Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Jaclynn: In blue

I can't really discuss this picture without getting into the background about where this frame came from. I promise I'll keep it short though.

I was in Taiwan from 11/25-12/9 and I was curious to know if there were any models from ModelMayhem in Taiwan. In short, there were several models in Taiwan that were on ModelMayhem, one of which was Jaclynn.

So we set up a shoot but I was nearly 7,000 miles away from my AlienBees and even most of my Speedlites. Fortunately I found a studio for hire/rent and with the help of the owner (Winson), also found a makeup artist at a reasonable price.

The studio was very nice. Small (about 1,000 square feet) but very luxurious as studios go. There were several "built" sets that we were able to use to give my shots a different look. I also had the help and expertise of Winson who aided in setup and also advice and critique. While we had different styles (primarily due to the demands of different industries), we collaborated well and I learned a few things from him as far as lighting and photography were concerned. This made the shoot with Jaclynn that much more worthwhile.

Jaclynn was fun to work with. Energetic and brave. How else would you describe someone that moves to Taiwan without knowing Mandarin and actually winds up staying there (longterm)?

This particular set with Jaclynn utilized Winson's carpentry skills because the background is a fence built from scratch and painted white. The wardrobe determined the color scheme and also the makeup involved, focusing on blue as the primary element of this set. Another thing to note was the lighting coming from very high camera left. This is the highest I've ever lit a model because my ceilings only go up to 8.5-9 feet and Winson's studio's ceilings went up to 11 feet.

Post-processing was different. The screen/net material of the hat forced me to process the facial skin "old-school" style (healing brush) because I wasn't able to run my actions over the entire area of the face. The good thing was that I didn't forget how to retouch. After all, the day after I shot this, I was on a plane going to Guangzhou, China. That was December 9th and in my world, 2 weeks is a night and day difference... this is officially the longest I've been away from retouching (although I did some basic shooting/run-and-gun in China).

That being said, I still went through my usual motions. I ran my levels, gradient maps, desaturation, curves, etc. The truth is that most of the time went into healing stamping all the little blemishes on the skin.

Another thing to note is that Winson's strobes were not syncing properly at 1/200th (unlike my AB800's). That's why there's a little banding on the right of the frame.

Camera info: D3/24-70mm f/2.8G @70mm, 1/200th, f/14, ISO200

Strobist: 18-20" beauty dish (with silver-lining) in large wattage pack strobe from very high camera left.

Model/Wardrobe: Jaclynn Joseph

Makeup: Isabella (I love her work! Maybe I'll talk about this in the next frame...)

Studio: Winson's studio in Shi-Lin

Cost: $77

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