Behind the lens

Pre-conceived vision becomes photo reality

Sunday, December 21, 2003

Photographer: Mike Yoder

Camera: D1H Nikon digital

Lens: 17-35mm (set to widest angle)

ISO: 320

Aperture: F6.3

Shutter speed: 1/60th

When I get assignments I often start imagining the "best case scenario" of photographs that might match the story. This can be frustrating because I really don't know what to expect, and the photograph in your head is often 10 times as good as what exists in reality.

The story on a break-in attempt at an east Lawrence home resulted in a portrait situation that actually matched some pre-conceived ideas. The screen window on a young child's bedroom had been cut, and the story dealt with the parents' concern for their child's safety.

When I asked to see the location of the window and was told the family still had the cut screen, an earlier idea became a reality. I had the father and his son sit in the room's rocking chair, which got them lower in the window, and I placed a halogen light inside the room to match the light outside. I then went outside the house and shot several frames using the window and screen as a framing device.