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Picture Perfect; Developing Sadie Hawkins photos
Topic Started: Mar 30 2016, 06:48 PM (689 Views)
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Cause what you see isn't always the truth
[ *  *  *  *  *  * ]
((Nadia Riva continued from I could live in the world just like a stranger))

Nadia sat at a computer in the photo lab and stared at the photo before her. It was a trio of students she couldn't exactly recognize sitting around a table at the Sadie Hawkins dance. She clicked around the photo to crop out some blurs on the side of the photo. There had probably been someone moving around near them, and she needed it cropped out. The students on their own looked good, and so they didn't need some amorphous shape to the side.

Nadia had hoped to have a decent night at Sadie Hawkins. She could get dressed up and maybe dance along to some current music. Everything was planned, but then a curve ball came in. The Yearbook adviser asked her to take pictures at the dance. They were short staffed for the event, so they wanted to know if she could help out. Nadia knew Photography Club often got outsourced for jobs like this, and while it annoyed her, she agreed to it. It's more photo credits for the Yearbook, and she could use the extra publication history.

So she sat at the computer, going through the photos she had taken that night, trying to find the best ones to turn in for the Yearbook. She found a few so far, but Nadia knew she'd need a lot more than that. She took a few dozen pictures, so she had plenty to work with.

Hey, can I get your opinion on these?

Nadia turned in her seat and saw Sandy standing there with some pictures. Sandy was a decent guy, one of the few other photographers at Cochise and someone who generally stayed on her good side. He was good at what he did, and so she was glad to help him with his photos.

"Definitely," she told him. "I could use some critique myself if that's cool with you."
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Nadia watched as Sandy laid his prints out on the table before her. Although she primarily worked with digital photography, she still found developing film photographs to be pretty cool. The pictures Sandy took looked good as well. She realized that it would be hard for any of the photos to look entirely decent when everything was dimly lit or sickeningly bright due to the camera flash. However, she needed to look at the photos and judge them based on how Sandy described them.

Sandy's description of the photos was a lot more serious than she expected. He had ideas for what he thought the pictures represented and wanted them to be what he hoped they were instead of what he feared. Nadia nodded along as he spoke, and waited until it was her turn to speak.

"Well, I do think the couple looks awkward," Nadia said of the one with the boy and girl holding hands. "I don't know if it looks like they're happy. I sort of got the idea that people could only be so happy at Sadie Hawkins, mostly because they'd then have to save their real excitement for Prom. Other than that, I'm sure most people could see them as happy looking."

Nadia then looked at the one of the wallflowers.

"I think this one is a bit better," Nadia said, "although it's sort of awkward because of how they're placed in the frame. There's a lot of negative space to their right, but that can be cropped out, so it's not that big a deal. I do think it has a little more charm."

"What else you got?"
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Nadia looked at the next photo Sandy showed her. This time, a couple was at the buffet table, a place Nadia found herself gravitating towards during the evening. It wasn't good for her to eat so much junk, but she found the whole evening slightly exhausting, so if she could get some extra energy, she'd take it.

Sandy's worry was that the photo was too casual and boring. Nadia pondered the photo for a moment before she spoke.

"I mean, you could say it's too boring," Nadia began. "I don't know, I feel like it's hard to get much spice from dance photos like this. Maybe if the guy was feeding the girl a chocolate strawberry it would be cool. At the same time, I guess we're not expected to have anything Pulitzer worthy here."

Nadia looked at the photo again.

"I guess if you need a buffet table photo it's good, but if not, I think you can skip it."
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I’m going to skip all of these, at this rate…

Nadia shrugged.

"Eh, at least get a second opinion first," she said. "Maybe the advisor thinks they're Getty Museum quality."

Sandy then asked to see some of Nadia's photos. Nadia turned back to her computer and pulled up the window where she was looking at her pictures.

"I'll admit I don't think mine are that much better," Nadia told Sandy. "I don't know, maybe it was the lighting or the slightly disorienting nature of a public dance, but I feel slightly underwhelmed by my output."

She pulled up two pictures, modifying the windows so they could be side by side.

"So, I figured these two pictures were similar," she continued, "and maybe it'd be better to have one over the other."

The first picture depicted a group of five students all dancing together. They looked like they were standing single file, but were all jamming along to whatever song was playing at the moment. One girl had noticed Nadia taking the photo and gave a huge smile, opening her mouth wide like a bass.

The second picture was of another group of students dancing together. This time, it was paired couples who were slightly standing apart, with the girl in each couple dancing in front of the guy, pressing her back against his chest.

"I feel like the first one is a little more safe, although I worry that smiling girl's face is a no-no since she's looking at the camera. The second one feels more sexually charged, but I think if you cut it down, it might not be as bad, like if I removed the couple on the side or cropped it to be from the chest up."

"Thoughts?"
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Nadia nodded along as Sandy gave his opinions. He was right that the first one needed to go since that one girl decided to give a big open smile to the camera. It wasn't the girl's fault for not knowing professional photo etiquette, but it did mean that no one was likely to see the picture. In a way, it's almost as if that moment never happened.

Sandy was in agreement about cropping the second photo. Nadia tried to mentally picture what the photo would look like if it was cropped to the waist up. Sure, you could no longer see that the guy's hands were on the girl's waist, but she could trim it enough so it didn't look like his hands were chopped off in a farming accident. She could probably zoom in as well to make it look better.

Sandy then said they needed to think of the relationship between the photos. Nadia nodded.

"Yeah. I guess it's all about the kind of moments and images that work best together. Couples dancing and being romantic is a must. I think more casual, relaxed photos as well, like any pictures of kids sitting and talking as well. And, I dunno, faculty? Maybe it'd be fun to see one of the teachers or chaperones attempting to fit in with the kids by dancing or mingling."

"Is that what you had in mind?"
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Sandy agreed with Nadia's assessment. Nadia looked back at some of the other pictures she had taken from the dance. Based on her idea for how to fill a yearbook spread for the dance, she was sure she could find better photos among her SD card. She already had one photo she could crop, so there were probably some that would require less editing.

Sandy then announced he was heading out and would pick this up tomorrow.

"That's cool," Nadia said."I've got some stuff to do now, so I'll probably come in tomorrow with more options."

Nadia watched as Sandy left the room. She could edit the one Sandy approved photo and then head home. She yawned, and began to edit. She couldn't wait to be done looking over these photos. They weren't the worst photos she had taken, but Nadia had found them less exciting compared to her regular photography.

Either way, a job is a job, so Nadia kept at work until it was time to leave.

((Nadia Riva continued in Flashing Lights))
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