Monday, November 23, 2015

The Joy of Fall

Photography has dropped down my priority list as a means of relaxation and creativity, it ranks among blogging, doing laundry and gardening. The only time shooting moves up the list is when I receive a message from one of the models I've worked with in the past. Such was the case when Joy messaged me that she was interested in shooting.  We shot back in July of 2014 and its hard to believe that more than a year has passed.


The theme of this shoot was all Joy's idea, albeit I do shoot risque, or provocative images, but having known Joy for a few years now it was subject matter I wouldn't have considered.  I agreed to do the shoot for two reasons: 1) We work well together and 2) we trust each other.


To demonstrate Joy's dedication and professionalism, we scheduled our shoot November 1 at 6:30 AM. First of all Halloween was the night before our shoot and most young adults like to attend parties, second being ready to shoot at 6:30 AM means getting earlier for hair and make-up.  Joy arrived early and ready to shoot.  She did her own hair and make-up and it was perfect!!!

All lighting is window with the sheers drawn to keep it diffused.  I have never shot at this hotel, but decided to choose a room that faced Southwest, which ended up being the correct decision. 


During a lens changed I realized I hadn't shot any film.  I always bring along my Nikon F5 to shoot some film images and keep my manual focus and manual exposure skills honed.  Due to the low light in the room, I loaded Portra 800 and metered the room in several areas.

Pillow talk


The images above were developed at a local lab. As we were wrapping up I pulled out my Fuji Instax Wide Instant camera.  The first images were too blowout, so I covered the flash with my hand.  As you can tell they came out underexposed, but they definitely look better than the overexposed images.

Overall the shoot was very productive and we were both happy with the images we created.

What Did I Learn?

  • That it's always fun and productive to work with Joy

As usual, here's a photo of my editor scrutinizing my work and ensuring I get "the shot".  

Editor Joy

Thanks Joy for trusting me to photograph you!

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

The Heat Is On

NOTE: I started writing this entry July 12, 2015

As Summer comes to an end in Bakersfield, we're still experiencing temps in the high 90's, I realized I hadn't blogged my last two shoots. My first shoot was early June with Model Erica Morgan, who I've worked with in the past and realized it had been almost two years since we last collaborated.


Erica has a great look and is the consummate professional, she even remembered how I like her hair.  We met early in the morning before the Sun got too hot.  For lighting, I brought an Alien Bee 1600, Vagabond Battery,  22" Beauty Dish and a 1 Stop 4' x 6' scrim.  


My challenge was to overpower the sun and balance artificial light with available light.  Using the Sun as a kicker and the strobe as a key light.

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Even at 9 AM, I had to set the AB1600 at 3/4 power, using a 4x ND Filter, ISO 100, 1/125 shutter and shoot at f/8.  

To escape the heat, we did some interior shots, but that didn't seem to help. I draped the scrim over the top of the car and draped it over the windows to diffuse the light and minimize distracting background elements.

At the end of June, my favorite model, Jenna, called and asked if I would photograph her for San Luis Obispo based Artist.  This was the third collaboration for Jenna, Sydniiee (MUA/HS) and me.


The lighting was done with an SB-900 Speedlight, SB-600 Speedlight, a Westcott Apollo Orb and a HONL 1/4 grid. 


The make-up and hair was stunning and Jenna's choice of vintage clothing was spot on.  This next image was basically what the artist wanted to recreate.


What Did I Learn?
  • I need to set new photographic goals that will rekindle the desire and creativity I exhibited back in 2009.