Shoot Loop

I randomly worked on a few shots today, so I’ll just upload them quickly and see what comments arise from each one. They aren’t unified in any way, but I’ve given up on generating thematic blog posts at this point when it comes to photography. So here goes, and I guess the theme is “the shots I’ve processed since I last uploaded.”

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Hang with me and this is bound to happen at some point

One thing this shot makes me think of is the fact that I really want to upload some pics of the studio and the tiny little space I was working with for full-body and jump shots. The backdrop ends right above Tamara’s head, so many jump shots were ruined by heads or hands moving past that line. But I liked this freewheeling leap, so I did the best I could with it anyway.

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I really liked Tamara’s profile here. This one was taken pretty early in the shoot, as we all were trying to loosen into our roles; as the photographer, I’m still unfamiliar with guiding people through the process of getting their pictures taken, but this was one of my first attempts to get the models into a position I liked and provide them some direction.

And now for my favorite of the three I edited today (didn’t edit nearly as much I usually do when I’ve got new material to work on; but Candace and I wanted to make a shopping trip during Spring Break, so that’s what I did with most of my day).

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The idea to pose while lying down came from Candace; it was my idea to have them close their eyes. I took a lot of shots while they were down there and have several I want to process, but so far I’ve only gotten one done. Many of the shots were ruined by the fact that I was unwittingly standing directly in front of a light source while shooting – I had to get up on a step stool to aim down at them, which not only created shadows but also made for some wonky framing; still, there are a few that are salvageable.

That’s it for today, but tomorrow I should be able to edit more, as well as possibly take a few shots of my hair after I get it done (it’s time for my 3-month trim and dye job). I like to take pics right after getting my  hair cut because my stylist can actually dry my hair so that it appears to have volume, whereas when I do it it’s pretty flat (unless I leave it curly, in which case it appears unbrushed). I can actually feel hair brushing against my shoulders now, which hasn’t happened in well over 10 years, so it’ll be nice to show you all how much it’s grown.

 

Pictures Accomplished

Monday was the day of the big shoot, and although I was nervous in the beginning, things went OK overall. The studio was a lot smaller than I expected, and by the time we’d gotten about halfway through I was getting sloppy –  for example, I noticed after the fact that when I switched to my 85mm lens for portraits, I forgot to change the camera settings so most of them were out of focus, stuff like that – but since we took over 600 photos, I was able to salvage plenty even when I screwed something up.

My right arm is killing me, because I’ve been editing obsessively since I got home around 5 PM and it’s 11:15 now, so I’m going to keep this post brief and just share the first little sampling from the shoot. I’m most likely going to be working with these photos for awhile, so as I get into more specific sections of the shoot in days to come I can talk about issues I encountered throughout the day. For now, let’s just look at the ones I processed initially (some of these I chose first because my friends really liked them, others because I did).

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I think I mentioned previously that I had a vintage vision going on for the shoot, so I processed this one in a manner that gave it that feel. The poses were a little awkward here, because it was at the start of the shoot and it always takes awhile to get in the groove, but I thought the stiff formality of it rather worked in this shot. Of course, there’s the wreaths I spoke about in a previous post, and the costumes are all mine as well – you probably recognize some of them from other photos!

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My friend Candace (on the right) has no shortage of crazy concepts, and she is game for anything – the posing here was her idea. It was a very crisp, clear shot originally, but to give it a ghostly quality (and to make it make some kind of sense) I added a little movement blur, and some subtle fog at the bottom, as well as some texture.

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Tamara is very into yoga, so once Candace mentioned it might be fun to try out a few yoga poses in nightgowns (Tamara’s dress is actually an old ball gown of my mother-in-law’s) she started to loosen up a little too – literally as well as figuratively. I love this next move she executed (I can’t remember the name of the yoga pose) but I’m a little concerned it looks like she’s doing something obscene…? I swear she isn’t!

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The yoga photos are pretty small,  because the truth is this studio really wasn’t big enough for full body shots – I actually have more width to work with in my little office! So I had to crop the hell out of them, which is a shame, because it makes them noisier and reduces size so much. Working with a paper background was nice as that’s not something I’ve done before, and it eliminates all the wrinkle and crease issues I have with my muslin, but there just wasn’t very much of it. Literally right out of the frame to both sides of Tamara in the shot above, the paper ended and we were just looking at studio. It’s really a place for portraits only, but oh well. We made do (and for added fun, it was clear the woman working in the office there was not used to photographers using her space for this sort of thing – I think it’s a family portrait type place only, being in the part of town it is – so she kept peeking around the corner to see what the hell was going on, in a nice way, but still I got the feeling we were freaking her out just a little bit).

True to the weird ideas she comes up with in shoots, Candace also chooses crazy shots to want processed, which is amusing to me because as you can tell, she is photogenic as hell (she has skin that gives meaning to the phrase “peaches and cream”) and she cannot take a bad photo, but she always wants copies of the ones where she’s half-blurry, or falling out of a tree or something (just kidding, no one fell out of any trees during this shoot). Anyway, she chose this one as a favorite, which I popped off without any real thought or focus while we were standing in the back alley after the shoot talking about what we were going to do next. Notice she is wearing that fabulous faux-fur vest I got at Nordstrom a while back; the owner of the studio also rents out props, and told me I should rent out that vest to people for photos because it’s so fabulous. Remember  who convinced me to buy it in the first place? Yep. Candace.

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Obviously I Pixlr-ed the hell out of this one, because why not? Candace likes ’em crazy. If you look closely, you can see that I superimposed the photo of them facing each other into the trees. And yep, there’s the fur vest!

Soooo much more to come. Remember, over 600 shots people. In my mind, I will focus on a different section of the shoot in each post (yoga poses, jumping, levitation, portraits) but most likely that will not happen, and I’ll just work on a few each day then upload those results. Get used to these two faces though, because you’re going to be seeing a lot of them for awhile!

A Few Shots From Wednesday

I got all dolled up and shot a whopping 398 photos the other day. That may be a new record for me. For part of that time I decided to play around with my new Canon Speedlite 600 EX-RT, using it as a master to control my old 430 EX-II. I bought a Field Guide to get the basics of the new flash down when I bought it, but I’ve never been much good with written instructions, or remembering  details, for that matter. My main mode of operation is to randomly punch buttons and move stuff around and see what happens, which is why I haven’t done much experimenting with this new flash; it really sucks to spend 1.5 hours getting dressed for a shoot and have all the photos turn out like crap, so I’ve been using the 600 much as I used the 430. But I spent less time in makeup Wednesday and more time screwing around with my flashes, and the end result is that I have a ton of interesting shots I’d like to process; I’ve been working on that like crazy the past day or so.

I’m including a gallery of the shots I’ve processed so far; I am not sure how many of these will end up being favorites. Much like when I wrote poetry, I tend to love everything that is new but only a few end up making the long-term cut. I also think some of these need to be re-edited now that I’m looking at them again. And I did find some nice blooper shots I can share later, haven’t had time to process those yet.

And can I go on for brief second about the outfit? I found the gold sparkly harem pants (that’s what we called them back in the early 90’s) at an online store called Thrifted and Modern; they usually have some great vintage on sale. That flowy top was bought cheap somewhere I can’t remember and has  been used in more photoshoots than I can count. The wig is called Drew, it’s by a manufacturer named Beshe, and it only costs about $40. It is fabulous and I ordered it in four colors. Oh, and you can get the glasses at Amazon here.