Posts in Category: Experimentation

Further Explorations in Shape and Shadow

This  is a new set in my continuing explorations in shape, form, shadow and how it can be used to express the beauty and eroticism of the female form.  

Explorations of Shape and Form

Image 1 of 11

 

Beauty in Chains

What started as a simple lighting test to experiment with lighting angles, fabric textures and skin textures or muscle highlights ended up becoming a much more intense shoot than planned.  As you’ll see from the images below the fold, the look is intense, textured, detailed and appears to have a fairly complex lighting setup.

What i used, however, is anything but complex.  I used two speedlights inside 30 inch softboxes with radio slaves.  For most shots they were set to 1/8 power and set perpendicular to and about 6 inches from the wall and about 3 feet from the model.  They’re above the model’s head and tilted down to give a good wash of light over her body and still throw a soft hightligh on the wall.   Because they’re softboxes insted of grids, i got a good highlight on the chains and cloth as well.

I would have preferred either larger softboxes or stip boxes to give me a fully parallel light rather than the downward cast light I have now.  However, sofboxes large enough (72 or 80 inch would be perfect) would not have fit in the space we shot in and strip boxes that tall would have been almost as unwieldy and not given me the wash on the wall that I ended up liking very much.

The sescret to the complexity of the scenes is in the textures and contrast of the intricate cloth, the way it’s draped and the contrast with the wall behind it. The mix of hard chain with the soft silk of the cloth is mirrored in the intense textures in the model’s skin.  Even the smooth skin of the lower back has an unusually pronounced texture.

I’ve included a quick snap of the light and prop setup that shows the space we were shooting in (my bedroom, in this instance).  So jump into the comments and tell me how you’d shoot something like this or if this inspired you to shoot something, post it somewhere then come back here and etell us about it.

The images below are not safe for work.  The nudity is mostly implied, but it bondage and eroticism isn’t implied,  it’s right out in the open for anyone to seel.

An experiment in synthetic lighting.

While random-surfing through various comp-sci sites looking for something vaguely photography or graphics focused that would also satisfy the programmer in me, I came across a series of articles from the 90s about synthetic lighting.   The premise is that you separate out each light source in a scene, including a shot of ONLY ambient light in order to allow you to do neat things with the lighting in post.   Reconstructing lighting in a physical scene within a digital scene, alterations of light levels, colors, intensities, etc…  even creating ‘negative’ lights that subtract light from a scene.    All of this is the bread-n-butter for 3D artists, mainly because their  entire world is synthetic.   However, for photographers it’s a bit more complicated.

After reading several papers and blog posts about it, I decided to try my hand at a simple demonstration of the technique.   What I did was take a static object and shoot three shots of it.   One ambient, one with a strobe on the left, and one with a strobe on the right.   Then, using some photoshop magic, created an interesting synthetic lighting setup that let me do somethign I could only have done with gels and a lot more fiddling with light levels.

Rather than talk about, let’s get down to the fun.  Get your camera out, take an ambient shot and a shot with each of two lights individually lighting the same object.  LOCK DOWN the camera, lights and object.  You’ll be compositing all three shots together a couple of times during all of this.  Everything has to line up perfectly.

First shoot of 2015 – A Low Key Shoot.

I’ve been experimenting with low-key lighting and trying to achieve a very soft, body-molding look for a while.  Regular readers have seen some of the results of that experimentation in previous posts.

All of that experimentation came together for the first shoot of 2015 tonight.  The setup is deceptively simple with a black cloth backdrop, an SB-910 speedlight in a 24inch softbox to the right (photographer’s right) of the model.   I set the speedlight to 1/4 power and shot at F/22 or F/18 @ 1/125 and ISO 100.  This gave me a completely dark room with the only light showing up on frame being the speedlight.

The results were everything I had hoped they’d be. The model was very fun to work with and I’ll be shooting her often over the coming year.  With the exception of the image labeled ‘Fire Down Below’, the only editing on these is cropping and b/w conversion and, when needed, a touch of sharpening.  ‘Fire Down Below’ had a bit of color bump, clarity and sharpening to get the look I wanted. I also brought the exposure up slightly on it.

As you probably already guessed, these images are NOT safe for work.  Click the ‘continue reading’ link to see the photos.   And as always, enjoy and I look forward to your feedback.

Jade from 2008. More deep dives into the archives.

I have taken to going back into my archives once a week and pulling out some of the rough gems that I passed over before.   These are a few ‘resurrected’ shots from a set I took in 2008 of the lovely Jade.

All of these are safe for work, for a change.

 

 

Hanging out on the stairs.

Hanging out on the stairs.

Jade on Red.

Jade on Red.

No smoking?  Well.. smoke this!

No smoking? Well.. smoke this!

Up against the wall!

Up against the wall!

Thoughts

Thoughts

Jade in contemplative pose wearing plaid skirt and goth style mesh blouse.

Contemplation.

Random photos from the deeeeeeeep archives part (whatever)

Felt a bit hermit-like tonight so I put on the headphones and went through (mumble) years of photos tonight. Pulled a few out to play around with as the mood struck me. Some of these you’ve seen earlier edits of, some are newly unearthed. Enjoy.

Full gallery of edits here: Gallery (nude / nsfw)

NSFW photos after the fold. You’ve been warned.

Lisa - 2007

Lisa – 2007

Lotus in Marble - 2006

Lotus in Marble – 2006

Inara the Cat - 2008

Inara the Cat – 2008

 

Wendi - 2008

Wendi – 2008

A long awaited detail post. — Stark Elegance revisited

Back in 2011 I posted this shot of Jessica and a few people asked me to detail how I accomplished it and how much editing it took.  I realized that I never actually made that post.   So, here’s that post.

NSFW photos ahead. 

Experiments in Black and White.

I’ve been going through some of my better photos from the last couple of years and revisiting my techniques for B/W conversion.  I think this one works much better than the old technique.  I was able to bring out the details on her jacket and give her some hair back.

Experiment in new B/W techniques.

Model: Jessica Taken in 2011.

New gear, getting ready for a new year.

I recently had a bit of monetary windfall and decided it was time to upgrade the gear. Out goes the venerable (and tough as nails!) Nikon D50 and in comes a shiny new D7000. The Alien Bees I’ve been using for the last three years have gone back to their owner. Replacing them are an SB-910 and a Yongnuo YN-560 II. Wireless slaves, snoots, beauty dishes, grids, etc. All kinds of toys.

Below are a few images from my couple of days of experimentation getting familiar with and relearning some old tricks. Enjoy.

Galen and Wendi on the couch.

D7000, 1/60 @ f/6.3 21mm ISO 100
SB-910 at 1/4 powers with 1/8inch grid to camera left and back about 4 feet from the couch.

Portrait of Galen.

D7000, 1/60 @ f/5.3 66mm ISO 800
SB-910 at 1/2 power in 16 inch beauty dish with diffuser sock. Dish was immediately to camera left and about 3-4 feet from Galen.

Tequila, bourbon and rum bottles on black table with light glowing through them.

D7000, 1/125 @ f/11 34mm ISO 200
SB-910 @ 1/2 power in 16inch beauty dish w/ diffuser to camera left and up about 2 feet, pointing back to bottles.
Slave strobe @ 1/4 power with 1/8inch grid on stand behind and slightly above bottles to through light through the bottles to get color.

Lego pirate on pipe next to rum, tequila and bourbon bottles.

D7000, 1/125 @ f/1.8 50mm ISO 200
ND-8 filter on lens to get DOF where I wanted and bring the focus back to the pirate.
SB-910 @ 1/2 power in 16inch beauty dish w/ diffuser to camera left and up about 2 feet, pointing back to bottles.
Slave strobe @ 1/4 power with 1/8inch grid on stand behind and slightly above bottles to through light through the bottles to get color.
Bumped up the contrast and dropped the blacks slightly. The ND-8 left things looking a bit hazy.

Bottles with light behind and above, showing good glowing color.

D7000, 1/125 @ f/1.8 50mm ISO 200
ND-8 filter on lens to get DOF where I wanted and bring the focus back to the pirate.
SB-910 @ 1/2 power in 16inch beauty dish w/ diffuser to camera left and up about 2 feet, pointing back to bottles.
Slave strobe @ 1/4 power with 1/8inch grid on stand behind and slightly above bottles to through light through the bottles to get color.
Only modification was a slight crop.