Saturday, December 13, 2014

The Power of Six

December 13, 2014 -

I spent some time this morning photoshopping a photo of my daughter Ember from last month's shoot near the Everglades. I wanted to turn Ember's photo into a movie poster. One of Ember's favorite book series is the Lorien Legacies by Pittacus Lore. Her favorite character is Number Six, the main character in the second book of the series. The first book, "I am Number Four", was a popular movie, but no news on if "The Power of Six" will ever be in theaters.

Six, also know as Maren Elizabeth, is a teenager and probably the best of the Garde at battle technique and military strategy. Her powers or "legacies" include invisibility, elemental manipulation, accelerated healing, and telekinesis. On screen Six was portrayed by Australian actress Teresa Palmer, but in the book series the character Six has long black hair and olive skin.

The original photo of Ember was taken before sunset using my Canon T3i and a gold reflector. I added a gradient, a fill overlay layer, and various text on separate layers in different styles and spacings. Later, I added a photo layer of glowing embers and a few sun bursts.

This was my first time creating a movie poster style image in Photoshop and I'm very happy with the results!

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Red, Black, and Valeryia

December 1, 2014 –

On my second trip to Stellar Photography Studios, Cesar Montada arranged for a standard portrait session with model Valeryia. Several different looks and backdrops where used during the shoot.

Valeryia is a very experienced model and great at posing. I loved the way she used her hands and arms, continuously changing things up with her looks. Valeryia used props well, especially the black hat we gave her. She was very easy to shoot and needed little to no direction. I mostly just followed her lead and kept clicking!

Cesar again did a wonderful job setting up the lighting against white, red, and green backgrounds. I think the 3 softbox setup for the red background was the most interesting. If you look closely you’ll see the reflections or “catch lights” in Valeryia’s eyes.

For this I used my new Canon 6D and 24-105mm f/4 lens. I always bring my 85mm and 50mm but for some reason usually stick to the 24-105mm. Most often I shoot zoomed to 105mm and step back a bit to help compress the image. I captured several wonderful photos and did very little editing. For modest editing I use a combination of Canon’s Digital Photography Professional and Photoshop 4.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Apple Littlefield in Powder

November 10, 2014 –

Monday night I took a short drive to Stellar Photography Studios in Fort Lauderdale. Cesar Montada arranged model Apple Littlefield for a powder shoot. Cesar would spend most of the shoot throwing baking flour on and at Apple in a wide variety of ways.  Needless to say it was quite messy.

The charming Apple Littlefield is strikingly tall and lean, extremely friendly, and easy to work with. Even in these unusual conditions she issued not a single complaint and was cheery throughout.  Apple is very experienced and professional. It was a joy working with her and I look forward to shooting her again soon.

The studio currently uses Alien Bee strobes and a variety of softboxes. There is plenty of room in the studio and several different backdrops to choose from.  Cesar also picks out good, energetic music for the shoots. He did a great job setting up the lighting equipment, advising the model and photographers, and still had to clean up all the powder afterwards.

For this shoot I used my trusty Canon Rebel T3i and 24-105mm f/4 lens. I also borrowed a Pocket Wizard from Cesar to trigger the strobes. The powder increased the degree of difficulty for the shoot.  A few times the flour projected right at and on the camera, which was not very good. Since this was my first time shooting powder, it took a few minutes before I realized what look and what magnitude and vectors of powder I wanted. It was creatively challenging, which I greatly enjoyed. There were 3-4 wardrobe changes and a few more “get the flour out of the eyes” breaks for Apple. She was a trooper! In the end I think I got several great shots. I’m looking forward to my next shoot at Stellar.