The ability to think creatively

By Jim Loring and Jeff Gulle

Photography Instructors Jim Loring and Jeff Gulle, from North Georgia Technical College, bring their critical eye to this student image titled “Jordan,” taken by Brad Budd.

Jeff Gulle’s perspective: This image looks like a lost memory or a dream, or perhaps just a remembrance of a time past. The car takes me back and the girl looks like she is waiting for an adventure.
So, how does a photographer use their camera to tell a story? First there is a sense of time and then a sense of place. The skilled photographer has to learn to ask the right questions. What does this event remind us of, what are the shared experiences that relate to what I am seeing and how can I take a picture to reveal this to my viewer?
And what about the location, how does the background of an image set the scene? There is always a relationship between the main action and the place where a photograph is taken. The skilled photographer makes a choice about every detail in the photograph especially the the addition or extraction of clues that help the viewer.
Technically this image is crisp and sharp but it is the addition of fog and a deep stormy sky that the story begins to unfold. There are many clues and implied messages, the garage lights are on but no one is there, the pumps look operational but hardly the type we expect to see today. Sure, there has been the use of Photoshop to create this scene but it began with the ability to think creatively.

Jim Loring’s perspective: With retrospect of years passed, this moody fashion shot is spectacular. The intriguing use of primarily existing lights–the headlights on the car and the garage lights–allows the back lighting to enchant the viewer. However, as a photographer, I know that there must be additional light to capture the detail in the shadows, as is demonstrated. I am wowed by the incredible detail available in the blacks of the picture: look at her dress!
After careful study, it appears to be a well thought out composite: each of the elements are lit in the same direction and with the same quality of light. To blend such images seamlessly, so that they appear as one, is the act of a talented artist.
Nevertheless, there is one thing that makes me feel uneasy about this photo: the model’s pose gives off an exorbitant amount of attitude. As if she would say, “I have been waiting too long for you.”
For artists considering the process of combining multiple photos, I would recommend studying this composite. It is one of the best, providing a series of well placed lights and seamlessly blended images. As I imagine this photographer did, begin thinking of the end product before taking the first photo. Plan your composite and think creatively. Good luck!
For artists considering the process of combining multiple photos, I would recommend studying this composite. It is one of the best, providing a series of well placed lights and seamlessly blended images. As I imagine this photographer did, begin thinking of the end product before taking the first photo. Plan your composite and think creatively. Good luck!

Jim Loring is a photojournalist, certified professional photographer and educator.  He has been widely published, completing over 65 assignments worldwide.

Jeff Gulle is a Certified Professional Photographer, Photographic Craftsman and a Master Photographer. He is a two-time “Photographer of the Year” winner.

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