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Catching the Wave in Time

Capturing the Perfect Portrait

July 28, 2016 | by David Moncur

Something you should know about me is that I love photography. I think the connection between man and camera is empowering, and having the ability to transform a moment in time into something timeless is magical.

Now, making the magic happen, that’s the hard part.

A particularly proud moment of mine as a photographer was on a photo shoot for a client – T.H. Marsh Construction. The challenge with capturing a construction site is that the scene is an ugly, stressful mess that allows for no particular thing or person to stand out and make an impression. There are a million moving parts, inconsistencies, lighting drawbacks and dirt…lots of dirt! Plus, in a clean white shirt (that was a mistake) and jeans, with a camera bag and my D800, it was hard to blend in and avoid interrupting the workers in their natural habitat. I needed to tunnel in on something intimate and real.

To me, capturing the right moment with a camera is a lot like surfing. You have to know how to catch the waves and calculate the exact second in time to make a move—it has to be seamless.

As I was shooting, I found that I was drawn to workers who not only seemed un-phased by my presence, but those who gave off a striking energy. Out of all the photos I took that day, there were two portraits that stood out from the rest—they were powerful moments that made me feel connected to the subjects and perfectly captured their rugged and respectable essence in a beautiful way.

At least the judges at 2016 Hermes Gold Creative Award for the People/Portrait category agreed.

I’ll let you be the judge.

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