Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Kenna: Wall

2 changes that I need to disclose: All future images will be posted here in their original resolution (uually 1000 pixels on the long end) so they don't degrade on automatic resizing.

Secondly, I didn't shoot with a lens filter today... I removed both of them off the 24-70mm f/2.8 and the 85mm 1/4D, but I made sure to keep the hoods on at all time...

I've been wanting to shoot against the back wall in the backyard for a while. Yesterday I finally got the chance.

How'd I do?

Well for one thing, I rarely shoot ambient only. It's just not my so-called-style I guess. Reflectors are hard to work with, the sun can be finicky, I don't have any 110V electrical outlets, gotta haul all my shit outside and then inevitably forget something and then have to go back inside, meanwhile the wind has blown over my Nano stands or my reflectors into the pool... ARGHH!!! Major stress just thinking about shooting outdoors :)


At 3:20PM the sun sets enough to the west to allow some sunlight to pass through the leaves on the oak. That was our cue to take the D3 and the silver reflector (gold on the other side) to the tree and shoot against the back wall.

I overexposed a BUNCH of shots. I don't know what I was thinking, I totally didn't read the histogram. Too worried about the face. I also had a little difficulty with focus because I was using a sliver of depth-of-field and discovered that focus and recomposing would cause the frame to go OoF.

Nevertheless, we came away with some "acceptable" frames. Here's one of them:

Definitely wanted to process this against B&W. Part of the challenge was that the wall had some orange tones in it as well (yellow and red) so Kenna's skin tones had to be processed independently of the wall (read: mask). Otherwise, it was straightforward. Kenna is easy to retouch because her skin is porcelain and nearly flawless. No wrinkles to speak of either. Didn't do any skin smoothing on her this time.

Anything else to say about the image? Not really. Killed some blacks on the low end and also some highlights on the high end of levels so I could get the skin tone to pop. I burned some of the highlights darker so they wouldn't be so distracting since they were completely blown highlights...

Oh and yes we were going for a commercial print ad look.

Camera info:D3/85mm f/1.4D @f/3.2, 1/250th, ISO200

Strobist info: Reflector camera right very high.

Model: Kenna Cade

Makeup: Kelli Zehnder


  1. you did well.

    i recently got some criticism on my best photo, the feedback was that the highly processed shot was not flattering to the models face and left hand:

    in this case, i think the processing is somewhat flattering for her face, but when you add in her right hand makes her look mannish. it could be worthwhile to smooth out the veins in her hand if you find it as distracting as i do.

    i didn't see the hand aspect in my shot at all until it was pointed out to me, although, i don't plan on retouching it!

    this is one of my favorite shots of yours though -- keep up the great work, and thanks for sharing.

  2. Greg, I didn't see the hand til you pointed it out to me. LOL :) such is life (c'est la vie or c'est la guerra hahaha)

    Now about your picture, now THAT'S art!

    What I do is aimed to be at least potentially commercial. High-fashion, editorial, beauty, glamour. I get criticized if the retouch doesn't fall under the "industry standards"

    But I see nothing wrong with your retouch. It's a little on the "harsh" side if you will, but that's part of the effect. It does look like a LucisArt (or Topaz) filter was applied on the image (correct?).

    Like we discussed, there's no "right answer" :)


  3. I meant "c'est la guerre"

    Guerra is spanish/portuguese/italian.