Thursday, August 20, 2009

Sophie Just Legs

Getting to work with a real-life doll is such a treat. That and when the doll's legs go for miles and miles and miles... 5'10" and 6' worth of legs. Being a photographer is hard... that button thing that I'm supposed to press seems impossible when all I see is legs.

Here's the update on the shoot and the shot:

Dynamic lighting. What is it? It's my excuse for not having the final lighting setup. Now, in my defense there wasn't any single lighting setup. The shoot was dynamic you see, hence "dynamic lighting". In all seriousness, sometimes my shoots don't go as planned. That's only possible if there were a plan. Lately, I've been shooting from the hip, pardon the pun. Really. I don't have a plan going into the shoot sometimes. I think partly because I'm lazy but partly because I'm a huge advocate of rolling with the punches and taking lemons and making lemonade. You can plan all you want but sometimes it's just best to go with what you have and what the challenge presents. Sound like a cop-out excuse for not being prepared? Absolutely.

For this set, I had my lights setup in traditional fashion. 2 SB-800's shooting a black background (turning it grey), 2 AB800's that were supposed to be kicker/rim lights that I'm having a hard time identifying in the final shot (probably should have changed the angle or turned up the juice, eh?) and a single AB800 in a 22" beauty dish from upper camera left. I talked about this in the flickr post, but I only see the evidence for a single camera right AB800 as a kicker/rim light. The one of the left is nowhere to be seen... perhaps drowned out by the AB800 in the beauty dish?

Mental note, time to get a different colored background. I've got white and black. Fortunately with black you can turn it all sorts of colors with gels but you'll never get that consistency throughout the background that you would with a truly solid colored background. I'm thinking grey or something lighter between white and black. Stay tuned...

is the shot okay? Yeah, it's okay. It's not spectacular. I should have experimented with more short-lighting setups where the light is coming in from the opposite angle or behind the model to the camera's left. This kind of flat-front-on lighting is getting old and it no longer amuses me. It's really time to get down and dirty with some new ideas. I'm also thinking about investing in a strip softbox. Sounds sexy huh? Wait until you see the light that a strip softbox produces... totally makes you want to take off your clothes!

Retouching-wise, I don't think I did anything dramatic or unusual. I did dodge the eye color a little to make it more apparent. Sophie wore colored contacts and upon zooming in on the shot, she looked almost alien. Neat effect and much more interesting than her natural eye color (dark brown I'm told). The outfit was her idea. In fact, her outfits shaped the style/look/feel of the entire shoot. Pretty edgy sexy stuff. Schoolgirl outfit? Sure. Throw in a pillow and a comforter that's all you need to get the imagination stirring.

And yes, I love the socks too.

Strobist info: You know what? I moved the lights around so much in this set I can't remember exactly what was what. As I recall, 2 SB-800's shooting against black background for greyish effect. Main light is AB800 in 22" beauty dish not-gridded from camera upper left. For sure there's at least 1 rim light coming from camera right. No hair light in this one Probably 1 rim light coming from camera left as well but I don't see the evidence of it in this picture so the effect if any is negligible. The rim light is an AB800 in barndoors on the right.

Camera info: D3, 24-70mm f/2.8, 1/200th, f/8.0, ISO200, 70mm

Model/Wardrobe: Sophie Marquez

Makeup: Alyssa Fong

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