Posts Tagged: strobist

Unveiled

The beauty of a mother-to-be is not just in the visions of her pregnant body, but are just as visible in the images of the woman herself.   I give you a few more photos of the lovely Kerstin.   I took these as part of a pregnancy photo shoot of her back in April, but felt they deserved their own showcase separate from the one focusing on her pregnancy.

Enjoy.

(click the title above to see all of the images)

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.

A Calamity in Silk

The lovely Calamity Janet, one of my favorite redheads to grace my studio this year showed me how much fun several yards of yellow silk can be.

As usual, Not Safe For Work (NSFW). You’ve been warned.

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.

Back in the Studio with Pris

I shot this lovely lady mid last year in a relatively impromptu session. We had a hell of a lot of fun and talked about another session.  Life, as it does, gets in the way sometimes and it took until April of this year to get back together for another evening of fun and photos.

Rather than go on and on about this beautiful, vibrant and awesome woman, I’ll let the photos speak for me.  Enjoy.

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An experiment in low-key photography. – Part 2

I took some time recently to complete my finishing touches on the first shoot of 2015.  There may be a few more gems buried in the shoot, but I am extremely pleased with the results so far.  I hope you will be too.

As you probably already knew, the images past the cut are NSFW.

Classical Nudes

For quite a while now, most of my work has trended towards high key lighting, almost to the point that it’s become somewhat of a signature for me. As an example, these are the out-takes from a set called “A Sleazy Drag King Shoot” due for publication next month.   Over the last couple of weeks, I’ve been pushing my lighting experimentation in the other direction. Low key, softer and more subtle lighting. Below the fold are a couple of nudes from last week that give a strong sense of the classical painters of the last century. Even though the lighting is very simple (1 strobe with softbox and a single incandescent in the room), and with just a little bit of work in Lightroom, I’m very happy with how these came out.

Implied nudity behind the fold. May or may not be NSFW depending on how picky your HR department is.

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.