For my first time ever, I participated in an instagram meetup. Specifically, in the town of New Haven – where my studio is located. The people (from all around new haven) were gathered and hosted by #artilerya aka Alvin aka Garseeyuh. He along with a couple other key hosts: @photolo5 & @_7vn were able to get a bunch of people (around 30) to meet up in downtown New Haven and lead a photowalk for around 3 hours.
We visited a few spots near YALE campus and the surrounding area. I jumped right in utilizing wireless, external speed lights and a fast, prime lens to find my bearings. The most interesting thing for me was not only meeting 30 new people that shared the same passion I do, but also seeing how they interpret that passion and how they approach a subject. When searching the hashtag #projectshutter and #lo5x7vn you’ll come across similar subjects, but all with different approaches. Whit certain restrictions (for example limiting myself to an 8GB card only) I placed on myself, I tried to do the same. I wanted the walk to be a challenge, but also at the same time with my approach and style.
I’m happy with some of the images I made. Below is a gallery of a few selects. I’m excited to join the next one and see what we all come up with.
Wow. I had such a great time shooting with Jill the other night. Not only because she’s, beautiful and not only because she’s talented and not only because she had an awesome vintage Honda Cl350 and NOT ONLY because it was the perfect night… but because it was also awesome to collaborate with friend and fellow photographer Matt from BSC Photo. I had an overall concept of what I wanted to accomplish and feel like I hit a good amount of the shots I wanted, but not without thanks to the conversations and planning I had with Matt. Being able to bounce both creative and technical ideas was great. Check my Instagram for some of the behind the scenes, but needless to say we were hanging out the back of my car, shooting Jill and at one point (because of Matt’s idea) had a strobe suction cupped to the side of my car. It was a blast and I can’t wait to experiment with photographing this type f movement again.
I found it difficult to make a bad photo of Amber and Kira when we visited Elizabeth Park in Hartford. My plan was to intentionally go up under harsh lighting conditions to test out some new lighting techniques. Well, wouldn’t you know it, some clouds came in and perfectly blocked the sun allowing just the right amount of light for a mid-day shoot. At first I was bummed that I couldn’t play with the new ideas that I had, but then quickly got over it as I had; two beautiful models in a beautiful location with… BEAUTIFUL light. It doesn’t get much better than that.
After posting this image on my Facebook page I received an inquiry about seeing the original photo. I can see why that may have been a thought in someone’s mind because the retouched image does have a very illustrative look. I love working with that style. Taking photos and turning them into a more comic book, stylized, painterly look.
Below you’ll see 2 images. One is cropped in a bit so you can see more detail and the other is the full length photo. From left to right, is the raw shot right from the camera (Canon 5dmk3), then the image after being processed in Lightroom 5 and finally after opening that processed image in Photoshop and adding the finishing touches. I actually bring it back into Lightroom for a few more tweaks (coloring and vignettes).
The lighting and positioning is really what brings this image together. I started with my model mimicking the pose of her holding a flame in her hand. Which was directly below a green gelled speedlite. There was also an additional green gelled speedlite (camera right) that directed a little bit more of green on her body. There were a total of 6 lights used 4 Paul C. Buff Einsteins and 2 Speedlites Canon 580exii. They aren’t shown in the image so I’m including a rough diagram of the lighting setup below. The key light (camera left) was a large soft box and the rim lights were narrow soft boxes (camera left and right). There was also blue gelled hair/rim light (camera left).
Hopefully that provides a little bit more insight in on the workflow and setup of this shot. I love incorporating Photoshop into my workflow, especially for shots like these. I always keep in mind the final result when shooting and hope that my settings get me there.
Questions? Drop a comment.
Big congratulations to Jen & Alex! A couple lucky enough to find one another and lucky enough to have the weather clear out for them just in time. This being right after some Friday the 13th, full moon storms.
Here are just some of my favorites from that day. Many more to come!
Nick reached out to me and asked if I would photograph him as he did a cut and style. Now, I’ve worked with hair stylists before and I would snap the occasional behind the scenes photo to document the photo shoot that we were doing. Plus, it’s cool to see what went on before the final image was created. In this case, the BTS photos are the final photos, so I wasn’t sure what the expect when shooting, or when I was done. I approached it like any other shoot though, planning, setup and execution.
I knew I wanted high contrast and that eventually I would process the images as black and white. So, I did what I almost never do; I previewed the images as black and white vs color on the back of my camera. This was super helpful because I knew what my end goal was and shooting this way allowed me to get a great idea of where my tones were without having to transform into a dog. Many times when I’m shooting, I can visualize what a color image will look like as a black and white because of the tones and contrast in an image. This tiny change made a huge difference.
I almost never shoot just black and white images, especially in studio with a full lighting setup – in this case, I used 2 – 72″ shoot through umbrellas as rim lights and a 22″ beauty dish as my key. I’ve got to say, I really like how they turned out and think it works well for the subject matter. We played with a few different scenes and some variations of the light, but overall I early dig how it turned out.
As serious as these photos appear, behind the scenes, these guys are just fun to hang around with. At one point, I recall the guys breaking out into a hoedown sing-along. Something they do to pass the time when touring on the road. With ages ranging from 15 to 23, I couldn’t help but feel like the “old guy” in the room. In my mind I was just playing the wisdom card, as to not focus on my lower back pain at the time. Haha.
When I first heard their sound, I told myself that 16 year old me would like these guys… as it turns out 32 year old me likes them too.
This first image worked really well as a black and white, back-lit, dramatic photo and I liked it. I also thought it might look cool with some texture, so I decided to go through some of my archives of photos and add in a background…
This is the same image as the one above, but I just added in some gritty abandoned warehouse (super original I know, but it works) to the background. The effects I wanted with the back light is still there, now with some texture. Man I love photoshop.
Jen and Alex have an energy that surrounds them and puts them in their own world. The best way I can describe it is… well, I can’t describe it but I think I can capture it. Congratulations to Jen and Alex. I’m looking forward to shooting their wedding in 2014.
My friend Mike has (had actually, he sold it the day after we shot it – pretty good timing) this really cool vintage Kawasaki Motorcycle. a ’78 KZ 650 SR to be exact. Mike and his buddies like to get old mororcycles and fix ‘em, tune ‘em up and get them looking nice and pretty again. Well, that’s exactly what he/they did with this bike. I saw it in the parking lot and decided that I needed to do my first “guy on a motorcycle” shoot. I wasn’t sure how I wanted to shoot it until I saw an instagram image that his fiancé took of him on it. Something clicked (pun intended) and we set out to shoot under a bridge. As it turns out, under the bridge (insert red hot chilli peppers song) wasn’t as cool as I thought. We ended up inbetween two old factory buildings and it worked out great. He found access to an old garage and that was a great find too.
There was this ongoing joke that I was “breaking new ground” that night with the photos I was taking. Hence the tagline. Ya know, a gungy alley and there were train tracks in some shots too. It doesn’t get more innovative than that. Haha.