Saturday, March 27, 2010

Lights, Camera...Lights?

I began playing the violin when I was twelve. It was the first year of middle school and I was given the option of art, band, or orchestra. Since I had convinced myself that I was bad at art, and didn’t want to play any band instruments, I opted for orchestra and the violin. It was a perfect fit.

A few years ago, frustrated with the student violin that I was still using, I headed off to Ebay to look for a more sophisticated instrument. In my searching I came across many beautiful specimens. I finally settled on a fine 1920’s model that turned out to have a beautiful sound and this one, a “fiddle” painted in a camouflage pattern by a veteran of the Vietnam war: a friend to the man who was selling it.

I bought the violin for its photographic possibilities, filed the bridge myself so I could put the strings on properly and found that it too, had a beautiful sound. I played the instrument many times over the next few years, but never took out my camera to capture its unique beauty.

I do not believe I would have captured the same photograph had I taken its picture so many years ago. I didn’t yet own the lens I used and I was still struggling with the “proper” way to take a picture. Today, I am learning to love my own style, and not the rules of photography. I work with the light of a room and form the photograph around the light rather than forcing the light to do my biding. I would rather edit out distractions from a great photograph than opt for a different lighting just to have a clean background. This photograph is clean and uniquely lit by a table lamp while the subject is sitting on a green blanket.

Want to find out more about want Ardent had to say in March? Check out the newsletter The Keen Observer.

Thanks for reading,

Sarah McTernen
Ardent Photography Fan Page

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