Monday, January 31, 2011


Here are edited photos from the first four photo shoots. I am posting as many versions as I am having trouble deciding on.

My first shoot was a good attempt at a first shoot. I learned many things. First off, the location I chose probably wasn't the best but it was the best I could find at the moment. I spent a lot of money on props but didn't pay attention to how some of them call attention to the present time. Overall the shoot was a little too modern looking for what I was really looking for. As for lighting, I used fill lighting and the kitchen light to get a more dramatic light. It was okay but I think not dramatic enough and so a lot of processing was needed to get a painterly effect.

Two characters, a baker & his assistant, are baking a cake for their cat Tommy. Unfortunately the assistant's cake is less than satisfactory.



My second shoot was an outside shoot which posed new problems. But the first problem really was how it came to be an outside shoot, it was because I couldn't find a tub! However I think it lead to a more interesting photo. The problem with this shoot was that I did it in the afternoon without a good amount of shade so bits and pieces of the sun leaked through and overexposed the photo sometimes. Another was that because it was light out, the fill light I used pretty much did nothing! And then the third is that I don't know whether the location was the best one. I loved that it was by a stream but the amount of leaves gives the whole photo a very busy texture.

Three characters, a butcher, a baker, and a candlestick maker, have crash landed their tub and don't know where they are.



This shoot I think was my most successful one so far. The location had perfect lighting and the timing (around 4:30-5:30PM) was perfect. I rented strobes that I wanted to try out for more dramatic lighting but they unfortunately did not work! Thankfully we brought backup fill light to use and because it was so much darker than my previous photoshoot, the light did a lot for the photo. There was less post work because the photo itself already looked like a painting. The one thing I was experimenting with these photos is the holes in the trees where the sky is exposed. Sometimes this bright spot can be distracting so I chose to take advantage of it and make it more a part of the photo. This was after looking back on Annie Liebovitz's photos where she did the same thing in the Snow White photo. 

Instead of concentrating on the part that most people know about, the scene I planned to shoot was the part in which Bo Peep comes upon her sheep's tails hanging from a tree.

Version 1: Saturated - Big ray

Version 1: Desaturated - Big Ray

Version 1: Desaturated - small rays

Version 1: Desaturated - no rays

Version 1: Saturated - small rays

Version 1: saturated - no rays

Version 2: saturated - combo rays

Version 2: Deaturated - big ray

Version 2: desaturated - combo rays

Version 2: desaturated - no rays

Version 2: saturated - no rays

My fourth shoot dealt with the golden hour in which the sun is setting. With no shade, this is supposedly the best time to shoot but I had a hard time with exposure. Everyone once in a while the overcast weather would come about (it rained earlier) and the lighting would be perfect. Unfortunately it never got dark enough for the fill lights to work (the strobes still refused to work). Another element of this photo that was a learning process was dealing with a young 5 year old girl who wasn't too keen on taking direction. 

This rhyme was originally based on the Bubonic Plague. Mixing this with a child's interpretion of the rhyme as a game, I imagined a scene where 3 young girls are looking at two sets of clothes representing children who have disappeared for no reason.

Version 1: desaturated

Version 1: saturated

Version 2: desaturated

Version 2: saturated

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

PHOTOSHOOT SCENARIO PREP: "Ring Around a Rosie", "Little Bo Peep", "Jack be Nimble", "Miss Muffet", "Twinkle Little Star"

With the first two photo shoots under my belt, I have learned a few things here and there that will be useful for future shoots. This weekend I have two more shoots planned (Ring Around a Rosie & Little Bo Peep). Next weekend I am planning 3 more (Jack be Nimble, Miss Muffet, & Twinkle Little Star).

For "Rub a Dub Dub" I had a hard time finding a tub and good location but because I had to improvise, I came up with a scene that was more odd and interesting (a crash landing of the 3 men who couldn't possibly have fit in the small tub I used). For future photo shoots I really want to stretch the interpretations of the nursery rhymes and make more interesting scenes. So here are some speculations that I really like for the upcoming rhymes.

Ring Around A Rosie
Because the rhyme is based on the bubonic plague (hence the version that goes "ashes, ashes, we all fall down"there will be 5 kids of varying age... one of the kids will have fallen 'dead' and the others will still be holding hands, but staring at the fallen kid in shock.

Little Bo Peep
I want to concentrate on a part of the rhyme that most people don't know about. When Bo Peep finally finds her sheep, they have come back with no tails! Then one day she stumbles upon all their tails hanging from a tree--THIS is the scene I want to photograph.

Jack Be Nimble
This rhyme is short and simple and has little to no details. I wanted to play on the character of Jack not being so nimble or quick. I want to cast Jack as an old man instead trying to jump over the candle stick but not being able to.

Miss Muffet
For this rhyme, I don't want the spider to literally be a spider. Instead I want to cast the spider as an evil man who scares Miss Muffet away.
Twinkle Little Star
For this rhyme I was trying to think of different ways of interpreting the star. I was thinking maybe it could be light on a ladder, but that seemed really goofy. Then I was thinking it'd be interesting if the star was inside. THEN I thought it'd be interesting to see the praying child OUTSIDE and the star INSIDE the house.

Saturday, January 22, 2011


I took photos of Matt in the costumes that I rented. I also tried a bit of photo manipulation and discovered some things I do and don't like.

Matt in the BAKER costume, which I will use for both "Pat a Cake" and "Rub a Dub Dub". Our kitchen isn't ready for the shoot tomorrow yet, but I just wanted to see what the framing should be like. I did a bit of photoshop on his face and body, wasn't too happy with it but I'll keep trying...

Matt in the BUTCHER costume, shirt tucked in and with a tie around his waste. He is standing in the tub I'm going to use. Maybe it would be funny to have everyone stand in their own tub?

BUTCHER with untucked shirt.

Here I did a lot of photoshop work, compare it to the original above. I tried to make him look as painterly as possible. I felt that desaturation helped a lot in that aspect after I edited highlights and shadows.

I wanted the butcher to maybe be sitting in the tub with a piece of meat on his head looking sort of bewildered so Matt graciously modeled that for me.

This is the CANDLESTICK MAKER (no candle for now). This is something interesting I found out about lighting. This is a normally exposed photo, notice he is really close to the light so his face is a little blown out. Then look at the following...

Here is that same photo but UNDEREXPOSED. I feel that the dramatic lighting does a lot for the feel of the photo and helps in looking more theatrical. 

And when I DESATURATE it, it helps even more with the painterly aspect.

For our interviews, since we had to take a portrait of the person we interviewed, I decided to practice my painterly technique on the portrait I took of Andy.


I really like the results and I feel like the painterly effect works a lot better when there are large surface to be edited rather than tiny object. Unfortunately my pictures won't be that way. Maybe I should take portraits of everyone? Another thing though, even though I find that my editing can be successful, I should concentrate on a better original photo!

Thursday, January 20, 2011


I posted on LAcasting this week and got a good amount of response in such a short period of time. On wednesday I went to the Malaga Cove Costume Closet and rented outfits for both shoots! The scheduled shoot times are this Saturday night for "Pat a Cake" and Sunday for "Rub a Dub Dub"

Location: Kitchen in my apartment


Baker's Assistant

Location: Temescal Gateway Park. Originally I wanted to do this in an inside tub but the colors and the overall scene didn't seem right. It also seemed too modern. Instead I have a metal tub that isn't big enough for them to fit in, but I want to place it at the park by a stream as if they have crash landed there. Each character will be out and about doing their own thing.

Candlestick Maker



Monday, January 17, 2011


HDR photography is a technique I've been familiar with but have not had the chance to try myself. The style it gives off is certainly a painterly style, although I'm not sure if it's exactly the kind I want. The pictures above show how HDR photos can be edited differently for a more or less dramatic effect. I will have to experiment to see if this is indeed a technique I should be using. 


These photos are actually from a film he did for an ad campaign. I just LOVE his cinematic style and after extensive research, all I can learn about his technique is that his lighting is very precise and dramatic. These photos also show that costuming is very important, including the hairstyle of the man and heavy, heavy makeup to make them look more painterly.


This is a brief overview of the photoflex lighting lesson on outdoor lighting.

Sunlight only

Huge light panel used to diffuse sunlight.

Soft gold light panel to reflect back light to make shadows softer.

Another Light Panel in front of the model to reflect light back onto subject. (final shot)

another final shot

Of course a lot of things can be learned from this lesson but if I want the painterly effect I may have to do something different and actually allow for more shadows and contrast. Further research is needed...