This week’s assignment in Project 52 was a fun one for me. It did take some thinking prior to shooting, however. We were to photograph something that could be used for a magazine article. It had to be upbeat, innovative and revolutionize each of our particular genres of photography. Since most of my work includes people and the innovation involves something directly connected to me, I thought that it would interest many others. Now the proof is in the pudding. Do let me know what you think please.
I have been photographing and running Wild Mane Photography since 2004. It has been a real joy but it has also been hard on my back. It is the plight of many long time photographers. Lugging heavy lights, light stands, cameras, and all the accessories to selected locations has definitely taken its toll on me. Each year it gets harder to recover after a long photo session especially when we’ve moved to several locations as I shoot. I have been avoiding lugging my heavy camera with those heavy lenses to every place under the sun and have been using my phone for personal pictures.
For Christmas, my husband bought me a Sony A6000 mirrorless camera. I have used Canon since I switched from my little Kodak Brown as a child. I’ve also have Canon top of the line lenses. When I opened my new little Sony, it looked like a toy. It is feather light, easily fits in my purse and low and behold it produces 24+ megapixel images, shoots in RAW (my preference), shoots in many different modes including aperture priority, shutter priority and manual (always my preference). It shoots 11 frames per second which is unbelievably fast. It has a APS-C sensor which isn’t a full frame sensor like my Canon but it is an excellent sensor and by shooting a little wider is easily mitigated. Finally it has image stabilization which may come in handy since it is so small that holding it steady is a little harder and it shoots 1920 x 1080 HD video. What a dream camera! The only difficulty for me is learning a completely different camera’s operation. I have been working on that since Christmas making sure that I can actually make use of all of the creative extras included in this camera. The left image above was taken with my new mirrorless Sony. The picture on the right shows the difference in size between the two cameras. Wow, I can even carry the Sony around in my purse so traveling with it is awesome.
As for my assignment, this is my “2017 Year of Change” submission to show my new challenge and my options for the specific shoots that I do this year. With both cameras, the image quality and options are nearly identical. These high megapixel cameras can easily print a 40 x 60 print with incredible clarity.
Well, that’s it for this week. Next assignment is shooting fragrances. Another challenge! Talk to you then. Let me know if you have any questions and have a great week.
Hi again! I hope your week is going well. Our beautiful day is reflected in the image I am going to tell you about today. I mentioned last week that the “Brussels Sprouts” assignment was a flash assignment that was added to this “motion” assignment. I was to create a brochure cover for an unnamed insurance company that wants to break into a new market. I chose to bring my idea of motion via motorcycles. As you look at the photograph below, the right side (as you look at it) is on the front of the brochure. The left half of the photograph will wrap around and become the back of the brochure cover. The bikes are placed from the oldest to the most recent from left to right.
The oldest bike (left) was built in 1956 and the newest one (orange) was built in 2006. So as you look at this image, there is a 50 year span from the first to last motorcycle. This was a fun assignment and also challenging. The sun was on the right side of the picture behind the motorcycles. It was about 10:30 a.m. so the sun was fairly high and throwing shadows through the trees backlighting the bikes. The rider at the front of the line was also backlit by the sun so I added a 4′ octobox to light the rider’s face and the front of the motorcycle. As a side note, it was pushing 80 degrees and that rider was in full gear. He was definitely not a comfortable model!
Things all said and done, it took several adjustments to bike alignment and lots of pushing those older heavy bikes but the results worked out nicely.
My commercial photography mentor came up with a flash assignment last week. In addition to the weekly assignment for class, he added a brussels sprouts flash assignment. Since I am not a fan of them, finding a way to make them appealing was not necessarily in my paradigm. My initial plan was to take those icky little green balls and turn them into something we wouldn’t have to eat later. I decided to make them into a Christmas tree with little peppers or red candies for decorations and then sprinkling the whole thing with white glitter. At least I wouldn’t end up having to eat my creation that way. Off I went to the store in search of the dreaded brussels sprouts. Much to my surprise, I didn’t find any of those little things. Instead all I found was a giant vine of them. It was so pleasing to the eye that I couldn’t bear to ruin it so I headed to another store. Much to my horror, the second store presented me with the same giant vine of brussels sprouts. So, with a game plan change I bought one. I had it for two days before I finally decided how to create an awesome image with it. That second day found me heading off to the store again in search of color, shapes and textures to create my vision. As a matter of fact, in my sprouts search I learned that it is brussels with an “s” sprouts. Who knew?
Here is my final image.
For my main light, I used a gridded strip light, a second light with a 7″ reflector with a 20 degree grid and a white board to reflect a hint of light along the base of the sprouts. I love the way the brussels sprouts twist around that thick vine. Hopefully, the light concentration on the spiral sprouts draws your eye. I ended up being pleased with the image but now I have to figure out what on earth to do with that green thing. See you soon!
This week brought an interesting assignment. I was to shoot a cover shot showing equipment for an individual sport. The image needed to allow for text in the lower right corner and I knew to leave the top area for a magazine’s name.
I chose to highlight target shooting as the sport and bullets as the “equipment”. I included the pistol and the bullet box with the company name on it for context and composition. Lighting had to be very precise. My lighting setup is shown in this diagram below. The strobe on camera right is a strip light with grid to control the spill. The lightstand was moved forward and to the right as shown. Opposite the strip light was a white board reflector.
This turned out to be another fun assignment. Now, on to the next one! Coming next is “How We Roll”. See you soon!
This latest Project 52 assignment was interesting and fun. I was to create an image that could be used for a double page spread magazine article focused on small creative businesses. The article would cover the cottage industry businesses popping up all over the country.and include the hands that create the crafts involved. There were a number of really good submissions for this assignment. We are all growing and it shows.
Controlling the light is just as important for this kind of image as it is for portraits. The lighting is often very different and sometimes from a very different angle than for a portrait. The light must still be observed, adjusted and carefully planned. We have been asked to include “pull backs” of the scene so that we can all learn by seeing light placements, type of lighting, number of lights and additional items used by different photographers. How they interpret their vision is always interesting and there is lots to think about. In my case, I kept it simple. I used a strip light with my fabric grid attached to control the spread of light. I then placed it so the light hit at an angle so light hit parts but only skimmed parts of it. Since there was only one light, my model graciously held a white foam core reflector in front of her face to bounce back light onto the backs of her hands. I stood on a stool behind her right shoulder and shot down at the scene I was photographing. The following picture is the pull back. I owe her a big “thank you” for being such a good sport. At one point I had it completely covering her face with only her hands and arms coming around it.
Hope you like the finished image and see the trials and tribulation of being a model in the pull back. Thanks for reading my blog. Until next time…………
Well, life got in the way so I am way behind posting assignments for my year long commercial photography class. I missed a couple completely because I had conflicts with my photography business that simply had to come first. So, I will put assignments up as they are available but not necessarily in order from now on. That’s life. You do what you can and improvise for the rest.
The assignment I am posting today was to create a Halloween double spread magazine article. It was necessary use an image that allows the written article to appear and the image added should entice your eye to go to the text to read. I had a lot of fun with this week’s assignment. The images needed to be dark so that the white text showed up. Halloween needs spooky and dark looks anyway so that made it easier.
In the image above, the costuming helped lintroduce Halloween as something that goes way back. In fact, it actually goes back farther than the Renaissance clothing in the image. I used a couple of different images in layers to create the second spread. Since I ended up with two final layouts that worked well, I submitted both. They both fit the assignment but were totally different in feel. My instructor liked them and felt either would meet the needs of a magazine client plus it gave them choices. I am not sure whether I have a favorite layout. Maybe you can choose!
This was a very difficult assignment for me. I have never created a still life image in my life. We had to have a minimum of 5 objects in the image and one of them had to be a flower. I found a still life isn’t lit like a portrait, and setting it up is different than a portrait. I wound up switching props over and over, changing lighting, shoot, reshooting, adding more props and reshooting again. The entire day was gone before I knew it and I still wasn’t happy.
I finally ended up with the image you see although I recropped it tighter than the one I submitted. I wasn’t the only one in class who struggled with this assignment. Those of us who are used to photographing people were all in the same boat. Some of our classmates love shooting food and other still life subjects. They excel at it, in fact. For me, getting the composition just right didn’t happen. I am anxious to have another assignment so that I can improve on it. I have to be prepared to shoot many different things in the commercial world rather than people only. I have to be able to meet a commercial clients needs and create their vision. I have to be able to fit their mold rather than mine. I love the challenge even though it drove me crazy trying to get that still life right. Maybe next time I will follow my vision better and make my still life to show drama, elegance and sophistication. Then I will be headed to the place I belong and my images will make me happy.
Next week, photographing an entrepreneur. See you than!