21. oktober 2014

On the beach with Nicky

As mentioned in my last blog-etntry, I did two beach-related shoots at Hvaler, this second entry, relates to my shoot with miss Nicky Namnam .

This shoot was done a couple of days after the first shoot, luckily the conditions were fairly similar, nice sunshine, not too many clouds, the wind was also slightly less intense. This also meant that I didn't have to worry too much about my flash-rig toppling over from the wind.

The equipment I used, was also the same as the previous shoot, but I dropped a few redundant items, that I noticed I really didn't have any use for last time, like one extra studio-flash + flash-tripod, one octabox, one Canon 400mm 4.5L, power-cords and some bits and pieces. This made it easier to actually move around and lug all my stuff on location.

The shoot setup then, consisted of my Canon 5d mk III, my Canon 70-200 F2.8L IS, one Alien Bee 1600,  one weighted boom, one large, white beauty-dish, one Vagabond mini battery-pack + cords and triggers for the whole lot.

Nicky, blonde for the occasion (not sure what she is these days, as she change her style ever so often ^^), brought with her some cool clothes, hair-bandana, some cool sunglasses  and even a brand spanking new bellybutton-piercing =)

I did some of the same types of settings as I did previously, ie. walking towards the camera, glancing out to the sea, generally posing while walking parallel to the shoreline.

However, we also did some artsy-poses at the same time, to mix it up a little.

Playing with the waves
Canon 5D mk III, Canon 70-200 F2.8L IS

Fabric display
Canon 5D mk III, Canon 70-200 F2.8L IS

Nicky did some clothing magic and style changes, and we continued with a few similar shots, but we also moved onto the sand and into the water.

Canon 5D mk III, Canon 70-200 F2.8L IS

Checking out the water
Canon 5D mk III, Canon 70-200 F2.8L IS

Cool pose
Canon 5D mk III, Canon 70-200 F2.8L IS

Here I created a new type of duo-tone black/white version of one of the shots, I think this style fit Nicky well, giving her an ethereal, marble-skin and almost statue-like look, especially with those eyes ^^

Canon 5D mk III, Canon 70-200 F2.8L IS

After all the fun with various outfits, we did some bikini-shots as well. She brought her US of A-kini ^^ , which not only look cool, it also fit her body perfectly.

So, with the red, white and blue, coupled with tanned skin and blonde hair, we got cracking, first in the water.

Testing the water
Canon 5D mk III, Canon 70-200 F2.8L IS

Stylish beach-babe
Canon 5D mk III, Canon 70-200 F2.8L IS

Then some sandy ones, trying to make it slightly different from the previous shoot, regarding poses and angles, while still retaining some of the same style.

Owing the sand
Canon 5D mk III, Canon 70-200 F2.8L IS

The look
Canon 5D mk III, Canon 70-200 F2.8L IS

Last shot is one of those dual-toned versions again, very strange but lovely mood in those, I like it in this partcular shot as well, as the face/pose/setting is really cool and controlled.

As a round-off for this shoot, we did some romance-style shots as the sun was setting. As is typical with Nicky, we also did some weirder ones as well, while we were at it :)

Italian style veil glance

Mysterious woman in fog

Golden sunset hue

It was a nice trip and shoot, as always. :)

I've known Nicky for a few years now (many when I think of it), and it is always cool to meet up and have a chat, laugh and a shoot together, I am sure we'll work again on some weird or interesting idea in the future as well. ^_^

29. september 2014

On the beach with Kristin

In late August, I was lucky enough to arrange two shoots with a beach theme with two different models.

The first shoot I had, was with Kristin and we drove down to Hvaler to have some shooting-fun in the late, summer warmth. =)

Kristin sows and creates a lot of her own dresses and clothes, thus she has a lot of stuff she can bring to the shoot.
And Kristin did bring with her a whole heap of stuff, various, light dresses, a beach hat, bracelets and necklaces, really a lot of goodies to be creative with.  ^^

She could quickly change her style and appearance, by popping over and change, while I scouted and pre-planned the next stage in my head.

Canon 5d mk III with Canon 400mm 5.6L

Fun to shoot with my 400mm lens again, but it is, as it always was, hard to keep still and stable, the above shot is a free-hand shot at 1/100s, which, surprisingly, came out sharp O_o

Classic water nymph
Canon 5D mk III with Canon 70-200 F2.8L IS

Flower-diadem girl
Canon 5D mk III with Canon 70-200 F2.8L IS

Dynamic with beach-hat
Canon 5D mk III with Canon 70-200 F2.8L IS

"Bond-girl" :)
Canon 5D mk III with Canon 70-200 F2.8L IS

Canon 5D mk III with Canon 70-200 F2.8L IS

Canon 5D mk III with Canon 70-200 F2.8L IS

Romantic sunset
Canon 5D mk III with Canon 70-200 F2.8L IS

Stylish beach-pose, with shoes
Canon 5D mk III with Canon 70-200 F2.8L IS

I feel we managed to get a lot of varied poses, styles and expressions.
There were a few people out and about at the beach, but as we started in the afternoon, I didn't feel that we bothered everyone by "taking up the whole beach".

People were mostly packing up, to go home and start up their barbecue.

It was a lovely afternoon and great to be out shooting, soaking up a few rays, before the summer finally said goodbye for 2014.

Always a hoot hanging out with Kristin as well, who threw herself into the challenge with a smile, after just being back in Norway for 12 hours, coming back from France the evening before. ^^

The second entry in this series, will cover the shoot with Nicky and then there will be a final part with a more technical approach, where I babble a bit about equipment and technique on location.

7. mai 2014

The dark session with Lady Lunatic

This shoot was supposed to be posted and published some time ago, but due to unforeseen events, it was put on the back-burner, so unfortunately I never got to do that.
.....before now :)

Lady Lunatic (not her real name, off-course :) ), is a nice and interesting person that I met trough the Twilightmodels initiative in May 2013. It was during the duo-shoot I did with an Angels and demons theme, along Miss Nicky Namnam, that I got to know her.

In September the same year, we decided to do a separate for-fun shoot together, theme was a mix between steam-punk and other things.

The location chosen for this particular shoot, was an abandoned warehouse in the vicinity of my apartment at the time. Some scary warehouses indeed, very worn down (and very dirty as well, unfortunately).

During the summer, I had bought a Vagabond mini, which is a (very) portable battery-based power-souce for my studi-flashes. (before, I owned a Innovatronix Explorer battery, which was led-based and weigh 15 kg(!), it died on me pretty fast and was never very good, so.... )

Anyway, with the Vagabond in place, I decided to use two studoflashes (AB800) with umbrellas for the location shoot.

Miss Lunatic ( :) ) did her hair, makeup and clothes as I set up my lights and scouted for the initial "scene" for the shoot.

The intial shots, were of her wearing this elaborate dress, have loose hair and wearing a dust-mask (which I had painted a few days before).

Came out really nice.

Dark dancer


Masked pose

I also made a couple of shots with an even more sinister look, like these:

"The devil within"

"In a dark place"

The walls are 'shopped' to look Silent Hill'ish, and I like the pose miss Lunatic strikes here.

Then it was clothes-changing time again, and the light was fading fast.....really fast!

As always with locations like this, the existing light is a problem even in the day. Usually these places are very dark to begin with. The time of the year we did the shoot at, dictated that the sun would set pretty early in the evening, and it did, so it got dark, really dark.

Pitch black, to be totally honest.

You can basically do a few things when you're trying to focus in the dark;
- Use a Nikon with the focus-strobe helper.
- Use a Canon speedlight and put a piece of cardboard in-front of the flash, so you utilize the focus helper strobe only.
- Use a flashlight to help you focus.
- Use the modeling lights on the studio-flashes.

I use Canon gear, and I didn't bring my speedlights so the first two options was out.
Using the modeling lights on the strobes would drain the battery on the Vagabond, so I was very reluctant to do that (it had gotten chilly as well, which affects the batteries even more).

-I did have a small LED-based flashlight though, so I used that to light up Miss Lunatic's nail-bra, because it reflected the light very well and gave good contrast for the focus, and then fired away.

I knew my studio-strobes were much stronger than the little flash-light, so any residual light from the flashlight would not affect the photos.

It was probably annoying for the model getting a sharp LED-light on her there in the dark though, but hopefully it wasn't too bad.

We used a steam-punk inspired gun, along with the most wicked costume I've seen to date, this gave some really awesome shots.
I simply love the licking pose here, proper psycho-killer woman ^^

Just take a look at these! ^_^

You don't want to be kicked by those shoes ^^

"Entering the room"

"Killing is fun"

The fly killa babe

Proper pilot goggles

The last shots by the door, were done using two studio-flashes (and a small flashlight to be able to focus at all in the dark ^^).

Miss Lunatic was really interesting to work with, no complaints, good inputs and off-course, a very lovely person.

Hope to see her in the studio some time soon, for more shoots, I promise better light conditions, a cleaner environment and also warmer temperatures :)

6. mars 2014

Fun beauty-funky-angle-session with Kristin S T

It is March already and I've been in the process of buying, moving and selling apartments.
Not much time for shoots, even less time for post-processing. It's mind-boggling how much crap one can manage to accumulate in 14 years. :)

Just before I started the process of looking for a new apartment, I had the last ever shoot in my old apartment, gracefully starred by Kristin S T.
- It was literally "shoot", then "start packing for the big move and go look for a new place to live".

Really a lovely shot, the fan lifts the hair and the eyes really drags you into the shot.

Luckily she is very a patient and calm person, so there was no nagging or bothering to get the photos as time progressed, she had a great understanding for my rather messy situation in December, January and February ^^

- I did try and finish a batch or two and send over now and then when I had the opportunity, so basically the delivery was more spread out, rather than a loooooong pause and then a huge batch of photos in her lap.

Movements in the fabric creates a dynamic feel. Hair also looks kind of classy, being set up in the back.

This was basically a two-part shoot, where the first part, was a normal beauty-shoot on white background and the second one was a more sexy/edgy shoot with funky angles, cool perspectives and more varied attitudes and expressions, also set on a white background.

"Oops! The fan is going crazy!"  =D

This is the third collaboration with Kristin and I like how the communication goes, how the idea's are developed and off-course, I also really like the final results as well. I also enjoy the exploration part of pushing the envelope together and the widening of the repertoire in posing, expressions and styles.

I did a few shots which I planned for a total background replacement, I wanted the contrast of a  beautiful, blonde model in a nice dress, put in a dark setting, wearing a gas-mask and holding a flower, like on a date.....well, sort of.  :)

Fancy a date? I

Fancy a date? II

Doing the angled-styles is always a challenge, because the model and photographer need to stand uncomfortably close to each other.

I would think that this is a challenge for the model, particularly because; Not only does she have this weirdo with a camera in her face, but she also needs to be very/extra expressive and have a "in your face" kind of attitude at the same time.

Tough combination.... ^_^

However..... \o/

Fancy dance move ^^


"Mobile selfie"


So cool

Love it! ^^

Some challenges with this style, is that it is a fine line between too much and too little. It is very easy to end up with tacky shots, strange shots, unflattering shots, hilarious shots and downright pervy ones. All this has to be avoided off-course, to end up with mostly stylish, sexy and cool shots.

Having that in mind, and at the same time almost breaking the model's own sphere of intimacy, there is the ever present challenge of getting the whole model (fingers and toes included!) IN the shot. It is a very dynamic setting with lots of movements usually (both the camera and the model), so making sure everything is in the frame and in focus is hard.

Shoe study

Some times I shoot from a squatting/lying position, so the whole body may scream "HEY! What the hell are you doing to me and my poor back, legs, arms, neck and feet?!?". =D

But, it's fun as hell! ^^
- No really, it is, results are worth the awkward shooting positions as well. :)

Besides, it mixes things up and creates a more varied set.
Straight-on shots are nice, but creating the mix of perspective and angles, is a good way to create something more than that.


What now?

Love these two, in particular the first one :)

It's a learning experience in photo-techical aspects, because finding the right wide focal-length is a little hard, finding the proper angles can be a bit hard and the choice of aperture and where to focus, plays a huge role in the final outcome. Thus, it adds up to be a great challenge ^^

Seriously now....!

Very cool and fun shoot with Kristin, was interesting to see the spectrum from the super-cute to the more hard and edgy styles. Be sure to check out her page on facebook.

I am really looking forward to further collaborations in the future. ^^

 And snip-snap and snoot, that adventure was oot, see you next time! ^^

16. desember 2013

Digital infrared mystifications

Glowing tree
Canon 550D IR, Canon 24-105 F4 L
After checking out the film-based infrared universe in Infrared - Shooting what you can't see  and Infrared - Shooting what you can't see part II, revelations , I felt it was time to look into what the digital realm had to offer concerning this.

I've known about digital IR for quite a few years already, the issue with it, is that you will have to convert (ruin) a perfectly happy digital camera at places like http://www.lifepixel.com/ .

Earlier, my thoughts were that I needed a really good camera for this (meaning good ISO performance, 16+ megapixels, low noise, good resolution, full size sensor), but back then, such a "really good camera" did cost an arm and a leg.

- I know, I bought the 1ds mk II, and I sure wasn't ready to "ruin" that one  :P

So, it was put on hold, until this fall.

These days, the entry-level cameras from Canon (or Nikon), have reached some staggering specs, even with the 1.6x cropped sensors; Resolution is high, the pixel-count is more than you need for most work, ISO performance is phenomenal, compared to what you would get only 5 years ago.

(I have Canon-glass, so no point looking at another brand)

So, basically I found, and bought, a used Canon 550D, 18 megapixel "toy camera", which was already converted by Lifepixel.
I got a good deal on it, all things considered. A new camera, would had to be bought, shipped, converted and shipped back -with the added expenses.

Cold desire
Canon 550D IR, Canon 24-105 F4 L
The camera I have is a "standard IR" camera. IMO I could probably be better off with a enhanced IR or a full-spectrum one, since they give better separation in the color-channels, this makes the IR-processing much easier and more versatile.

But as a starter-camera, this one is great! =)

The next shot, was altered to look like the old Kodak EIR film, this film gave foliage a red color.

Kodak EIR-interpretation
Canon 550D IR, Canon 24-105 F4 L

I had two whole trips (wow) before the Autumn sat in, so I need to use it some more and perfect the conversion techniques next summer ^^

Canon 550D IR, Canon 24-105 F4 L

The conversion process, is "fluent", meaning, I don't have a set technique yet. It is a creative decision, depending on the shot I am working at, which way the pendulum swings.
Because the camera is standard IR, the separation in the channels  can be tough to work with, and there is always a danger of ending up with a completely two-tone shot.

Hopefully, next summer, with all the leaves, flowers etc, there will be more "colors" to work with.

A River between
Canon 550D IR, Canon 24-105 F4 L

 The last shot is my favorite, here I've used a mix of Photoshop and Adobe Lightroom, to create something cool, I like how the sky "crawls" over the trees and the straws, partly in focus, mimic the shape of the tree-line in the background.

Coming storm
Canon 550D IR, Canon 24-105 F4 L

My feeble first attempts hasn't really shown me how the light quality, time of day and time of the year influence the color spectrum yet.

It is very cool to shoot with this camera, as you don't need a filter on your lens, You just shoot normally - and at just about normal speeds as well and check the preview screen.

I can even film in Infrared ^^

I haven't tried that yet though, as I haven't found a suitable video-editing program, where I can alter the color channels like I do in Photoshop.