Saturday, July 18, 2009

A Torey Affair - Love in an Elevator

This weekend I participated in the 2nd Annual Worldwide Photowalk in Paso Robles, CA with two other photographers; Brian and Joe. We got to hang out with Strobist and photographer Syl Arena from 9:00 AM until 12:00PM. Syl dropped by around 2:00 PM while we were in the alley and helped out with our Model Shoot. SWEET. I'm getting ahead of myself. On Thursday, two days before the Photowalk, Brian suggested we send out some Model Mayhem invites to see if any models would be interested in shooting with us while we were in Paso Robles. I searched and found a beautiful newbie Torey Nicole, and shot her a quick e-mail letting her know I would be in her area Saturday. We talked Friday and she agreed to shoot with me and the guys, and meet us at the Downtown Brewing Company at noon. She was punctual, and very statuesque. Torey is 6' 2" and is just stunning.

We decided to do two to four outfit changes starting with a cocktail dress at the Downtown Brewing Company. The Brewing Company has a lounge area complete with a fireplace, couches and other pieces of furniture. The area is kinda small, so I started moving stuff around and sunndenly other photographers from the Photowalk came over and started watching. One photographer even loaned us a mini-softbox and Brian loaned me a full CTO gel for my SB-900. Joe was my key grip and he would hold the light in the proper 45 degree position. Thanks Brian and Joe!!!

As we moved around the brewery, I spotted a "stinky, crappy elevator" as Torey put it. This shot was done with one flash. I have about another 150+ photos of beautiful Torey, and the guys probably have another 300 combined.

We had to call it quits after our third costume change around 4:30 PM. We had been shooting since 12:30, poor Torey hadn't eaten and the temperature was hovering around 105. Like I said, she was a real Trooper, and here is my final pic of that locale. Single SB-600 in behind the model with a Red Gel, using my 70mm - 200mm lens.

See more photos from our shoot on my Flickr account

Camera Info:
Nikon D700
Nikon Nikkor 2.8 24mm-70mm ED Lens
ISO 200
f/stop 2.8
Shutter 1/60
Focal 48mm
mode: Aperture Priority

Strobist Info:
D700 Command Mode -0.7 E/V
SB-900 TTL -1.0 E/V CTO Gel and mini-softbox camera right 45 degrees and at Joe's arm length high (Don't ask why it was -1 E/V, most likely negligence on my part)

What did I learn? Have plenty of photographers around who are strobists because they have cool gear and are willing to share it.

One more Shout out!! Thanks Syl!!! You are an awesome and unselfish photographer.

That's A Wrap!!!

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Secret Revealed

She found out...
She found out...,
originally uploaded by Illusive Photography.
I received a TXT message on Monday from Katrina, you know kids these days, that's how they communicate. Anyway, Katrina asked if we could shoot Tuesday, July 7, since it's been awhile since we've collaborated on anything. I agreed and we decided on 6:00 PM. Lo and behold, as I pulled up to my house there she was. Katrina had an idea about doing some half shots and head shots with some silver make-up simulating a mask. Luckily I hadn't put my gear away from this weekend's shoot with Sarah. Katrina (a.k.a. Cheat) only had an hour to shoot, so we worked quickly and managed to get some really fun shots. During a lighting change she picked up one of the mags I leave in my studio to give me lighting and posing ideas. As Cheat was perusing the mag, I quietly squeezed the shutter and captured this candid shot.

Not much on the lighting, simple Cosmo style with an accent light, seamless paper and just some fun. It was good to shoot with her again. Hopefully we can do some outdoor evening shots soon. Summer is tough in Bakersfield with another 100 degree day.

Photo Info:
Camera: Manual Mode
Shutter: 1/125
Softbox at 1/2 power above camera
White reflector below softbox
Accent: 1/4 power 110 degrees camera right

That's A Wrap

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Milton and Sarah - Creative again

I've been having photographer's block since June and decided to lay-off shooting until I felt inspired again. So I re-read some books, web stuff, magazines, and watched some DVDs to stimulate the creative juices. Last weekend I photographed a co-workers friend to play with cross lighting for photographing male models, which can be seen in Frank Miller movies (e.g. Sin City)and felt pretty good about the results. The lighting is pretty simple. Two strobes with barndoors and honeycomb grids set at 100 degrees from camera right and left, feathered towards the camera. Placed directly in front of the camera and model is my 4' x 6' reflector to catch the light from the strobes and reflect back at the model.
Careful attention was also paid to the sunglasses so I wouldn't catch any lights from the strobes or the reflector. The session lasted about an hour and we got some good pictures, but at least I felt creative again.

About two months ago I received a MySpace e-mail from a young lady who knows my model friend, Katrina, asking if I would shoot some pics of her. We tried for months to sync our schedules, but to no avail until finally we agreed to July 4th.

Sarah was on-time and ready to shoot, we decided we'd do some dramatic lighting and then some high key lighting. A quick thanks to my Dad who bought me a roll of Snow White 9' x 36' seamless paper. Anyway, I need to work more on my high key lighting, but I still think I got some good shots of Sarah. The low key stuff, such as the pic above, is still my favorite. The pic above was done with a softbox, 45 degrees camera left, 8 feet high, and a strobe with barndoors and honeycomb grid at 100 degrees for accent, reflector in front of camera pointed up at model about 30 degrees.

What did I learn?
From a lighting perspective, have a model who is patient and fun, that will let you experiment and not be in a rush. Sarah was awesome, she was a blank canvas and took direction well. She also left her cell phone in the changing room, and asked permission to use it. Wow!!! I like her already.

Use your Flash Meter when doing High Key lighting, all that white reflection can throw off your on-board meter. I used my Flash Meter, but also bracketed some shots, too.

Hopefully I've got back my desire to shoot, but only time will tell. I think a majority of the issue is the 100 degree heat wave we've been having here in Bako.

Photo Info:
Shutter: 1/125
ISO: 100
Focal: 95mm
Mode: Manual

Thanks for reading and That's a Wrap!!!

Friday, July 3, 2009

Why Tagging is Good

On April 25, 2009 my family went down to Petco Park to watch the Pittsburgh Pirates play the San Diego Padres. I brought along my D60 since it is a lot more portable than the D700 and started snapping pics. Once I got back home, I uploaded them to FLICKR and tagged them, "San Diego", "Petco Park", blah, blah, blah. Last month I received a Flickr e-mail from, they create maps for iPhones and other handheld devices, informing me that they were considering this photo for inclusion in their Schmap San Diego Eighth Edition. I figured why not, and so today I received an e-mail confirming that my picture was selected and published. I'm Published!!!. So come Monday, July 6, I will tender my resignation from my real, well paying, job and become a full-time photographer... NOT

Check out my sidebar widget which shows what iPhone users will see.

So what did I learn? Be sure to TAG all your photos regardless of how tedious it may be, for one day you might get published like me. :P

That's a Wrap!!!