Thursday, April 30, 2009

Happy Anniversary, Joanne and Kevin!

My friends Joanne and Kevin are celebrating their first wedding anniversary today.

You can see highlights from their wedding via this link.

To celebrate, I found the perfect anniversary card for them at JibJab.

Try JibJab Sendables® eCards today!

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Experimenting with triptychs

Tiara recently asked me to do some multipanel images from our shoot together. I did a little research and learned that these types of images are called triptych (pronounced "trip-tick").
These are pretty easy to setup in Photoshop. I opened up the center image, expanded the canvas size to 3x the width of it, then imported the other two images and placed them to the sides. The red border is done by making a rectangular selection around each frame and adding a stroke of about 7 pixels. (sampling the red color from her outfit)

This was done in the same manner. Had a bit of trouble trying to match the colors between all three images. Still don't think I got it right.

This next one is called a tetraptych, since there's 4 panels. In the first version I made of this, the upper left shot was one of Tiara chugging a Red Bull. Thought it would make a cool ad, but she had me replace it with another shot because Red Bull wasn't sponsoring us for the shoot.

Anyone from Red Bull wanna hire us for a shoot? ;-)

This last triptych is actually the first one I made for Tiara, and is of my favorites. Looks like she's leaping up to slice her enemy in half.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Cool shots by accident

This is from Sunday's photoshoot with Tiara. Lighting was an AB 800 with a beauty dish gelled with an orange gel and a 1/8 CTO gel. My Canon 5D was custom white balanced through the gel before the gel went on the dish.

I was mostly set on 1/250 @ f8 during the shoot, but at one point I accidentally switched the camera to Bulb mode while continuing to shoot. Bulb mode on the camera keeps the shutter open until you let go of the shutter button. This image was exposed for about 1 second,so the background blurs from the motion of the camera. The reason the model is sharp in spite of the camera movement is because the flash fired right before the shutter closed, freezing the action. It's kind of a nice effect, and something that I think I'll experiment with more on future shoots.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Weekend martial arts photoshoot

Did a photoshoot this past Sunday with Tiara, a model from Oahu that I met through makeup artist Kahulani. We were assisted by Quddus, a cinematographer who also acted as our stunt coordinator and weapons expert.

Kat (Kahulani) wanted to do some headshots with Tiara, so initially, that was all I thought we were going to shoot. While they were doing the makeup, however, I learned that Tiara is also a martial artist and in fact was ranked #1 black belt point fighter in the North American region in 2004.

I had always wanted to do a martial arts themed shoot, and luckily I still had my swords at the studio from my last shoot. :-)

We started off doing simple headshots like this:

1/250 @f8 at ISO 100 Canon 1DmkII 7--200mm L lens

The lighting setup for this was a WL800 in a beauty dish, with a 4x6 Photoflex silver reflector to the right and a California Sunbounce Mini silver below her waist for additional fill. The background was lit with 2 AB800 with silver umbrellas. We also used a fan to add some movement to her hair.

For the next look, Kat changed the makeup to match with the silk kimono robe we had, and we added a sword for Tiara to play with. The lighting is pretty much the same as the headshot, but this time we pulled in a black curtain in the back. We replaced the 2 umbrellas on the lights in the back with 2 small strip softboxes with red gels and turned them to aim back at the model. I was trying to get a red highlight in the back of her hair to separate her from the background. Instead the effect was more subtle, making her hair look red. In hindsight, I think I should have taken off the strip softboxes and used just the reflectors with grids and the red gels to give more of a brighter specular highlight on the hair.

1/250 @f8 at ISO 100 Canon 1DmkII 70-200mm L lens

We then setup a small platform so that we could do some full length shots. We kept the same lighting in the front, but took off the red gels from the lights behind her. I also replaced the beauty dish with a medium softbox and grid.

1/250 @f8 at ISO 100 Canon 1DmkII 28-70mm L lens

Tiara's skill in martial arts is amazing. She also has this great energy which really helps when you try to nail shots like this:

1/250 @f8 at ISO 100 Canon 1DmkII 28-70mm L lens

We added an AB800 with a 7" reflector and 30 degree grid with a 1/8 CTO and mounted it on a C-stand above her to put some additional highlights in her hair. Since we were going to have her jump, we raised all the lights so that their height would match Tiara's position in the air ( and she can jump pretty high).

After a couple of practice jumps, we caught one of my favorite shots of the day:

1/250 @f8 at ISO 100 Canon 1DmkII 28-70mm L lens

All in all, it was a great shoot. I went in thinking we were just going to do some simple headshots, and we ended up with so much more.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

More from this weekend with Karin and Tasha

A few more images from the shoot this past weekend.

Natural lighting on this shot of Tasha - Canon 5D with an 85mm 1.8 lens. I really like the looks I get with this lens.

This was also shot with the 85mm 1.8 lens. Used a silver Lastolite trigrip reflector for fill.

Chaz, the other photographer on this shoot, did a "Tomb Raider" themed shoot with Tasha. When he finished, I had Tasha put on a white shirt and shoulder holsters over her tomb raider outfit and had her whip around a few times to get this shot.

This last shot of Karin is one I've been wanting to do for a few years. It's a shot inspired by photographer Bill Lemon. I actually shot something like this a few years ago for another model for her own portfolio use only, and I liked the lighting style so much I wanted to recreate it for my own portfolio.

It's a pretty simple setup. The black background is about 10 feet behind her and she is sitting on black satin sheets. The lighting is just one WL1600 in a small softbox aimed down at her. I can't remember if I had the grid on the softbox or not.

What I really like about this shot is that because of the shadows created by the light and her pose, you can't really tell if she is wearing anything. She appears to be nude because your mind fills in the blanks. I like images that make you think.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

A very busy weekend

This past weekend I did a joint shoot with Chaz from and models Tasha Woodfall and Karin Mie from Honolulu. Makeup was provided by Jessica Waite and Leah Yniguez. It was a two-day shoot, including studio work, sunset at the beach, and shooting at the warehouse. Extremely exhausting, but a lot of fun, and made some new friends in the process.

Karin is a Japanese Brazilian model that I've wanted to collaborate with for a while, ever since I met her on Model Mayhem. She was very fun to work with.

One of the first shots I wanted to do with her was a headshot, as I had not seen any headshots on her portfolio at all. Jessica did some excellent work with Karin's makeup and hair, which made my job much easier.

This headshot was done with a WL1600 in a medium softbox with a 4x6 silver Photoflex reflector for fill. Her hairlight is an SB26 with a grid.

The lighting for this shot is an AB800 in a medium softbox with a grid for her main light and an AB800 in a small strip softbox with a grid behind her for an edge light.

We went to the Cove to try to get a sunset shot. Unfortunately, the weather didn't cooperate, so we had to improvise. This headshot was one of the first shots I took of Tasha at the Cove while we were waiting and hoping for the clouds to pass.

We never did get a good sunset, so we tried a different approach. This is lit with an AB800 and a beauty dish.

More to come.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Sunday at the Cove

Did a swimwear shoot at Makena Cove this past Sunday morning with models Christine and Anna. Stylist Dan Sanchez did some amazing work on their hair.

For most of the shoot, we used two silver California Sunbounce reflectors - the Pro and Mini sizes, and the results were pretty good.

I really want to order more of these reflectors now. They work so well that I probably will never go back to those round collapsible reflectors.