Gauntlet: Photographer in Transition


by Gary Fong
Photographer: Rachel Owens,
Figure 1Figure 2
Young photographers seeking to know more about photography always touch my heart. Before I get myself in trouble, it’s not limited to the young…but knowledge seekers can also be inquisitive youthful thinkers encased in old bodies.
Rachel Owens is neither old nor young…but “just right”…at the stage of her career where exploring her craft is a passion. She spent a couple years watching the light and witnessing her extremely youthful subjects defy the coaxing of watchful parents.
At the moment, photographing children and family seems to be her strength, with an eagerness to transform her photographic world into an instrument that would touch lives she’s not yet encountered.
Now for the Nit Picking
Rachel’s cuddly image of father and son is rich in treasured moments. Not only will the family cherish the photo, but of the “family of man”, it could become a generational icon.
Her eyes see delicate light, allowing the viewer’s eye to transcend from the child’s boyish haircut to the father’s parental bliss. It’s a delightful moment dad’s will appreciate in their rarified reflective thoughts.
However, Rachel’s walking silhouette is a bit centric for me.  By cropping the right side at the tree line, a stronger upwardly directional frame would contribute to more generic detail. Without the crop, the eye initially moves to the center; then to the right toward the highlight on the car.
It’s the simple techniques that improve an image for a lifetime. A quick “dodge” (lighten the darkness) around the man’s head, would offset the couple from the background. It allows them to sit nicer in the composition.
It takes a sensitive eye to see where the visual flow and balance is moving.  It takes a sensitive eye to see the light. Rachel has both and a transitional style that will take her wherever she wishes to be.