Thursday, September 13, 2012

Mad Scientist (photo by Zach Whitman)

Last weekend my friend, Zach Whitman, came to town on a mission (for a wedding actually).  The company he works for in the SF Bay area was hosting a photography contest amongst the employees and he asked if he could borrow my camera and get some hints on shooting. Of course I love the idea of anyone new to the craft picking up a camera so I happily obliged. He told me the photos had to be of restaurants the company services.

You see, Zach had never picked up an SLR before so I thought the best way to teach him would to be to shoot the buildings at night on a tripod. We were scheduled to go out on Friday night and the day before he arrived he emailed me the "official" rules, one of which was the photos had to be taken inside the restaurant.

Rookie photographer, inside a busy restaurant on a Friday night? No way I thought. So, Zach and I sat down over some vintage barley wines while I explained the basics. Aperture, shutter speed, ISO, rule of thirds, camera shake.........the basics.  Still, in my mind, all I could think was no fucking way.

We get to The Squeaky Bean and get a seat at the bar. As we get some drinks and start talking I start pointing out opportunities being missed. Then, Zach grabbed the camera. He would take some shots and we'd review on the screen. I'd coach him on best practices (move the white plate out of the shot, it's distracting) and he'd get back to it, all the while I never touched the camera.

I've got to say, they turned out pretty good. The picture shown here is my favorite. It is of Johnny, the proprietor of The Bean, making some crazy concoction that tasted very complex. I love the shot and it is ten times better than anything I shot the first time I grabbed a camera.

When I text Zach to ask if I could put the picture on my blog he replied:
"Of course. Use my full name. Give yourself 3% credit."

If you'd like to check out The Squeaky Bean, book a reservation here:
The Squeaky Bean

If you'd like to see more photos by Mr.'ll have to encourage him to buy a camera.