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I went on a photo walk with Ibarionex Perello yesterday! Well, not exactly, but after watching his DVD Chasing the Light: Photography and the Practice of Seeing, I certainly felt as though I had. Several months ago, I read his book, Chasing the Light: Improving your Photography with Available Light and it remains one of my favorite ‘non technical’ photography books. I don’t usually watch DVDs about photography but I may look for more titles, as I really enjoyed this one!
Host of The Candid Frame podcast, Ibarionex Perello is also a published photographer and instructor at BetterPhotos.com and the Art Center College of Design in Pasadena. California.
Perello begins his photo walk early in the morning on the streets of Los Angeles, his hometown, and ends after the golden hour on that same day. His goal is to teach photographers of all levels how to use available light in creative ways in order to make more powerful images.
As Ibarionex Perello and fellow photographer Jeffery Saddoris embark on their day of discovery, they discuss various aspects of street photography such as seeing the existing light to waiting for the story to unfold, approaching strangers and making compromises. Their conversation makes the photo walk very interesting, and actually engages the viewer as though they are with them. You feel more of a participant in this process, than a student, walking along with them and soaking up every word they say.
Camping Out is a chapter I particularly enjoyed, because it’s one of my favorite things to do when shooting street photography. This technique involves finding a stage or spot on the street with all the right elements and then patiently waiting for the right person to walk by. Yes, you need to be patient for that moment, but it is worth it. You will see in the video how Ibarionex Perello picks his stage for its color and patterns, and how he waits for the right person to walk by to make the right image. Again, it’s as though we are there, waiting patiently with him!
Another favorite chapter is Working With Limitations. I have written several articles on this subject and have encouraged photographers to do this type of exercise as a way to improve their creativity and learn to see a familiar environment with fresh eyes. In the video, Perello picks a plain old picnic bench in full sun on a dusty playground, and challenges himself to create an interesting image by using existing light and shadows to his advantage. We watch him examine the bench from all angles, taking his time until he finds the right combination of elements to create something interesting to shoot. Now you try it!
I hadn’t seen a photo walk video since the amazing A Day With Jay Maisel produced by Scott Kelby. I really enjoyed Perello’s Chasing the Light: Photography and the Practice of Seeing! If you are in a rut or feel as though there is nothing in your world you haven’t already shot, this DVD is the inspiration you need! It’s all about learning to see in new ways, pushing yourself further to keep things fresh.
The total running time of the DVD is 1:52 hours. It is divided into 11 chapters. The DVD Chasing the Light: Photography and the Practice of Seeing and the book Chasing the Light: Improving your photography with available light are both available through Amazon.com