Eric Schwab » You Can Sleep When You're Dead: Blog by Colleen Miniuk

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Apr 302015

“Light and Shadows” photo copyright Eric Schwab

“Light and Shadows”

We go back to the year 1952, in Paris. It sounds paradox but a few years ago the family was confident. The economy was booming right after World War II and Tony was successful with his company in steel business. Reconstruction occurred everywhere and international steel demand was higher than ever before.

One night, Tony met Olivia in his local bar “par Bonheur” on the edge of Paris, only a short hop away from his apartment. The atmosphere has been great this evening, the joy was drawn in each of the guest faces and laughter sounding through the room. Tony had a great day because he won a couple new customers and his sales increased steeply. For him the perfection must have been predetermined and at the end of the night, after plenty drinks, many stories, and a moonshine walk, they ended up together in his apartment.

A few months later Olivia announced that she is pregnant. In the beginning a bit taken by surprise, but happy head over ears and impatient for their first mutual child, anyway, they decided to move together. Adam was born and well cared by Olivia. Furthermore, she managed the household, washed their clothes, and ensured that dinner was ready when Tony came from work at seven.

The years passed by and he had less and less time for his family. “Someone has to bring the money”, he always accused towards her. But generally he didn’t talk too much about his business.

Then, on Adam’s sixth birthday, Tony disappeared. He was gone already when Olivia woke up. Not a word about why or anything else. Worried about her husband and angry to the same time, the mother tried to stave her child off.

After midnight Tony staggered in the bedroom where Olivia sat crying and waiting for her husband for hours. Quietly and with an unsteady voice, she asked him where he had been. Tony stood in front of the bed and watched her with a pitiful look. For many seconds nothing happened. The hesitation of her husband made her even more crying. Then, he reluctantly mumbled that the company was bankrupt, went in the living room, opened a bottle of wine and sank into self-pity.

Why I took the picture: This picture was shot within the scope of our first Assignment “Light and Shadows”. Therefore, the focus was on my new toy ‘Yongnuo’ Speedlite 2.

How I took the picture: I searched after anything in my apartment which could create such a lamellar style. In the end I figured out that the cover of our heater in the hall had this characteristic. I placed this thing next to my sofa and the flashlight right behind. Because I haven’t had a tripod for my flash, I had to adjust the height with my clothes basket as well as a package and a few books, to adjust the right angle of light. Then, I had the idea to dress in kind of “French”-clothing and used the wine bottle to pretend this desperate, drunk man.

I shot the picture with my Nikon D5100 on a tripod, 35mm 1:1.8 NIKKOR Lens and triggered with a remote control. This was my first time using flashlight and in my adolescence easiness, I shot this picture with 1/60 and F/1.8. I like the field of depth, but today I would shoot the picture on 1/100 and increase the light source a little. It is not blurred, but I think it is possible to even increase the sharpness a little bit more.

About the Photographer:
Hi, my name is Eric Schwab. My major is Computer Information Systems in Dresden, Germany and I started photography in the beginning of 2014. Right now I am on my year abroad in Flagstaff and in addition to my major classes have taken beside Intermediate Photography at NAU. As you probably noticed, I am not a writer, but I am stoked to take interesting pictures. The story is meant to head those of you, who don’t see a story themselves, into a possible direction. If you have a different story, please feel free to contact me.

Furthermore, I am not only interested in arranging, composing, and shooting photographs, but also in post editing with Photoshop. Beside photography I love to travel to new places and that’s why I run ‘Just Another Travel Blog’. If you want to check out the places I have travelled since I started my blog or just watch a few more pictures from this class, I would be happy to see you there:

To read more about the Northern Arizona University “Behind the Image: Guest Blogger” project on our blog, please read the introduction at take a minute to leave your insights and constructive comments in the Comment section below – the student would love to hear from you!