History lesson - over.
Having to make creative compromises due to the shortcomings of the kit - over.
What a relief. I used to spend a lot of time lighting scenes to make it look like I hadn't lit them. I used to worry about constantly firing flash units and distracting from the situations that I was shooting. Now, if I light the scene, it is because I want to add a creative twist. This is big. This is really big. This is another pivotal moment.
Looking at the work of other photographers in newspapers and magazines it is really interesting to see how much work is being done without light. So many photographers and photojournalists only ever used lights under duress and regarded flash as a necessary evil. Lighting pictures - especially editorial portraits - brings a different atmosphere and we will be moving away from an era where too many pictures looked the same as one another because we had no choice.
My work is changing. I am really enjoying being able to choose between lit, mixed and ambient styles and switching between them on the same commission. When I light stuff, it's because its the right thing to do creatively - and that means greater job satisfaction, better work and fewer compromises.
© Neil Turner April 2009