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 ^^

Windblown
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.

21. november 2013

Solution to Google+ messing with your photos

I want to inform about a problem that was annoying the hell out of me for a while, and that affects everyone creating entries on Blogspot, uploads photos to Picasa and/or use Google+.

Thankfully, I finally found a solution.

Problem description: 


A few weeks back, I was about to publish a new blog-entry about digital infrared photography, along with a little selection of photos.

After I had made the initial draft, I uploaded the photos to my blog and did a preview.
All the photos on blogger had the wrong color, strange color cast or had f*cked up contrast!
In addition, the photos also had pixelation-effects in gradient-tones (like a sky, which goes from dark to light), creating a ugly bloddy mess of my shots!

I literally HATE auto ANYTNING, that does some FUBAR "Best guess" alteration of the photos I've created. The shots I post, is supposed to look like they do, bloddy useless G+ invention!

Even linking my shots from my flickr page messed things up, as soon as I inserted the option to show "large" versions of the shots on the blog.
- Blogger then, probably, makes it's own cached version of some processed version of the photos.

It can be hard to pinpoint if the problem was with blogger, picasa or google+, as these services are intertwined and shared these days.
At the time, Google didn't really came up with any solutions....so I halted the blogposts for a while and decided to wait.


Google+ "optimized" hack
Original, as it was meant to appear





Google+ "optimized" hack
Original, as it was meant to appear


On the last blog-entry, the Mermaid-shoot last week, I saw that the photos got altered and messed with, just as with the infrared photos. So I googled harder, and found this thread.

During the discussion, a final solution to problems with photo-quality, uploaded to blogger, was presented.

The reason photos gets ruined when you upload them to blogger these days, is the Google+ auto-enhancing feature. This service was launched a few weeks back and is ON by default for EVERYONE.

The fix is to shut it bloddy off, and you do it the following way:

- Go to your Google+ homepage (you may not be there very often, but try to find your way there, the  "+" and a <name> link and can be seen on the top-bar on Gmail, for example).
- Click on the left menu on your G+ profile page saying "home", so that it expands.
- Select "Settings".
- Scroll down to the section on the new page, called "Photos"
- Select "Off" under "Auto Enhance"

See below
If Google+ has managed to f*ck up a lot of your photos already, you can click the "Learn more" link, to remove the "Enhancements" on whole albums, here is the help dialog on how to do that:

Snap, crackle and pop!
...and that's it for this blog-entry ^^


For automated webcrawlers (please ignore if you are human):
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blogspot blogger google+ Auto enhancing photos suck Donkey Kong's hairy nuts :)







19. november 2013

The Mermaid

In mid July, I went to Hvaler to shoot and stumbled over a genuine mermaid, resting on the rocks.

Seriously....! Look!


Mermaid
Model: Lene W
Canon 5d mk III
Canon 24-105 F4 L
Circular polarizer
=)

Kidding aside; I went to Hvaler with Lene W, to have a mermaid-themed shoot, as she had a 32 pound(!) mermaid-tail in her possession. I got to know her trough our workshops at studio B-17 earlier in the summer. This shoot, was a fun-shoot we did outside of the workshops.

Hvaler is a good drive from Oslo, but time was good, as I wanted to shoot at around sunset and in the summer, the sunset is very late in the evenings. I knew the lower light-levels would help me get some moody blurring of the moving water around the model.

The weather was "ok"; Overcast, a little windy, but not particularly cold. The water was also warm enough, so I was able to wade out and shoot quite comfortably, while being up to my thighs in sea-water.

- Naturally I was pretty paranoid about my equipment, moving slowly and taking great care not to slip and fall.

Mermaid
Model: Lene W
Canon 5d mk III
Canon 24-105 F4 L
Circular polarizer
I found out that my speed-lights were greatly underpowered in these conditions too; I planned the shoot like I would shoot my typical land/sea-scape photos, meaning that I used a small aperture (f16) low ISO (50-100), a polarizing filter (which takes away 2 stops alone) and a remote trigger for the camera.

The speed-lights were placed on dry land, a few meters away from the model, and was meant to accentuate her mostly from the side, simulating a low, under-the-clouds horizon-sun.

Alas though, the speed-lights, even on full setting, almost didn't make any impact on the shots at all. :)

Still, it was enough to create some shaping under the very diffused light in the general scene.

- I have since bought the Vagabond mini battery pack from Paul C Buff, which will enable me to use my Alien Bees on location instead, they would have been more than enough in a situation like this.

Mermaid
Model: Lene W
Canon 5d mk III
Canon 24-105 F4 L
Circular polarizer


This was a challenge for me as well as the model. The greatest challenge for the model, was that she had to keep totally still for 2-6 seconds, depending on the fading light. I really wanted the blurring from the moving water in the shots, without it, I think the shots would have had much less impact and mystique.

This may have been a bit difficult for the model though, so we didn't get all that many keepers in the end, unfortunately. No wonder, sitting almost naked on a small rock while the wind did it's magic, isn't exactly a comfortable situation.  ^^

However, the shots that were good technically, were also very nice overall imo.
So all in all, we ended up with a few good shots and some that were acceptable regarding technical quality.

Great experience, I would really like to experiment more, using this concept next summer.
- Finding a model, willing to freeze her butt off, can be a challenge though :)

In other news; I am currently looking for a new apartment in Oslo, planning to have a new place before Christmas. In that respect, studio-shoots will be halted until further notice, hopefully I will find a place which allow me to shoot at home, like I do now. (but you never know!).

Crossing fingers :)

Regards ^^

24. september 2013

Infrared - Shooting what you can't see part II, revelations

Since my last post in 2012, about infrared photography, Fotokemika has ceased to exist as a film and paper-producer, this means that EFKE AURA/Non AURA and a whole bunch of cool EFKE (and also ADOX) films has disappeared from the shelves.

The problem wasn't that they didn't sell films, but mostly from competition, price-pressure, raw-material prices and a dispute over land-areas where they had their factory.

This is very sad and leaves us with only one film as a real IR offer today, namely, the excellent Rollei 400 IR.

-


My previous shots, last year, like this one...


Rollei 400IR
Mamiya RZ 67 Pro II with Hoya R72 filter
EI 12, 9 minutes in HC-110 dilution B


...were great, but even these were actually pretty hard to print properly, as the shadows and mid-tones, soon got too black and the whites stayed too white. Extensive dodging and burning was required for a satisfying print.

Bear in mind that this particular one, was shot with a high-altitude haze layer, which helped diffuse the light a little, a direct, "unfiltered" sun, would create even higher contrast and a good print would be increasingly more difficult to make.

I was out and about shooting with it in August and now in September, and I found that my earlier attempts, last year, at ISO 12, still gave pretty good results at 9 minutes in HC-110 B.

Like these horses:

Rollei 400IR
Mamiya RZ 67 Pro II with Hoya R72 filter
EI 12, 9 minutes in HC-110 dilution B
However: Upon inspecting the negatives of the horses, I found that they lacked shadow detail and the highlights were pretty hot/blown when the sun was shining from a clear sky.

In short, the negatives showed excess contrast.

So, back to the think-tank a little then.....

I was pondering over a week or so. First, pondering if I should shoot the film at EI24, to prevent the highlights from blowing out. This would cause underexposure of the middle/shadows and they will be very hard to recover during printing. This would also probably cause the negatives to be too thin, causing very short printing times, which, in turn, would create problems controlling dodging and burning.

But.....what about an increase in exposure?
If I increased exposure with 1 stop and shot the film at ISO 6 instead, the shadows should have detail. A proper development for ISO 6, would yield a normal negative as well.


"Yeah, but what about your highlights? They were already at the limit at ISO 12, at ISO 6, they would be blown for sure" you may say.....

True....

However.....

By researching a proper development-time for ISO6 from my working ISO 12 times, I could also establish an additional reduction-time, to prevent the highlights from blowing out.


HAH!

This is called "pulling" (film....!).

In this case. I was, in other words, interested in shooting and develop the film as ISO 6, with an additional 1 stop pull processing. This 1 stop pull would serve as a starter, to see where I landed, regarding the highlights, this is also called N-1 development.

This is where some of the beauty of shooting film lies IMO; The ability to separately control your shadows and your highlights trough exposure and trough development. (Yey! \o/ ).



You can't really to that with digital, you get what you get. But the sensors and cameras, usually are impressively versatile in keeping information and contrast under control.

The current RAW processing tools, are also very very good in helping you recover lost shadows and highlights after the fact with digital, by simulating information in a "broken channel" by utilizing data from intact channels..

....but anyway, I digress.....


During film development processing, the shadows always finish FIRST, after that, the highlights keep on getting denser and denser, until they block up. After the initial development, the shadow part (mostly from  zone 3 and below) hardly move at all for the remainder of the time.

You can simplify the thought, by comparing it to a sun-burn; The areas of your skin which was covered by clothing or other light protective materials, would maybe just get some color, but your unprotected areas, initially looking pretty normal, will keep on getting redder and redder as the evening moves on.


- This means, as one would already know, that longer development time (or more agitation during development, as this moves fresh developer into exposed areas of the film) increase the contrast.
Most zones from zone IV and onwards, will keep on moving up towards white, while zones I, II and III more or less stay put.

- This also means that if you develop LESS, you reduce the overall contrast of the negative, as you prevent the lighter tones from moving too far.

- This also means that, by using methods like stand development (little or no agitation), you can maximize shadow-detail while preventing the whites from blocking up too badly.

This explains how agitation influence contrast: Because highlight-areas on a negative, tend to "use up" the developer in that area faster than the shadow areas, if you don't agitate and bring in fresh developer to those areas, activity tend to grind to a halt. If you agitate like a crazy-person, the highlights will block very fast and you end up with some high-contrast....thing.

Now, back to the IR film.
Concluding with the above film 1-on-1 theory; By increasing the exposure, rating the film as ISO 6 instead of 12, and then reducing the development time by one additional stop from the ISO 6 time, - and agitate the film gently.
- I should be able to get BOTH my shadows and also my highlights where I wanted them!

My ISO 6 time was calculated as an average rule-of-thumb, 20% reduction from my 9 minute ISO 12 time.
After that, I reduced the time again by around 20%, to see what time the N-1 development would be.

Answer; 5.7 minutes, which I rounded up to 6 minutes and using the same, gentle, agitation scheme as the ISO 12 development.

I tried that on a low-angle sun, setting over a farm landscape on a Sunday evening. The scene proved to have several good "problem areas";
- White, sun-lit "tractor-eggs"
- Shadows on the sloping hills
- IR-reflected light from the trees and foliage.
- A person in the scene (this time, I used myself as a model :P ), where the facial features needed to be visible and not blown.


Result?

Rollei 400IR
Mamiya RZ 67 Pro II with Hoya R72 filter
EI 6, 6 minutes in HC-110 dilution B

Rollei 400IR
Mamiya RZ 67 Pro II with Hoya R72 filter
EI 6, 6 minutes in HC-110 dilution B


Rollei 400IR
Mamiya RZ 67 Pro II with Hoya R72 filter
EI 6, 6 minutes in HC-110 dilution B

Rollei 400IR
Mamiya RZ 67 Pro II with Hoya R72 filter
EI 6, 6 minutes in HC-110 dilution B

Awesome success! (imo)
Negatives look very nice, the blue sky will graduate towards black (neg thin/transparent), shadows are thin'ish but have detail, a few blocked-up areas on the tractor-eggs (to be expected).

I have detail in my face on the self-portrait shot and the strange IR-effect on the trees and foliage is present, complete with shadow detail where the sun-light isn't really hitting foliage directly.

So, my new scheme now for Rollei 400IR, is rate it at ISO 6 with a Hoya r72 filter, in HC-110 dilution B, then dev for 6 minutes, one minute gentle inversion of the tank, then 2 slow and gentle inversions every minute.

- 6 minutes is short, so additional experimentation will probably require a starting-point at 12 minutes, using HC-110 dilution H (which is half the strength of B). This dilution will have more room for fine-tuning the process even more.

The chlorophyll is starting to leave the foliage now, and the foliage the trees, as Autumn is setting in, so the wood-effect is diminishing pretty soon.

So, next summer, I will try my new times even more and at various times of the day, to see if it is solid. I suspect that it will be more solid than ISO 12 at 9 minutes, time will tell. ^^

In the next entry, I will continue my publication of completed model-shoots. ^^

That's it for this entry, may Google be with you :)

12. september 2013

Creative with Chris

In the beginning of May, Chris S. contacted me with a bunch of cool ideas.
Her head is always full of corny and funny ideas, perfect for having a varied and interesting shoot. ^^

This time, we settled upon creating several "types".

The gold-digger, seemingly inspired by La Chapelle's inzane world of fancy, was a fun one.


"Gold-digger"
Canon 5D mark III with Canon 24-105 F4 L
Four-light setup

The Gold-digger shot, came out really great, the MUA-job was colorful and lovely.
- Chris S is a MUA.
The blonde hair, along with the make-up, the fancy expression, provocative cleavage and the strong color in the red walled and the straw, really supported the "sucker for money" theme.

I was a little short of 100 dollar-bills, so 1000 yen-bills would have to suffice.(wish I had a bunch of hyper-inflated Zimbabwean hundred million dollar bills hahaha! )

I replaced the background in post, to create a little high-class-society/casino look to the shot.


We also did some classic beauty-shots where she was wearing a cool, bob-shaped wig.
Imo this shows of Chris's lovely facial features well.
I used a simple beauty-light setup for this, funny seeing her in that bob, very unusual, as I only know her as a long-haired blonde/brunette girl in most settings.  ^^


Classy feather showgirl
Canon 5D mark III with Canon 24-105 F4 L
Two-light beauty setup

"Vogue it"
Canon 5D mark III with Canon 24-105 F4 L
Two-light beauty setup



The next shots, were created as point-your-nose criticism on the Barbie culture and how it is impossible for most normal human women to live up to the "ideal" plastic-"beauty idea". Chris got hold of a really Barbie-looking wig for the occation. We also used oils to create a real plasticy feel to the skin, which was also enhanced later.


"Barbie crisis"
Canon 5D mark III with Canon 24-105 F4 L
Four-light setup



"Good enough?"
Canon 5D mark III with Canon 24-105 F4 L
Four-light setup


Finally, we also did a tasteful B&W nudes series. Here we used an all white mask on some of the shots, which created a little mystical/theatrical feel

Triangle figurine
Canon 5D mark III with Canon 24-105 F4 L
Two-light setup

Shadow lady
Canon 5D mark III with Canon 24-105 F4 L
Two-light setup

A real and true smile ^^
Canon 5D mark III with Canon 24-105 F4 L
Two-light beauty setup


The nudes are a challenge, because you strive to make them as good as you can, and at the same time, the model needs to be comfortable. Getting the final results as close as possible to the models own inspirational idea, is imperative for most of the types of projects I do.



Very fun shoot with miss Chris S, hope to collaborate again in the near future. ^^

12. august 2013

Tuesday workshop, session 5: Supernatural beings

Oops!

Looks like I got the workshop-order mixed up a little, the Dreams workshop was number 6 for me, workshop number 5, was this one; "Supernatural beings" with Lene W. :)

- Ah well, May and June was pretty hectic, with one workshop each week + other stuff, no wonder it's a bit confusing after a while.

Anyway.
For the workshop at Twilightmodels (new name)Miss Lene had an idea about Veela (or Vila) , which is a fairy, inspired by Eastern-European folklore.

We hooked up and did a shoot in the beautiful weather at a bathing-pond close to where I live.
The sun was out, so I opted to shoot pretty late in the afternoon, so that the sun had some angle.

For all these shots, I used a single flash, balanced to the ambient light, with an umbrella .
All shots were made using my Canon 5D mk III with the Canon 70-200 F2.8 IS


Vila
Model: Lene W

Vila
Model: Lene W

Vila
Model: Lene W

Vila
Model: Lene W


Vila
Model: Lene W

Vila
Model: Lene W

Vila
Model: Lene W

Vila
Model: Lene W


The post processing on these, is actually quite simple; Only 2-3 curves adjustments + color/contrast;
1 Curve-adjustment to adjust the overall light on the model, to make her a little more ethereal and glowing.
1 Curve-adjustment to create the vignette
1 Curve-adjustment to create the tinted-effect.
Saturation and contrast

Done.

The fairy wings however, was more complicated;
It involved creating wings from scratch with a specialized brush, create depth to it, the right color and for the dragonfly-wings, alter the wings to be partly transparent, while still retaining a back-lit quality.

After that, there were 4-6 layers with various blend-modes, to obtain "color" without color (dragonfly mostly) and the correct blend against the real shot.

I ended up creating a set of multiple adjustments for one standard wing.
I then grouped everything related to the wing as a single "object", then I re-used that for all the wings, changing angles and general appearance, depending on the model angle and light quality.

- This was the only way to do it, to be able to finish this concept in time. Being a lazy programmer helps, because if you are going to use something more than once (or think you may), then make it into a shareable, reusable object. ^^

Lene did a very nice job, looking ethereal and very fairy'ish and we had a great time, even with curious promenade-walkers stopping up occasionally to check us out. :)

My personal favorites are; The shot of her sitting on a rock in the pond (mesmerizing eye-contact) and the one where she is kneeling in the forest, love the calm expression and elegant posing there. ^^

Yes! So with a little mixup in the order of things, another blog-entry is done.

I still have other subjects coming up at a later date. ^^


30. juli 2013

Tuesday workshop, session 6: Dreams

This workshop was centered around a basic idea of dreams.

Now, that is a pretty wide subject really, and can probably be a bit hard as well.
-    How do you communicate that a person is in a dream, or if a scene is from a dream?

Well, I opted to create a "dreamy" atmosphere and use the forest as a backdrop, could have used some kind of flying element or some surreal element/situation, but the time is limited in these workshops so...

This time, I teamed up with yet another new person, mysteriously named Kristelle -X10n. We've not worked together before. She's well known in the workshop group though and has done a great deal of shoots before with the other photographers there.

We met up at Sognsvann in Oslo and chatted a bit around ideas and concepts, before heading into the forest and shoot the first ideas.

Basically, I landed on a "dreamy/romantic" forest setting, with a dreamily posed and processed look, as a red line trough the shoot itself.


Canon 5D Mark III with Canon 70-200 F2.8 IS L
Off-camera speedlight.

Canon 5D Mark III with Canon 70-200 F2.8 IS L
Off-camera speedlight.

Canon 5D Mark III with Canon 70-200 F2.8 IS L
Off-camera speedlight.



We also went to another location, where Kristelle used a special kind of gymnastic-tissue(??), which she used, to create some acrobatic and cool poses in a tree.


Canon 5D Mark III with Canon 70-200 F2.8 IS L
Off-camera speedlight.

Canon 5D Mark III with Canon 70-200 F2.8 IS L
Off-camera speedlight.

Canon 5D Mark III with Canon 70-200 F2.8 IS L
Off-camera speedlight.
  Very impressive how she did that.
- I've seen something like that before on TV, never in real life, very cool ^^

Although climbing around in this tissue, demands body control and good fitness, she looks very relaxed and in control. ^^


For both settings, I decided to use a very similar processing technique.

First and foremost, I created the "forest mist" and sunshine streaks trough the threes. This was done with a simple soft-light white layer and a glow-layer, created from existing light sources and then altered to flow in the correct direction as the original light.

Secondly, I created some "summer snow" particles with specialized brushes, this gives the impression of flying insects and various wind-born seeds you can sometimes see.

A final alteration of color, contrast, clarity and saturation was done in the end, creating the slightly mystical feel, as dreams tend to be and also some dark b/w variants.

We had some other cool ideas as well, where the subject is more of a surreal kind, but due to time limitations, we had to round off the shoot and save those ideas for another time. :)

Did we hit the mark on the subject matter?
I think so, to a certain extent, especially with the tissue ones, perhaps a more surreal situation would have been even more dreamy, but then again, we can always visit this subject again at another time. :)

Very nice person to work with and hope to do more stuff with Kristelle -X10n =)

22. juli 2013

Tuesday workshop, session 4: Abstract

Hupp!

Summer vacation is over and done with, time for some blogging!


I left you with a cliffhanger about the workshops at Tirsdagsklubben , theme for my workshop number 4, was "Abstract".

Well, this was indeed a tough one!
I thought long and hard on what to do, but couldn't really come up with any good ideas, even after days of pondering.....panic! =)

I got one idea though, but it was a bit hit and miss how successful it would be.
I teamed up with Lene W for this, our first shoot.

We hooked up at studio B-17 Tuesday afternoon and I tried out a few ideas.

Sadly, I found only one(!) shot which made the cut (tried various stuff, like shadow-play and some stuff with a cloth, which didn't work very well).
I'd like to point out that this wasn't related to Lene's performance in any way (she did a nice job), it was just your basic, average shitty creative process by yours truly that wasn't able to produce the good stuff. =)

Anyway, this is the shot ^^

I call it "The girl in the smoke"

Girl in the smoke
Canon 5d mk III with Canon 24-105 F4 L
Model: Lene W
The process to make this one is a bit complicated, as it is a merge between 4 photos and some trickery in between.

Anyway, when one disregard my failed creative process, I think the final shot came out really great.
You need to look at it for a while to see it, and when you do, it's still a pretty good merge between smoke and shapes, which indeed is, an abstraction of the model. =)

The next workshop, themed "Supernatural beings" went much better, me and Lene teamed up again for this one. Her idea was "Veela" and we shot that on location on a nice afternoon in early June.

Also upcoming, is a shoot I had with Cris S in June, it has barbie-fun as one of many different settings.

I am also going to post from Workshop 6, themed "Dreams" with a new model; Kristelle -X10n, a Mermaid TFP-shoot with Lene W and later, the shots from the final workshop number 7, themed "Cosplay", which was finalized last Wednesday.

Stay tuned :)

27. mai 2013

Tuesday workshop, session 3: Angels and demons

Lots of stuff happening these days, some of it may also be some material for this blog ^^

But, for now; Fast forward to the third session at the Tuesday workshop!

The setting for this workshop, was angels and demons.
This opened up for a number of interpretations and creative angles on the subject.

I was lucky to be working with two wonderful young women this time; Charlotte and Nicky.
Charlotte was to play the demon and Nicky took the role as the angel.


I planned out a few settings in my mind about the "what" and the "how" regarding the use of Photoshop after the shoot.
Mostly, thoughts about which settings to use and how to put the models into them later. (pre-planned shooting for PS as I call it).

It worked out ok, most shots were usable and I had a few good alternatives from each setting, enabling me to choose the best candidates to finish pretty quickly.

I did have a few more shots which I wanted to finish as well, but due to time and work limitations, I had to round off the post-work before those were done.

- They may be cool candidates to pull out of the archives on some dark, boring winter evening at a later time.


To heaven you shall go
Canon 5D mark III with Canon 24-105 F4 L IS

 So, on this first shot, Charlotte was placed on a small stool near the floor while Nicky stood on top of a small ladder. It was shot on a white/gray background.
This is a three light setup, where I used one flash behind and to the left of the models, one flash on the floor, in front of and below the models and finally, one flash, camera right.
- I wanted to simulate the light from the flames and from angel-Nicky on Charlottes outfit. Down-pointing reflections were colored red/yellow and forward/up-pointing reflections remained white....more or less. :)

Additional post work, consisted on creating masks and also using Photoshop's "puppet-warp" here and there, to remove the impression that the models were standing on something. ^^
Nicky also got some really huge wings attached.






Eeeewwwww...!
Canon 5D mark III with Canon 24-105 F4 L IS
This shot was pretty basic, but also a good exercise to see how one could change the color of the skin to devilish red and how to blend in flames in front and behind the model.
Other post-work, consisted of coloring the reflections in the outfit, to match the color of the flames.




 
Final battle
Canon 5D mark III with Canon 24-105 F4 L IS
 This was a tough one.
- Had to get the right background.
- Had to create the "lasers" from scratch, making straight ones was a challenge.
- Creating "correct" laser-light reflections on the models.
- Making decent masks.
- Alter the over-all light temperature and characteristics, to match better with the setting.
- Finding a good stock-image of the wings attached to Nicky, with the right angle.
- A decent amount of other little tweaks ^^







Booooo!
Canon 5D mark II with Canon 24-105 F4 L IS
Another fun one, this was also done on a white background (mirror hung from the ceiling).
Most post-work here, consisted of creating a good mask for the mirror. Charlottes black outfit kind of blended with the mirror-frame, so it was slow going to get everything nice and smooth.
Other stuff done here, is background replacement, shadow and depth of the mirror, wings for Nicky, new background for Charlotte and a hand painted devils-tail for Charlotte (I can't draw at all, so I fiddled a lot with that one :P ).

After that, mostly typical post-work on the models were done (which wasn't much)







Demon girl
Canon 5d mark III with Canon 24-105 F4 L IS
The final shot I finished, was a nice shot of Charlotte. I just wanted to finish one and send it over, because it just looks nice ^^

General post work and background replacement, also, some blending of the skin parts of the horn-prosthetics, so it actually looks like they are a part of her ^^
I didn't want to alter the eye color on this one, just keeping the whole shot as.....natural as possible (as demon-girls go)  ^^


Anyway, that's it ^^

As always, please visit Tirsdagsklubben and also the model pages I link to from my blog, I am sure they appreciate it a lot. :)

The next workshop after this, is "Abstract".
Now, that subject is usually pretty easy and open. However, the challenge arise, when these workshops are about models/photographers and MUA's working together.
- An abstract model....??

Stay tuned to see how it went ^^

14. mai 2013

Tuesday workshop, session 2: Magic and mystery

The second workshop I attended at Tirsdagsklubben, was a mysterious one ^^

The theme was "Magic and mystery" and since I was still pretty new to the group, I teamed up with Nicky again (we do work together a lot, which is fun :) ).

She brought along some really cool props, like a cloak, some skull-candle-light holders, a separate skull and a strange looking orb.
We did a quick shoot, with a few variations in posing and expressions.

In post, i decided to do two kinds of processing-directions on the final-candidates; One direction that was maybe more fantasy-inspired and one that was darker and more sinister.

Dark forces
Canon 5d mk III with Canon 24-105 F4 L IS
ISO 6400

Medium
Canon 5d mk III with Canon 24-105 F4 L IS
ISO 6400

Who are you?
Canon 5d mk III with Canon 24-105 F4 L IS
ISO 6400

Challenge
Canon 5d mk III with Canon 24-105 F4 L IS
ISO 6400

Again a fun shoot with Nicky ^^
The 5D mk III proved yet again that high-iso isn't a big issue.

The main reason I used high-iso on these, was to be able to gather the candle-light reflections properly, and balance that with a flash or two. Kind of difficult, but it worked out great in the end.

The last two photos were entirely processed in Adobe Lightroom, the only alterations on these, were color/temp and the shadows/highlights/contrast/exposure sliders.

Next up in this series, will be from the Angels and Demons workshop, where I had the pleasure of working with a new model, Charlotte, who cooperated with Nicky to create some heaven and hell-fun =)