Rising Light is a monthly article series highlighting promising photography students from all over the world. In this first article we meet Casey Jade who is a Photography Major at the College of Southern Nevada. Casey used Pro-B4 Battery Generators to freeze splashes of milk. Here is how she did it.
Casey Jade chose the College of Southern Nevada because, unlike most other colleges that focus on the fine art aspects of photography, it actually offers a real-deal commercial photography program.
Considering the fact most artsy types her age make little of the business end of making art – Casey ‘gets it’. She especially appreciates the fact her teachers actually earn their livings as photographers, they don’t just teach it.
“This school is amazing. Honestly, I wouldn’t trade the experience for the world”.
Casey credits her camera talents for affording her the ability to illustrate people and places that stand out to her. Some artists paint, some draw, some throw clay, and some – like Casey – take pictures. By refining her design skills she also came to realize that by controlling lighting ratios she could enhance the look of and the feelings created by whatever it was she was photographing.
“Lighting makes or breaks a photograph, it really does. I understand the subject matters but the light is what really makes a photo”.
As for inspiration, Casey relies heavily on her gift to ‘see’ things around her that others seem to overlook. “Things I think are gorgeous other people seem to pass by and totally miss.” This ability to see details in the world led her to explore design elements and learn how shadows, highlights, and lighting ratios are essential element of good design and more important – great photography.
She credits photographers like Brooke Shaden, Steve Jaroslav-Wieczorkiewicz, and Stephen Wilkes for both their technical skills and their abilities to create photographs that capture one’s eye and make the viewer more aware of the world around them. Their influences are reflected in many of Casey’s pictures.
Casey has been using Profoto for school assignments and many personal projects. She first crossed paths with Profoto lighting gear when she started school and it didn’t take long for her to realize the possibilities they afforded her. The more she played, the more she found herself pushing the limits of her creative and technical abilities. In particular, she was floored by the types of pictures she was able to capture using Pro-B4.
“I’m super proud of my ‘milk’ photographs” referring to a series of images capturing milk droplets exploding off from the surface of a snare drum. Using the sound sensor as a trigger and setting the flash duration to 1/25,000th second, she was able to capture incredible details of the liquid blasting off the drum set milliseconds after the sticks strike the skins.
“The detail and clarity is simply amazing, and I was able to capture the coolest of images.”
Despite her enthusiasm Casey makes no bones about the realities of going pro in a world full of an ever-growing number of picture-takers.
“The competition in the commercial and fine art world is unreal. So many people out there have cameras and phones containing the type of technologies that allow anybody to be a “photographer”. I’ve been going to school for years honing my skills and there are so many people out there toting automatic cameras their uncle bought them at Best-Buy – and everybody thinks the pictures coming out of these cameras and phones are fantastic. Skill sets are secondary and that’s a problem for me and anybody else planning on going into the creative or commercial arts.”
Already looking to the future, Casey’s opened a small studio back in 2012 and has started shooting portraits, events, and just about anything else to perfect her shooting skills. Like many shooters at her stage of the game she hopes to be able to shoot a satisfying blend of commercial and just enough fine art work to keep her creative juices flowing.
My guess is Casey Jade will actually pull it off.
Photographer: Casey Jade
School: College of Southern Nevada
Profoto gear of choice: Pro-B4 Battery Generators
Visit her website: www.caseyjadephoto.smugmug.com