Thursday, April 24, 2014

Behind the Scenes | Photoshop Breakdown [EARTH]

For those coming late into the game, the whole purpose of this was to learn how to use a light modifier I'd just gotten and wanted to experiment with; 
"...one jazzed Facebook thread later, and we had models, a location, a styler, a coach and a bunch of crazy photographers just out for a good time."

When it came apparent it was going to involve photo-manipulation, I got super excited because it hasn't been something I've been able to explore often.  I'd done a few projects in college and enjoyed doing tutorials, but never went to this scale and I LOVED it.  Hands down, it's going to happen again; it was such a blast.  

Seriously, surround yourself with creative and awesome people up for adventure; it will do wonders for your mojo.  

Anyway, as I said before, this was the first set-up, so Matt was there to help me get the ball rolling...

Cactus V5 Tranceivers for those who want to know...(Photo Credit:  Logan Foll)

Setting up the first shot — originally was going to have them on the couch, but later went with the desk.  (PC: Jonathan Morua)

The lovely Gloria, Rachel and stylist/fellow photog Aimee Burchard.  (PC: Logan Foll)

Setting up shot; compositionally worked better to later have Rachel on a different level. (PC: Logan Foll)

One huge thing to figure out (besides the balance between ambient light and the strobe), was where to place the light.  It seemed to lack that "punch" I was looking for.  Then I remembered what Matt told me before he had to leave:  The closer the light, the more contrasty.  I should've remembered from lighting class (sorry David).
It's the difference between bad 90s flash and Vogue...

Moved the light closer.  Boom.


Aight kids, it's been fun!  Thanks for joining me for the last bit.



'Til next time...

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Photo Manipulation | Elements [EARTH]

Behold:  The epic[ish] conclusion and recap!

This was actually the first basic concept that solidified in the brainstorming process, as well as the first set-up we did.  

Since I knew we'd be shooting in an abandoned area, I thought of how to use the space for "earth," even if now, I realize it would've been a ton easier (and made a lot more sense) if we'd just gone out and shot in the woods somewhere.  Ha.  Groundbreaking, I know.  But at the time, considering my surroundings, I loved the idea of the outside growing in.   


"...as the editing progressed, I loved even more the idea of a "Tree of Life" in the midst of dead surroundings."

And there ya have it.  Here's Earth!....and Air, and Fire, and Water.


[ E A R T H ]






The Models:  Rachel Carithers, Gloria Dortch
The Stuff:  Canon 5D Mkiii, Canon 580 EXii Speedlite, Westcott Rapidbox w/ beauty dish reflector plate, Adobe Lightroom and Photoshop
The Partners in Crime:  Aimee Burchard, Nathan DeWild, Logan Foll, Matt Hadley, Jonathan Morua, Ricky Oliveras, Brandan Roberts


Sunday, April 13, 2014

Behind the Scenes | Photoshop Breakdown [FIRE]

This one breaks the mold a bit, since I didn't actually use the Rapidbox in the way it's intended (which was the whole point of this exercise).  

But we quickly realized that with it pointed at them, the lantern's entire ambience went kaput...you couldn't tell the thing was even lit.  'Dey gaw'geous' but it wasn't what I was going for...

Rachel & Glo

At the time, Jonathan was running around with his LED panel (came in VERY handy, particularly when we did "AIR" and didn't have the lantern light to help with focus), so we popped it behind them and got a neat warm/cool effect.


Photo Credit:  Logan Foll

As much as that helped the ambience, it didn't put off enough light to get some exposure on their arms, etc.  (Not that I was thinking anything along those lines at the time; remember the had-no-concept-yet dealio?  Yeah at that point, Aimee handed them red flowers and a lantern on fire, and that was all we had, lol.)  

Still, I went with the above photo, not thinking about the flames I would try to add in later.  Lo and behold, it made no sense because there was no ambient light on their arms...wommmmp.

"...Soooo I ended up scrapping the idea after about 7 hours of trying to make them fit inside a dark, hollow Redwood...in a forest fire...No go."
Back to the drawing board.  Or rather..."Mommmmm!!"  

Yes, I called my mom (and trusty fresh eyes) to look at it.  I could only sit there and sulk because it wasn't coming together.  I'll spare you what it looked like, but she had an awesome suggestion of them coming out of a sea of fire, and THAT'S when the idea struck that they should be surrounded by lava.

"CUE HARD-ROCK ACCOMPLISHMENT MONTAGE."

Went back and found this one to start with, where we'd stuck the Rapidbox behind them and gave that backlight a little bit more umph.  Even though I took the rim-light out of the final product, it popped enough light into their arms to where it would make sense to have another light source besides the lantern.




AND THERRR YA HAVE IT, FOLKS.  And yup, it most definitely evolved.




Btw, shout out to Leigh Hilbert — in doing Google searches for lava photos, I realized he'd taken a lot of them!  Check out his stuff, seriously, he's incredible.


*Click here if you haven't seen
 [A I R] or [W A T E R]  yet*


Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Photo Manipulation | Elements [FIRE]

Apologies for the wait on this one.  Lesson learned:  have a concept in mind before you shoot.  Sweet Mary, this one was hard.  Totally worth it.  But dang....right-brained agony for days.

Despite the shoot being ever-so-slightly thrown together in the first place, we were pretty solid on concepts — except for fire.  I thought it'd make it easier if we just took out all the surrounding elements and figured out what to do with it later.  W R O N G.  For the love of all things awesome, have a concept in mind and your post-production will go infinitely more smoothly, lol.

Still, it was kind of cool to see this one take shape.  I've found that instead of merely adding to the environment and actually having to fabricate it, the concept evolves with every passing hour.  This can be a pro and con, but meh, I digress.

Herrr it is!  Three down, one more to go...



[ F I R E ]



The Models:  Rachel Carithers, Gloria Dortch
The Stuff:  Canon 5D Mkiii, Canon 580 EXii Speedlite, Westcott Rapidbox w/ beauty dish reflector plate, Adobe Lightroom and Photoshop
The Partners in Crime:  Aimee Burchard, Nathan DeWild, Logan Foll, Matt Hadley, Jonathan Morua, Ricky Oliveras, Brandan Roberts

Theme created by PIXEL HAZE DESIGNS