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on Jul 27, 2011 in Landscape Photography, The Bodie Series

Bodie Interiors #1

The one thing many visitors and photographers wonder about is all the antiquities, stuff that’s inside the buildings. Now there are a whole lot of stories why that stuff is there, from official to rumors to known facts. And as you might guess, I have my own combination of those. For example I know my mom came to Bodie many times before it was a park, walked through many a building that were empty then and full now. I remember the public being asked to return items they removed from Bodie. And there is there story of how the town was being put in quarantine so folks took off one night leaving their belongings behind. No matter the reason, the interiors are a photographic treasure trove. Most of it though is beyond most folks reach, behind glass. During my time though running the workshop, we had full access to the interiors which was one of the best lessons on light you can find.

There is a lighting difference between these two photos and to me it’s pretty dramatic. Can YOU see the difference? More importantly, do you know why there is a difference? It is the oldest lighting trick in the box but it think that book has been lost. The photo at the top is light coming in from the window and flash fill on the left. Why the light is satisfactory, it doesn’t have the same feel or romance as the light in the bottom photo. That’s because the light on the bottom is all light streaming in from the window but……you knew there was a but coming. The light is diffused by two large diffusion flats OUTSIDE the windows! The sun is directly hitting those flats (what we used are long discontinued so I’d use Lastolite panels now) and the flats scattered the light coming in. That light wraps around the piano and stool and while the background is kinda boring because they didn’t do much with them back in the day, the light is sexy as he’ll and that’s what really matters. And that’s a technique I use to this day and it works great!