Over the last couple of years, I’ve moved more towards the “digital art” end of the spectrum with my photography. I still use a lot of on-set effects such as fog, camera movement with long exposures, props/sets and dramatic lighting, however I started adding in more elements in the post-production phase. I’ve been adding textures to walls and floors for years but I’ve recently started adding more and more effects in post. I think it started with the cosplay shoots. These really needed some sort of setting and the characters often went hand-in-hand with effects such as energy weapons, lightning and so on. You can see a good example of what I mean in the last post “Shooting for Post-Production”, where we shot and produced a mock movie-poster for a an imaginary She-Ra movie.Continue reading
Couple of places left on this workshop Now fully booked 🙂 – at the fabulous 19th century mill that houses Atlas Studios. Call the studio to book your place!
This time we concentrated on one shot – a backlit interior concept with volumetric light (i.e. light given volume by some medium – in this case, an even fog). Caspar reprised his previous outfit, now complete with a nice black Fedora. I found some 20 year-old Gauloise Caporal white cigarettes when we moved house last year that really looked the part in a soft blue case. We also had a crystal decanter, glass, and the airgun we used on the last shoot. All of these went onto a nice period desk from another room in the old manor house.
Someone once said something like “Cinematographers kick photographers’ asses, all day long”. I can’t remember who this was, and the Intarweb doesn’t seem to know either. However, even though these are two different art forms, I do find that things some photographers seem to think of as new and exciting developments , are not news to DP’s and movie lighting directors who’ve been creating mood and drama with light for decades.
From a session for stage and screen actor, Stacey Lynne Crowe. Actor’s headshots need to be pretty simple, and must show what they really look like – so no editing allowed. I process these in Lightroom and they have contrast and exposure adjustments made to lift the shadows, knock the highlights down just a bit and then I set the white and black points. On the skin I reduce contrast a bit , and put a tenth of a top into the eyes. Then sharpen the eyes, lips, and nose and I’m done.
Just playing around with the scrim I made a while back. It’s roughly 1.5x2m with a frame made from 21mm plastic waste pipe (B&Q sell this along with all the corners, T pieces, 45 degree corners etc. to make any kind of frame you want). The surface is Translum plastic which is made by Savage. You can buy it on a roll 1.5m wide. The idea is to project light onto the scrim so that it drops to nothing before it reaches the edge of the scrim – and so there’s no edge visible. You can also try projecting patterns using something like the Lightblaster however on this occasion I just wanted a classic ball of light with a nice gradual drop-off towards the edges.
Books. They’re still a good idea if you ask me, even in this age of YouTube learning (which I also love). Especially for learning something visual like say.. photography: I like to have a physical, printed book. In this post, I’m going to present some of my favourite photography related books, and why I like ‘em.
If you love the Light Blaster from Spiffy Gear, but want more GoBOs (“GOes Before Optics” – the little masks that go in front of the light, but before the focusing lens on the front of any spot projector), then you have a number of options: use 35mm slides, mount Rosco size E circular gobos on card or the little plastic adapter you can download and print, or just make your own. Whilst there are companies that will print digital images onto 35mm transparency film, I’m not looking at that option here – I nearly always want a simple, graphical shape for my work, and metal gobos are the way to go for the best results – as they always block all the light where there is no hole cut in them, and have crisper edges.
If you’ve been making shots in a studio for a while, you’ve probably collected a number of light “modifiers” – that is, reflectors, softboxes, umberellas and other bits of metal, plastic, foil and fabric to control, block, reflect and otherwise guide the light to where you want it. But do you know what they actually do? Neil Van Niekerk tested some of his light modifiers and you can the results of Neil’s tests on his excellent blog Tangents <<- click. I thought I had better test mine. I found some interesting and one or two unexpected results.
(no this is not a tailsync shot – but it is pretty cool 🙂 1/160th f/22 ISO 32 – Brian Sanger. Read on for wide apertures, high shutter speeds and blurry clouds 🙂