Tuesday, September 30, 2008

the extra mile

It's been another slightly productive day in the world of photography for the little magpie. I got my monetary compensation for the wedding shoot and was given the task of making all of the photos available for family and friends of the bride and groom. With a reasonable amount of free time, they could do this themselves by copying the disc I made for them or taking it to Ritz, but in my letter to the client I stressed the fact that I'd be happy to do anything else that was needed involving the photos. This means that I'd edit further, make prints, copies of the disc, even get digital frames that they could (after paying me for them) give ask thank you gifts. Whatever they want. So they want the photos to be available to everyone. So I bought a Flickr Pro account and have for the past few hours been uploading the photos to a wedding folder. It cost me thirty dollars for a year account which is pretty reasonable, considering that I can now post my entire portfolio to the web by selecting hundreds of photos from my external hard drive and dragging it into the Flickr Uploadr. I don't know why they take the last "e" out of their words.
Anyway this has altered the functions of my other websites. Now my deviantart location will be used for personal things like blogging about my everyday life and posting photos that I took for myself. My flickr site (right here) will be where I post all my photos, and I can link to them from here.
On to business. I recently had a brief portrait session with a nice lady named Lucia to shoot some reference photos for my friend Dan Vogel, co-founder of The Academy of the Southside.
It was a quick shoot because I had a modeling gig to get to. We shot in my living room with an umbrella light. Lucia was seated in an arm chair with a table beside here. Dan had a very specific vision of how he wanted her to look, as he always does when I shoot reference portraits for him. I took about fifty shots because Dan would take a look at them and tell me to shoot a few more. The problem is, they all look the same and not in a good way. She and the table look cramped into the frame and the light looks sickly. Editing was no help. So I've told Dan that I can't let him spend weeks making a giant oil painting from a sub-par photo. I'll be re-shooting that and taking the photos how I see fit. I think when two artists work together on something like this, it's important for all three people (photographer, painter, model) to give equal input. My last shoot for Dan went really well because I told him that I had a lighting style in mind, he told me that he had a pose in mind, and our model was willing to let me shine a light in his face.
What you have there is light painting, one of my favorite lighting techniques. I'm hoping to use this technique on my next band promo shoot. I think it's a fitting style for say, a metal band. More on that subject at a later date when I get a collection of light painting photos set up on flickr. Also expect a blog about the wedding soon once I get this online gallery set up for them.
That's all for now, children. Talk to yinz soon.

Monday, September 29, 2008

PAPA Shoot- a magical trip to pinball heaven

My latest shoot was both fun and easy and involved pizza at one point. Free food is a good perk and so is free pinball, for sure. So first I want to tell you about pinball heaven then I'll get on with the details of the shoot.

Okay so this eccentric rich dude has a giant warehouse full of pinball machines from the birth of pinball to the shiny, glowing, pinball that we know and love today. Hundreds of machines, all buzzing and blinking and begging to be played. However, this oasis of gaming delight is only open once a year for the world famous PAPA pinball tournament. Madness.

Anyway, I was hired to photograph their new products that they're selling online. Mostly t-shirts so I had some fun models to order around, and a few other knick knacks to set on my favorite machines and shoot. I had my Nikon D200, my tripod, and my crummy umbrella light with a bluish 'natural light' bulb. Super simple. The hardest part was pulling my models away from their games to stand still and smile for me. I love when I get to shoot people smiling. Usually I'm shooting portraits for bands or for painting references and nobody wants smiling to happen.

It was really well lit in there so I didn't need to do much editing later for exposure or anything. I did anyway, just because I like a high highlight contrast and a little more yellow than real life. No cyan, though. Cyan is for those angstie, smile-free photos.

I count this as a successful gig. I didn't get lost driving to Carnegie in the rain, I remembered my camera battery, and I got a Budai poster like this one only with gerbils and concerning PAPA instead of Elf Power. Hey, why don't I just show you the poster! Better yet; lets have Dave Bach, my client, show you.

A few more of the product shots can be seen at deviantart
and there

Now before you go and say "Hey Dani, that last one isn't a very good product shot, you can't even see the entire image on the t-shirt! You fool!" put down the phone and let me finish. I shot that one when I was done working. I just like it. There's plenty more where that came from. I've got four more models, a hat, a bag, and fun photos of the machines. All that and more delicious in the next post!