Action And Motion

At the very early stages of exploration in approach to the Black/White project I already had an idea that I wanted to portray body language as a predominant element. One aspect I've experimented with extensively is body language in the context of some sort of action and motion.

I've always preferred photographing people in the process of some sort of motion dynamic while doing something. One of my major preconceptions regarding the Fuji XT-1 and EVF's in general was how badly they threw off my sense of timing in the past. Needless to say that's one of the items I exercised extensively while getting to know the little beastie. Part of that was photographing extremely fast motion on the part of my collaborators.

I had it in my head that during any rapid motions I was after the peak moment. That sounds right, doesn't it? The good news is that the XT-1 didn't throw me off at all. In fact I managed to chuck a few tests into a workshop I hosted early in the year. Here's a demo shot of one setup discussing general shutter speeds vs subject speed in using motion to paint.

Give me a break, the project was on my mind so why not?

Turns out that some of my failures to grab that peak action were more informative to what I wanted the Black/White project to look like, feel like, and portray. All the images above are pretty much in line with what I was trying to do at the time. Here's one of my failures with Tricia.

Another failure from the perspective of what was my intent that day.

Turns out those failures showed me what I really wanted for the project. The body language and gesture and feel I was looking for didn't exist at the peak moments of action, they existed on the leading and trailing edges. It wasn't that I didn't know what I wanted. The things that intrigued me and motivated me to pursue the project in the first place were all wrapped up with a lot of other stuff that's hard to segregate in one's head without the assistance of a camera.

When experimenting I need to constantly remind myself that failure is part of the exploration. Making exactly what you envisioned is a great technical exercise but probably won't lead anywhere new. Sometimes that's a hard thing psychologically. It's the anthesis of the norm on just about any endeavor. We've all trained ourselves over and over to "do stuff that works". When experimenting with approach I many times have to play games with myself by setting out to fail. Doing things on purpose that I know won't work in order to open myself up to possibilities that might be exactly what I want.