A few weeks ago, we were asked to shoot several models in the studio. We had to make several key decisions from the lighting and sets, to their hair and wardrobe. I shot everything from simple portraits to high-fashion. We were also asked to shoot a model and incorporate motion. For this, I styled my model and then used a scarf to incorporate the motion.
Another ‘couples shoot’ we did for class was at the Commander’s Mansion in Watertown, MA. The venue was an absolutely beautiful location to shoot at, although the grounds were wet from recent rain. This couple I shot did not mind the damp grounds so I shot them entirely outside. They were so quirky and fun. I had such a good time photographing them.
As part of our weddings module at school, we had to practice “engagement” shoots. A very nice couple was brought in for us to photograph. As a class, we walked around Waltham, MA and shot the couple in several different environments. We were able to practice not only posing and directing clients, but the technical side as well. I love the shots that I got, but I think that is mostly because the couple was so cute together.
A few weeks ago in photography class, we learned to shoot architecture interiors. As a class, we were sent to the Gore Place in Waltham, MA. The different shots we had to deliver were wide-angles, portraits and details. We could use strait exposures or HDRs. My best shots turned out to be a combination of the two. Below are some of my interiors.
As a personal project, I wanted to do some HDRs of the Boston skyline. Shooting from the Longfellow Bridge one afternoon produced some nice results. I know HDRs have been done to death and they can lack realism, but I think they still have their place in photography. I usually prefer to lean to the more realistic side of HDRs, but I pushed these photos a little further. The moving sailboats presented a problem, but I selected them as ghosting areas and was able to fix most of them. It was a beautiful view on a beautiful city.
One of this weeks tasks was to shoot a bag of chips. I decided to go with a Cracker Jack bag. The problem with shooting these reflective bags is that light is reflected somewhere on the bag, no matter where it is placed. One technique to avoid this is to shoot the bag several times, moving the light from one side to the other. You then take those photos and blend them together in Photoshop while masking away any of the light reflections. With the camera on a tripod and the light at a relatively consistent distance from the product, the post on this was no hassle.
I am new to the Photoshop world. It is amazing all you can do to images to completely change them from how they came out of the camera. The first skill I am attempting to master is masking in several images into one. To practice this, I took several pictures of my friend Liz at Mt. Auburn Cemetery. In photoshop, I stacked the layers and masked her in. I know this is one of the easier of the many Photoshop tools, but I was impressed with myself all the same.
I always feel like I could use more practice, especially in the studio. I have only learned studio shooting in the last couple of months and am always looking for any chance to practice. Liz, another photographer in my class, feels the same way. We stayed after school one day and shot makeup. I was going for vibrant eyeshadow colors with my focus being on the texture.
In continuation of our graphic designer collaboration, we were asked to photograph the cd artwork for a high school summer camp group taking graphic design classes. I shot for a young man named Josh who was designing a Black Eyed Peas Album. These are the files I gave Josh to work with. I really enjoyed the challenge of photographing the lightbulb. As with all glass/transmissive objects, it was lit from behind. However, as the top is rounded, I had to cut a black piece of construction paper to follow the line. Otherwise, the outline would not have followed the entire bulb or have been even all the way around. Below is the undeveloped raw file that shows all that was used to get the lightbulb photographed. The electric light globe was a simple shot, but fun all the same. I adjusted my shutter speed several times, as I got a different look at each separate speed.
As an assessment of our product studio skills, the photographers were assigned to graphic designers and we had to photograph for their ad posters. My designer, Annabelle McLean, was doing an ad for ski boots. She wanted to shoot them with skis in the snow. As ice/snow is very difficult to shoot in a studio because it will melt under the lights within seconds, we had to improvise. Annabelle went to a dollar store and bought a styrofoam ice chest. Because she had brought a blender for the ice we were no longer using, she was able to blend chunks of the ice chest to create snow. It turned out perfectly and was a very entertaining shoot. As this shoot was for a triptyc of ad posters, we needed three separate shots. These are the rough shots that were given to the graphic designer without any post done to them.