The Same Hands - Photography Series

Shot with a Nikon D5200 / Featured in 2022 Student Showcase!

Shot with a Nikon D5200 / Featured in 2022 Student Showcase!

Shot with a Sony Alpha A7 III

Shot with a Sony Alpha A7 III

Shot with a Sony Alpha A7 III

Shot with a Sony Alpha A7 III

Shot with a Nikon D5200

Shot with a Nikon D5200

Shot with a Sony Alpha A7 III, Edited in Adobe Photoshop

Shot with a Sony Alpha A7 III, Edited in Adobe Photoshop

Shot with a Sony Alpha A7 III

Shot with a Sony Alpha A7 III

These photos are excerpts from a larger ten-photo series that I put together titled "The Same Hands." Since I typically do CG lighting and all my composition takes place in 3D space, I wanted to challenge myself to experiment with real world physical lighting and color theory through photography. This often meant setting up lights, finding spaces to shoot, and extensive composition planning. I filled a notebook with ideas and sketches until I made compositions that I was proud of.

This was a very personal project for me, as it is a sort of chronicle of some of the emotions I felt after a very intense loss of a loved one. When planning my compositions, I often started with a feeling I wanted to capture, and used color theory to come up with lighting direction to set the tone and to convey whichever emotion I was trying to evoke. Though this is only a few of the photos, all capturing different emotions, the common metaphor, as you can see, is the empty hands. Even if they are not empty, they are filled with some sort of distraction or temporary comfort, which nails home the central idea despite capturing a different emotion in each photo. So once I had most of my compositions and lighting planned out, I began to try and capture everything on camera.

Once shooting began, the lighting and color theory felt very natural, since I had been taught how to shape and draw the eye with lighting in my CG work as well, but the physical limitations were definitely a new challenge for me. Often, I had to adjust my sketched out compositions in order to accomodate for the discrepancies and issues that began to arise when shooting. Since a lot of my photos were in the dark, I had to adapt by finding a mirrorless camera. For some of the colors, such as reds and oranges, I had to compensate for the camera sensor not reading color how I wanted it to.

After everything though, I feel that this exercise really helped me to reflect on what I have learned about lighting and composing a scene and pushed me to learn even more new things such as physical limitations, camera operation, and how to compromise on details while maintaining an artistic vision.