Happy Accidents

while shooting a church for AboutVase, i had one of those accidental shots, that reminded me of the magic of light. thats why i got into taking pictures in the first place, the surprise of what shows up on film as opposed to what you see.

anyway, i was doing a lighting test and didnt have an assistant. typically in this situation ill opt for the self timer and sprint approach to test shots. it works great, but guessing the focus is always fun.

as i was doing my test, the camera fired early, and i missed my mark. no problem, its digital, ill shoot another. but wait.... this test shot was a little different. what resulted was completely different than what i had expected.... a ghostly, half present me.

what happened here? let see, i was wearing a dark shirt with light stripes. so, when flash fired it reflected on the stripes and my head, but none of the darker areas. that makes sense. but why are the dark parts transparent and not just underexposed. ive used this same lighting set up dozens of times with people in dark clothes and never had this happen... so what was different this time? Ah Ha, No Assistant!

when the strobe fired early, i knew the test shot was no good, so i immediately rushed back to snap another test. however, my exposure was rather long, so when i moved back to the camera, the shutter had not closed. this allowed the ambient light to continue to fill the frame, including the dark areas of my shirt. this made me look semi-invisible. cool.

i know its no great picture, but i thought it was kinda neat, so i figured id share. i hope all your accidents can be happy.
last updated: Thu, Jul 09, 2009

Cloud Shot

earlier today, i was asked how i was able to light the picture of the girl in the jeans with the cloudy look.

this particular image was created with one head and a bunch of things as modifiers. i set up a speedo head with a large reflector directly behind the model. then, to help diffuse this, i used a wall of lumilux (diffusion sheet) directly behind the model. this wall was 4x8 and helps create the white backdrop and some of the light wrap on the model.

because, i didnt get as much wrap as i was hoping, i also added a 4x8 white wall on either side of the model. this added the fill to the front and sides and helped keep the image from simply being a silhouette.

finally, i just added a few oversized shears to the ground to help soften them where the hardwoods looked a bit too stark.

while i do really like the final product here, this was an early experimentation and probably isnt the best way to accomplish this same sort of look. for starters, the camera flaired way too much. to fix this, i adjusted the shadows in levels. another problem with the flair is that it discolored around her hips. for this, i selected and feathered that area and then proceeded pulled some of the greens and added some blue to help balance the colors.

its a fun set-up and worth playing with. so, give it a shot.
last updated: Sat, Jun 27, 2009


so, ive finally decided to create a photo blog. its half a reference for me to keep things straight and half to help if anyone else is looking for a tutorial on things. so, feel free to ask questions and whatnot. also, depending on how busy i am, i may or may not be quite as regular as id like to be on my postings. but, ill give it a shot.
last updated: Sat, Jun 27, 2009

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