there is a lot that can be learned by turning off the computer and going out into the field with just one lens and a camera card. Leave the laptop, Photoshop, suitcase of lenses, cell phone, calibrators, and what not at home. Focus on what will make a great composition; look at the light direction, the quality of light, and how it frames your subject. Once all of these things come together, when the shutter opens and the light passes through the lens, you will be rewarded with a great looking photograph on the other side.
Antonio was gracious enough to share some of his wonderful photos with us from his travels. You can find out more about Antonio at: www.antoniosuares.com.
Until next time…
Keep Your Glass Clean