Thursday, October 23, 2014

Experiences at the Rolando Gomez 2014 Glamour, Beauty & The Nude Photography Workshop - Day 3

Since we were all exhausted from the Hana shoot, we took it easy on the third day and stayed on the west side of the island. Our first stop was at Ironwood Beach.

For this day I was partnered with Elizabeth.  We had previously talked about what she could use from me for her portfolio and video was a priority for her. So on this day, we didn't shoot many stills, and mainly concentrated on using the Sony RX10 to gather video footage we would need for her video.

The sun was already high up in the sky by the time we got to the beach, which limited the types of shots we could do.

I knew that I wanted the opening shot of the video to be a crane move so we set up a lightweight DSLR-Devices camera jib arm.

This was set up on a hill overlooking the beach.  I had Elizabeth down by the water, walking into the wind.  Because of the distance, we relied on using hand signals to communicate - Start, Stop, Repeat. Took several tries before we got a usable take.

Once that was done,  I had Elizabeth repeat her walk along the shore, but this time used the Varizoom Stealthy stabilizer for some steadicam-style shots following her.

We then attempted to get a few slider shots, but the wind kept blowing sand into the track.

Since the group was getting ready to leave, Liz and I agreed to come to this location very early the next morning on the private shoot day to shoot some more stuff.

After a quick stop at Honolua General Store, we drove around past Kapalua for additional locations to shoot and ended up at Nakalele blowhole.

It was a bit of a hike to get down to the blowhole so instead, Rolando pointed out that we could use the compression of a telephoto lens to bring the distant blowhole closer to the subject in the composition.

To fill in the shadows, we used 2 Cheetahstand V850 strobes.  No softbox this time since it was pretty windy here.

Sony DSC-RX10 24-200mm f2.8 iso 800 1/500@f8 

Sony DSC-RX10 24-200mm f2.8 iso 800 1/500@f11 

In hindsight, I should have shot some video footage here too to incorporate into the video, but there were too many tourists down below and I haven't figured out yet how to take out people from video like you can in Photoshop.  Maybe someday....

Sunday ended with a trip to the Old Lahaina Luau and some much needed R&R before the following Private Shoot day.

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Experiences at the Rolando Gomez 2014 Glamour, Beauty & The Nude Photography Workshop - Day 2 - Hana Waterfall shoot

For this year's workshop we got a bit of a late start to Hana, so we ended up skipping the Black Sand Beach that we shot at last year and went straight to 'O'he'o Gulch in Kipahulu ("Seven Sacred Pools" to the tourists) to shoot at the waterfall.

The Waimoku Falls.

A 400' high waterfall.


Now some people you ask around Hana town might tell you it's an easy 1 mile hike to get up to these falls.


To get up to the base of this waterfall, it is a TWO MILE HIKE. 



All along the trail as you're going up, the people coming down from the opposite direction will smile and tell you "It's just a few hundred yards more" or "oh, you're almost there".

These are cruel and sadistic people - don't believe a word they say.

You're not even close until you see this:

And even then, you've still got a LOOOOONG way to go.

It's a beautiful hike - you will cross bridges and hike through bamboo forests. Lots of places that would make awesome settings for shooting a model in.  But if you're gonna suffer through this hike, you're gonna want to shoot AT the waterfall.

It will take you about an HOUR AND A HALF just to get up to the waterfall.

If you are not in good physical condition, DO NOT attempt this hike because this trail will BEAT THE CRAP OUT OF YOU.

Wear shoes. SHOES! No slippers.

Bring water, bug repellant, and PACK AS LIGHT AS POSSIBLE - bring MINIMAL gear.

Like a dummy, I ignored that last sentence and schlepped up a backpack with 2 cameras (Sony RX-10 and Canon 5DmkIII with a 85mm f1.2L lens), a Manfrotto light stand, 2 Cheetahstand V850 strobesLastolite Ezybox II Softbox, tripod, and a StealthyPro video camera stabilizer.

Yes, yes, I know -  I've been meaning to have my head examined.

If you do survive the hike up to the falls, it is VERY worth it.

However, it is not advised to get too close to the actual waterfall.  With a waterfall of that height, a rock falling down from the cliff most likely will KILL you.

Ok, so now, time to get to work.

This first shot was with the Sony RX10 on the tripod - using a long exposure to blur the water.

Sony RX10 24-200 f2.8 iso 80  .5 sec @ f8

Our model Ashley deserves special recognition for this image. To do a long exposure shot, the model has to hold her pose completely still for several seconds.  What you don't see in the shot are the THOUSANDS OF RED ANTS that were swarming all over the rock she was sitting on (which I didn't realize until she told me AFTER we took the shot).

Modeling - it's not just a job, it's an adventure. :-)

Second setup was with 2 Cheetahstand V850 strobes in a Lastolite Ezybox II Softbox.  I figured since I was crazy enough to hike all that gear up there, I better darn well use it.

Soon after setting up the lighting, it started to rain and we had to pack up and leave, so we only were able to grab a handful of shots.

Canon 5d mkIII iso 800 1/160 @ f8.0

Canon 5d mkIII iso 800 1/160 @ f8.0

Got some great images, but don't know if I'll be crazy enough to attempt this hike again next time. ;-)