So this entry is from “the other” Robin…
“I quickly conjured a vision of what I wanted to do with this image. I wanted to represent the highest highlights, and the most important people, contributing to me being me. I started with a list of items, struck some, added some, gathered items and arranged them, again struck and added. I wanted to arrange my items to suggest the human form.
I went to Competitive and got a roll of photo background paper, and I was set. Well, not really… I set this shoot up twice and got nothing I would show anyone. I was shooting indoors, which seemed the only choice, but I had problems. First, I wanted to shoot the 50mm prime lens, but on my small format sensor, that’s about a 72mm equivalent telephoto, and I couldn’t get far enough away from the subject. I resolved that by using a zoom which goes down to 18mm. So it won’t be as sharp but it should still be okay.
The larger problem was lighting. I learned I haven’t illumination sufficient for this shot, no umbrellas, soft boxes, diffusers, or even a reflector. I had terrible harsh shadows where I wanted soft hints of shadow. All the while I was using an ISO higher than I prefer. So, I decided on an outdoors shoot, on the patio away from direct sunshine, nice diffused natural light.
Next morning was last Sunday, you know, rainy Sunday. It looks like it’s going to rain until deadline, so I set up a third shoot, arranged my lighting in a fashion to best minimize shadows, and by ‘minimize’, I mean the least harsh I could do with my minimal equipment and skill. I used my built-in flash for the first time. It works! It actually helped diffuse the harshness of shadows. So, I submit, for your critique, a study in how not to shoot this challenge.”