Tag Archives: background
I had used the very capable Ashley Rihel: Hair and Makeup Artist on several corporate, meetup and model portfolio assignments. She is always on time and ready to work. During a recent studio session Ashley asked if I would do some trade work with her to develop her MUA portfolio. Always willing to help I said “Sure, let me know”. Soon it went to off into direction I hadn’t expected.Thank you ladies
The original conversation with Ashley was for ‘a’ model and we’d split the studio cost. As time passed it went to 2 models. No worries – headshots only – in and out in under 2-3 hours with makeup.
A few days after setting up for the headshot portfolio session for Ashley I got a message from Gaylee. A friend and fellow photographer; owner of Urban Chic Designs Photography Gaylee had found a studio for rent closer to her home than Dallas and asked if I would go look at it with her. Always willing to help I said “Sure, let me know”.
The studio was on the smallish side but well equipped with background sets. Unfamiliar with the provided lighting equipment my monoblocks and modifiers would work well enough. Gaylee’s a wiz with props and clothing and Ashley wants images for her port – right? The hourly and day rates were very reasonable so we decided – after a beer stop at the local Fuzzy’s – to rent it at the day rate – 8 full hours. Now – all we needed were models.[pullquote align=”left”]Now – all we needed were models.[/pullquote]
Coordination between Ashley and Gaylee worked well and we booked 10 models fully understanding grandmothers tend to pass away on TF shoot days and we’d end up with 4-5 models.
We had 8 show up over the course of the day.
The models, at left, ranged in age from 17-~35ish. White, black, Asian and Hispanic. Experience levels were just as diverse – from brand-new to very experienced. Quite the mix, I was very pleased with the subjects for the all day shoot.
This started as simple session to help a friend’s business. Photographing 8 models in 8 hours for portrait portfolio development taught me a few things also.
Models: (Left to right – top to bottom)
- Cynthia Ann
- Ms Click
- Alisha Lee
- Pocky Pants
- Amanda Rose
Thank you ladies for the experience – you were all great to work with.
I have heard and get asked a lot of questions about Nikon’s CLS’ ability or inability to function in bright daytime conditions. In my experience it really have not been an issue. I pay attention to the speedlight’s position and its sensor location relative to my camera and SU800.
Today’s metering technology is a great asset so I normally let it take the first ‘shot‘ at what it sees in a scene. While I have studio lights and a Vagabond II, there is little I haven’t been able to do with my SBs. The above shot was taken with a single SB900.
It was very sunny in California the day I shot Candice – notice the shadow on the lower left of the umbrella even though the speedlight fired for this behind the scene picture.
In the photograph of Candice above I metered for the shaded portion of her face and let Nikon TTL do the rest.
In the event it does not produce the result I want I adjust the stop (by 1/3 steps) on the speedlight.
Distance is another concern CLS nay-sayers bring up.
In this photograph Jason is holding a 42 inch Wescott umbrella with a SB-800 tucked up in the open ribs point towarded the camera to get the light reflected back to his face.
Behind him is a SB-900 shooting into another 42 inch Wescott umbrella. That c-stand is a good 50 feet away and up the hill about 10-12 feet above Jason’s head.
Line of sight is important – so just pay attention. But I have used the SB8 & 900s behind glass, reflected the signal off of windows, mirrors, cars just about any reflective surface. I have also ‘staged’ the lights to ‘see’ another but not the SU800.
Think of the IR signal like a billiard ball.
I also use the Nikon CLS to fill on cloudy daylight sessions.
While in Phoenix last week I did the entire shoot with these tools:
The only time I have trouble with the system is when I position myself on the wrong side of the speedlight’s optical sensor or move in front of the flash. I use a ballhead so I can quickly rotate the speedlight into the correct position.
I shot a corporate annual conference dinner the other evening, then posted the images on-line for the attendees to download. We used flash at the start of the event. In an attempt to capture the feel of the evening I switched to my Nikkor 85mm f/1.4 IF-D and shot wide open at f/1.4 in the dimly lit rooms.
I love the lens for it’s sharpness and speed. It works amazingly well with the high ISO capabilities of the D700 which I had set to ISO 1000.
Nearly all of the feedback I have received were on the photographs with the heaviest bohek.
“Bokeh (derived from Japanese, a noun boke 暈け, meaning “blurred or fuzzy”) is a photographic term referring to the appearance of out-of-focus areas in an image produced by a camera lens using a shallow depth of field.”
I like the bokeh too but the comments got me to thinking about why. I will hazard a guess that it most closely mimics the human eye’s ability to sharply focus and isolate upon a single subject within a busy field of view.
Pay attention to your vision the next time your gaze is fixed on just about anything. Notice the ‘bokeh’ effect of the background when concentrating on your morning coffee cup; the sharpness of the person across the room while all else seems to disappear.
Let me know.
I’ve spent the last three days here in Washington, DC on business. Meetings with the FAA, HHS and the WAAS office. Long times between meetings and I’ve been done pretty early in the day. So, I placed a casting call on ModelMayhem to see if I could pass the time doing what I like to do, take pictures. 5 or 6 TFCD models responded and I set up sessions with two of them. As my luck would have it – both at the same time. That wasn’t a problem for me (read assistant) or them though so we met at my hotel and headed for the National Mall to shoot. The plan was to use the monuments as the background. Sounded way cool.
We chose the new WW II monument because it had a nice water fountain. We got there around 7pm, good light, not huge crowds. As one model was getting her ticket from the Park Police (wrong way on a One Way street) the other model (Emily) and I set off to set up and shoot along the granite outside wall of the monument. I used 2 SB800s, at first to fill then to light her. Nikon CLS is so cool. So far so good. I get about a dozen shots off when the other model, Danielle walked up. She dismissed the ticket as part of life in DC and we starting posing her along the same wall Emily had used. About 10 minutes later I hear:
Sir – Sir:
I have photographed many young females with massive tattoo displays recently. Most all of them were strikingly colorful; both the young lady and her tattoos. They have held all sorts of jobs, been from various backgrounds and nearly all under 21.
The young never see themselves growing old or their bodies wearing out and loosing its youthful firmness. Although I do not have tattoos, almost got inked one night in Army boot camp back in ’72 though, I can understand one, two or a few tats to mark an occasion, person or event. To have massive, highly visible sleeves at 18 or 19 is not looking beyond the rebellious moment of youthful freedom.
I did encounter a young woman about 2 years ago, she was in her late twenties, who realized life, to include her body, moves on. She asked if I would photograph her tattoos, after a short discussion we agreed on date, time and place. During the session she explained to me her body was ‘failing her’, her words and she wanted to memorialize them as her body is now and not as her children and grandkids would eventually see them.
I am not against tattoos, I enjoy the photographic challenge of lighting them and posing the model to achieve the best effect. I never mention my thoughts about the years to come and how I have learned life and bodies change. I simply take the photographs for their grandkids.