Thursday, September 24, 2009

Amy: In the Dark

I got bored and curious today at the same time and wanted to see if I could apply the same lighting techniques on a dog that I would on a human being. While the technical nature of lighting stays the same, many elements change when you're lighting a dog. Here are my notes:

-She sits about 2+ feet tall. That's pretty close to the ground which means all my lights have to be closer to the ground. Good thing is that I don't have to pull my background paper too high.
-She's impatient and doesn't like sitting too close to things that might topple over, such as a reflector stand. As a result, a bribe was in order. In fact you can see the bribe in the frame. It's a small rawhide bone in her mouth on the right (no those aren't her lips) which makes her look like she's snarling but she's not.
-The angles aren't the same. Her snout is so long that the typical 45 degree camera upper left thing doesn't work quite the same way on dogs. I'll have to play around with the angles and see what's good. For example, the light from the back didn't pass that little divot between her eyebrows. Of course, there are some people that have eyebrows that are so protruded that you'd think they were Neanderthal, but fortunately I haven't had to shoot anyone like that just yet.
-There's hair everywhere. In addition to not having shot any Neanderthals, I have yet to shoot a Sasquatch or any other hairy beast. Amy's got hair all over her body and to capture the detail in the hair is unique to shooting a dog. In addition, the hair throughout her body isn't the same color. She's got white on her face, lighter patches of hair on her chest, etc. Some dogs have totally different colors throughout their body. Interestingly, I shot with a conventional f/9.0 to capture good detail throughout a more forgiving depth of field. Usually that's good enough with human models but with dogs, it looks like a smaller aperture is in order. But it really depends on what kind of look you want to achieve.
-Don't shoot when it's hot. She was running earlier and panting throughout the whole shoot. Totally not sexy.
-Take the collar off. Only if they're okay with taking it all off though.

Well, I'm sure there's more but I'm going to bed so, let's talk tomorrow :)

Camera info: D3, 24-70mm f/2.8G, 1/200th, f/9, ISO200, 48mm

Strobist info: AB800 with 22" beauty dish from camera front left and white fill card (reflector) to camera right in front of Amy

Model: Amy

Makeup: Charles Yeh (I brushed her!)

1 comment:

  1. Cool picture. I use the same lighting technique for human on my cats too and here are the results: