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Expression and Communication in the Digital Age

Posted on Thursday, June 23, 2011 at 04:24PM by Registered Commenterkennethlinge in | Comments7 Comments | References3 References

Today I want to talk about communication in the digital age. I been working full time in Photography for 35 years now, so yes I'm getting old, but I started early. It's been so fun to watch the changes in the photographic profession over the years from hiding under some black material years ago to how we today hide behind our DSLR's.

I know it's exceptions to every thing, that some people have worked with Leica and 135 SLR's their whole life, but the main new thing is that curious little fascinating screen we now got on the back of our cameras.

What is the great news is creativity is up with todays technology, bust sadly expression is down, let's talk about it.

This is my friend and great photographer Devin, sporty to model this illustration pictures for me.

The way most portrait and wedding photographers worked for decades was with medium format cameras. I loved how they had the view finder where you could just look straight down and be right back at communicating with your client like with this Hasselblad. Photographers also took most of their pictures on a tripod, I often call tripod creativity destroyers, but it's absolutely some great things about them. For portrait sessions in the studio and often on location I like to use a tripod to be more free to communicate with my clients, also love a release cord, wireless or not.

Try to imagine yourself being photographed by Devin here for a minute. He is now SHOOTING you with a Canon haha. He is in full hiding from you and any eye to eye communication.

Turning the camera gives you a great view of him and the camera, love his expression BTW :-)

But here comes one of the BIG NO NO's which is one of the main points of this blog post. He goes straight to looking at the screen on the back of the camera after taking the pictures. Does he think you look funny? Well this is what almost every photographer I been observing in the digital age is doing, I been studying a lot of them working.

Start by telling your clients to not worry how they look as you are doing some test shots, making sure the light is great etc etc, get them relaxed and when your exposure color etc is right, get done with the screen for a while. Then give your main attention to the client, communicate with them, help create moments, get strong good contact.

See how much better it is when Devin is looking at you taking interest and focus on you rather then the screen on the back. What is more important then making people look good with GREAT expressions which is of course not necessary a smile which to many people measure the success of a photograph by.

PS. Let me ask you a favor, I love comments on my blog post, but I am a bit sick of people correcting my english when it got nothing with making it more understandable. English is my 2nd language and I'm sure if you don't happen to be Norwegian you rather read my bad english. I hate to write about any thing negative, but...

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    Photography, Lighting and Influences - Kenneth Linge's Journal - Expression and Communication in the Digital Age
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    Photography, Lighting and Influences - Kenneth Linge's Journal - Expression and Communication in the Digital Age

Reader Comments (7)

Great post! I remember you teaching this at the wonderful workshop of yours that I attended, but it's always nice to have a reminder. Oh, and I can't believe people have the nerve to correct your English when you are so willingly sharing your wealth of knowledge!

June 23, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterJessie

Kenneth, great points. Thanks for sharing this. I often get some of my best expressions when I am "testing" my light and the subject is not uptight about "posing".

June 23, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterTom Sparks

Thank you for sharing! This is something I need to be reminded of often! While reading your posts I can still understand everything you are saying despite English being your second language. No problem here. I appreciate your knowlegde.

June 24, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterKyla

I have found great eye contact from looking over the top of a camera mounted on a tripod. They can still see me, their eyes are close enough to looking at the lens to give the appearance of eye contact with the camera, and I can time my exposures with the subjects expressions. Yes, there are some drawbacks but this works great with groups especially.

June 24, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterMar Bowers

Thanks for the post, Kenneth. I'm always talking to my clients, but definitely could use the reminder to look up more. Great post. :)

June 24, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterrik andes

Great insight. I remember my wedding photographer with his Hasselblad and I remember the personal touch. Great idea to give feedback on what you are seeing in your 'preview screen' for us now-a-day DSLR users.

June 24, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterTylerG

quite a knowlegable session it was,will certainly keep in mind
about the various points suggested by you.


June 30, 2011 | Unregistered Commentersweetie

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