Archive for July 2010

Spaghetti with meatballs

July 20th, 2010 — 4:13pm

Spaghetti with meatballs

Spaghetti with meatballs

KayLee, a model I have worked with before, and I headed to an Italian restaurant to do a spaghetti and meatballs portrait. When we got there, at about 11am, the table next to the one with the map of Italy over it was taken up by three cops. I talked to them and reassured them that they would not be part of the picture  KayLee came to me whispering if she was going to be arrested for taking a pic next to a glass of wine, as she is under 21. I reassured her that the cops where busy with their own meatballs and they could clearly see that the wine was just a prop. With all that out of the way I ordered this mega spaghetti plate for her and set up the lights.

Lighting: two SB800 flashes. One, the key light, set to camera right on a stand, with a 32 in thru umbrella. This light was about 4 feet above her and feathered. One with a 20 degree grid set 3 ft over the table and pointing down on a Nano stand with a C-stand arm attached to it. I was afraid to set up a full C-stand in this tiny place.

D700 camera with 70-200mm lens and Pocket Wizards controlling the flashes manually.

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Daniel, landscape apprentice

July 10th, 2010 — 9:44pm

Daniel enjoying his landscape work

Daniel enjoying his landscape work

It was a fun project this rainy afternoon, and the photo was done while the rain was coming down in front of my house - fortunately, it was just a drizzle.

First the inspiration from this shot came from two places - one, the Mexican landscape guys came this morning and I saw them not walking, but running with the mowers. The second source of inspiration was the Germany-Uruguay match I watched on Univision - all those players in the air on the replays. My son invited a buddy of his, Daniel, fellow soccer player, to come home and I mentioned this idea of doing a reckless mower ride with them. Daniel’s face lit up when I explained what I wanted to do (but didn’t know how to do) and said “Can I go first?” - so he got the honors.

Ok, without further ado, here is the pullback picture and I’ll explain how the image was fabricated.

The image was created right in front of my house using ambient light and two flashes. I am really enjoying using my new EX600 flash for these images, and in this case I added an SB800 as well. I underexposed ambient by over a stop. As it was raining ambient light was rather weak.

The camera was on the tripod and both the camera and the mower remained unmoved in order to shoot the two frames it took to create the final image. This was important so that I could overlap the images with a minumum amount of postprocessing work.

The first frame was just the lawnmower with nothing behind it. I asked Daniel to lift it from the front so that I could have a shot of the background without the stool, in the same position it would be in the second frame…This would make getting rid of the stool very easy by painting this are of the frame from this image.

The second frame had Daniel acting while laying flat on his belly on top of the stool you see on the image above. I asked him to bend his legs back, to wear the hat in a certain way, and to express the feeling of being pulled hard by a lawnmower. He lifted the front of the lawnmower up the same amount he had lifted before for the first shot, but this time pulling down as he was laying on the stool. Kids really know how to do this well! 

Digital editing including adding a radial motion on each of the three wheels and a mild motion blur on the background.

That’s all there is to it - what it took the longest was to come up with the idea, the execution was a simple problem solving exercise.

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