Photograph of Ben on the dock at Emma Long Park. Contax G2 + 21mm Zeiss Biogon. B&W film. Deep Yellow filter.

So much of what we talk about revolves around the technical nuances of cameras but all of that seems to be secondary to grabbing up the camera quickly when you see a shot and just using it adroitly. This image was shot during an assignment. It was unplanned (to say the least) but ended up being the opener for a multi-ad advertising campaign.

Had I planned it all out, lit it and shot with a tripod mounted Hasselblad I am certain that Ben would have been way past me before I got anywhere close to pushing the shutter button.

The client was in another (geographical) state. No idea how the shot came into existence. No idea what camera I was using. No curiosity about the technique. They just recognized that this finished "spur of the moment" shot was what they wanted/needed for their advertising. And, in my 30 some years of daily experience, that's just the way things usually go... We plan and plan but the authentic, uplanned moment usually trumps all kinds of technical perfection.  And, no. You usually can't have it both ways, no matter how hard you try.


  1. Kirk, your use of the yellow filter intrigues me a bit. The topic of filters doesn't come up too often these days - I assume this is largely because one can use software to edit colours and set WB in camera. Years ago I shot a fair amount of black and white film. At one point I started using a yellow filter almost all the time to make the "blue" skies richer in tone, and to make lighter blossoms stand out more from "green" leaves in foliage. These days I rarely use filters, except for ND filters, which I use to keep apertures reasonably wide for video.

  2. Lovely shot. And perfect for that campaign. Being prepared is the best preparation, I guess.

  3. Nice! One of my favorite camera/lens combinations. Too bad the 21mm does not work well on the Sony A7rii but I can use the 45mm and 90mm G lenses.


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