Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Todays Shoot - Jenny Thompson (NSFW)

Jenny FN Thompson (yeah thats probably her middle name)

(click any image for larger view)

Jenny is, and has been an excellent friend, as well as model so I knew I could experiment a little bit with different lighting, and different ideas, and the new lens im still getting used to, with out her being "uhhh whatchu doin?"

SO! Taking in a question from the mighty Steve Prue ( - check out his work - he is incredible) - I decided to experiment a bit with mid range F-stops at ISO100.

Everyone pretty much says that F 8-14 is kinda the sweet spot for taking images, SO I wanted to compare and contrast (result = i cant tell a difference, can you? can you tell Steve? let me know what you think!)

I also shot on-location stuff with only a boomed beauty dish which I have done with bands, but never with a model - I sort of wanted to try it from having a convo with my friend Keaton Andrew, who says he often only uses one light for many of his shoots.

ANYWAY - this is going to be a VERY photo-heavy post - so - youve been warned - ON TO THE PHOTOS!

So I started off messing with two rims in the back up high pointed down and using a soft box boomed a bit up - pointed down for a more fashion type of feel (highlights and mids, no shadows)

I kept on changing the settings for the lights - trying to get shots around F10-14ish - but honestly I wasnt really into this whole look a whole bunch

Anyway, the settings for these images are first image F10 2nd two images F14 - ISO100 - at a 160th. - for the first image (which was actually the last one i shot) I flipped out the 3x4 soft box for a beauty dish for a harsher light. it was at 25% power - and i brought the two rims down to shoulder height and turned them down to 50%

See photos below

After experimenting with lighting, I wasn't really happy with what I was getting so I boomed a beauty dish up high - pointed straight down - but I powered it down a bit to shoot F10 at ISO100

compare this to the first image above - i like this look MUCH better

After that shot I jumped up to F18 (again trying to compare to F10 - and powered up the light from 25% to 50% - not too much of a difference to me, but if you can tell, please let me know... heres a bunch! - also - a ladybug flew into the studio so we took a picture with it! yeay!

After finishing up some in studio stuff - we hit spots around the building with only a single dynalite uni400 w/ a boom - all these shots are just one beauty dish way up high pointed straight down - but again - I turned down to 25% to shoot closer to F14 rather then F22 - again to see if it makes any different in the images

Much to the SHOCK of everyone who knows me... I shot ALL of the on location photos with the 24-70 2.8L - NOT the 16-35 2.8 (WTF RIGHT?) I think i found my new favorite lens for on location photo sessions - its range of wide to tele is AMAAAAZING - i strongly recommend it - as its the FIRST time in 5+ years I did a whole set with out the 16-35 - EVER.

I also did something else I VERY rarely ever do, if ever at all - HORIZONTAL IMAGES IN A MODEL SHOOT! (no 16-35 AND horizontal shots?!? did hell freeze over... mayyybe!)I loved the space in it.

The next set we did in a hallway - and i took alot ALOT of angled shots as the lighting on the model - and on the sides of the hallway was awesome - so getting a bit of that light in the shots was KEY to making this even more creepy.

After finishing up down there - we added... CORPSE PAINT!!!!!

I already shot Jenny for this project but only in studio, and on white with split lighting, so shooting her on location - again with a boomed beauty dish instead of the normal split light dynalite with cold tone umbrellas - so it was cool to change it up a bit

Again these were shot F14-16 - and I shot some horizontal images for it - even though they cant really be used in the book, i dont think... but whateve. And i also started using my black metal logo for the tag instead of the copyright logo - i think it looks way better

After finishing the on location stuff - we finished up in studio - shooting with a boomed beauty dish at 50% power - These were 100ISO F16 - I really liked the hair flip shot from the set before so we played with that a bit more. Again these were shot on white but I brought the dish far enough away from the white to make it go midtone grey - again I shot these with both the 24-70 and 70-200 (mostly the 70-200 for this set)

All in all - I strongly suggest experimenting when you have situations that would not make you look unprofessional if you dont like the shots and you have the time to ALSO get the shots you need.

Experimenting is how you get better as a photographer - always try different things when you can - and try using new gear! i didnt have a boom before January, and I cant imagine working with out it - and now the 24-70 has become an integral lens in my gear.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Todays Shoot - Cheri Rose (NSFW)

It's been a little bit since I was able to do a full model shoot, so I was prepared to shoot for a WHILE, but this shoot actually went by somewhat quickly

AAAND I got to play with my new 24-70 2.8 macro a bit more - yeayyy

So the models name is Cheri Rose, and she is AWEEESSSOME

We started off shooting for the goth/fetish (which is really fashion style nude work to be honest) - which is split lighting 2 3x4 profoto soft boxes on compact 300s at full power

I was shooting these ones at ISO 125 - F16 - at a 160th

After shooting that set we went onto the fine art stuff - which (ive been asked this alot) - I use two velour backgrounds - one hung up and one on the ground - i use split lighting about half way on the bottom background - set at 100% - but I have the model a couple feet in front of the lights in order to only get the scrim of the soft lighting from the 3x4 boxes.

this is shot at F22 ISO160 - at a 160th

After that we went onto the CORPSE PAINT project! woo!

I shot one set a bit differently then in the past - rather then using the same lighting/posing as the fine art on black - I had the model stand between the lights - and honestly didnt really like the outcome because it was kind of.. TOO lit for what I wanted, but I got a couple keepers, and thats pretty much all you could ask for

I dropped the Fstop to 18 for this - and the iso back to 125

why the iso change? - because ive shot the fine art project with the same settings (over 50 models) and will always alllwaayys shoot it at 160 iso for continuity...

anyway - here is a corpse paint shot on black with split light

The close up shot is with the 24-70 macro! starting to really dig that lens..

After that set I boomed a beauty dish as high as possible straight down at 1/2 power - kept it on black - same settings.

After finishing up with black we jumped over to the white background - which again - i pulled the dish back a bit to let the white go grey a bit - and these tend to be my favorite shots for the whole project/series aside from the on location stuff - for these shots i jumped between f16 and f20 - can you tell im getting WAY into shooting close ups of these?

After that - i brought down and broke down the boom - and nearly snapped my god damn wrist off - ugh - i gotta remember to always have help with it - seriously - right now it SUCKS to type - hurts alot! luckily it was my left wrist and wont effect my shooting all week.

Anyway! switched it over to white - split lighting - F18 - still iso125 at a 160th


I cant wait to shoot more stuff on location for this - hopefully tomorrow I'll get to hit the studio - but I cant wait to hit outdoor shoots with this! forests - churches - etc.

anyhoo - ive been asked alot of blog questions on twitter - itd be awesome if you asked on here! :) dont be a-scared - ill answer them!

Monday, March 29, 2010

Todays Shoot - Coheed and Cambria (live)

Coheed and Cambria always bring a bit to the stage in terms of set and lighting.

It seems alot of bands are touring with a white-screen to project onto, which is what coheed had going on today.

Unlike most shows, it seems the lighting was either back lighting, or front lighting, they never really happened at the same time.

Because it was super super sold out, it was so hot that my lenses were all constantly fogging up.

NOTE! if you ever get into that sort of situation - the best thing to do is to take the lens caps off all of your lenses - and take your lenses OUT OF YOUR BAG! - find a safe place for them! - and as they come to the temperature of the room, they will no longer fog.

NOTE!b - when you take a lens out of a cold bag into a hot room it may start to sweat worse then a cold soda can in a desert. your lens being soaking wet is NOT GOOD! so if you want to bring your lenses up to temp a bit slower - bring your bag in early - unzip the back in a safe place - after 20 mins - open the bag - leave it open (safe spot!) then take the lenses out after another 20 mins.

OK! onto photos.

The lighting was very dark - luckily all my lenses are 2.8's but even with that I shot at ISO1000 at a 90th-125th while i shot the first three songs in the barricade (photo pit)

I switched between the 16-35, fisheye and my new toy - the 24-70 (which im still learning that one, but ended up getting awesome shots with it)

here are some of the live shots from the baricade

After shooting the first three songs I was able to shoot a bit of the set from the VIP booth which is directly across the club from, and above the front of the stage.

The goal was to get shots making the crowd look massive, but in the time i put my lens/camera in my bag - went outside for literally less than a minute - upstairs to the vip spot - and boom - all my lenses were fog machines - and my 70-200 that i had not taken out of my bag the whole day - was soaking wet and foggy... soooo i gave them a few minutes - then wiped them a bit, and shot with all four lenses to get super wide, close up, and group shots. I did drop my fstop down to get more of a crowd shot than a band shot for the ultra wide crowd shots.

see a few shots below.