Monday, November 10, 2008

Behind the Scenes: Susie

Before I get started with this - it's become clear that I'm going to end up with at least a small shoot backlog and edit later and I think it just gets confusing on the blog when I have a bunch of shoots "coming soon". So I'm going to postdate my "Post Shoot Notes" (blogger lets you do that) for the next free Monday, with the idea that the edited set will be uploaded Friday. I may skip some weeks depending on how many sets I have available, but basically that's going to be the pattern until the end of the year - you can check in Monday, and if there's a new post shoot notes you can expect her set up Friday. If not and you don't like my ramblings, you can skip that week (you'll also find feed icons and a twitter link over in the sidebar if you use those).

Anyway, this will serve as this Monday's entry, so expect Susie's pictures on Friday.

Look at the "before" picture - that's the one with the lights in the frame. This is something you would usually avoid but I just wanted to try this setup with some striplights (which are basically elongated softboxes). It's not too awful here because the grids keep the light more or less straight ahead, and the lights aren't pointing directly at the camera. The one on the left is basically at a 45 degree angle behind her, and the one on the right is pointing right across the frame. In the center of the lit area the backlight's twice as bright as the one on the side.

But what you see here is "model drift". The light's really set up for a fairly small area right in the middle. She's supposed to be making fairly compact poses (staying in the circle of light). But maybe I haven't made it clear or whatever, and she does some cool big pose where she's moved her body to the right (too close to the one light, which is why it's so bright) and extending her leg way out. Well, I can adjust the lights to let her do these kinds of poses, but in the meantime it looks cool, so normally in this situation I would try to salvage something just in case. In this case I decided to zoom out and hit the button even though the lights would be in the frame.

The second shot is simply cropped to 8x10 aspect ratio (which drops out the light on the right) and then with this kind of background you can just grab a big ol' black brush and erase the evidence. Even a purist shouldn't flinch too much at this use of Photoshop because with an enlarger you can always lighten or darken different areas and blacking out one part of the image is easy enough.

And hey, the result's pretty nice.

Would I recommend being that sloppy on a regular basis? No, of course not. But I thought folks might like seeing what a lighting setup looks like and how luck works sometimes.

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