As I’ve mentioned previously, Zack Arias is having a contest as his last assignment. These are my submissions for it.

DEDPXL07 Submission 1

This is a modification of an idea I’ve had for some time now. I really like the surrealist feel of having an indoor scene set outside in the middle of nowhere. For this shot to work, though, I needed the background to be perfectly clean. It took me quite some time to find the right place. I tried Gasworks and Discovery Park, but there are trees and all kinds of stuff in the way. Fortunately, my coworker, Puja, came through with location magics and I was able to pull it off. The original shot was intended to have Jeff flip the table with cups on it, but after the first take 2 things happened: 1. we broke all the dishes but one cup; and 2. the shot totally didn’t work: the cups didn’t spill the water as they should have, the table covered Chris’ hand with the phone and it just didn’t look good. Fortunately, Jeff had the brilliant idea of ‘what if i just fling the cup off the table while Chris completely ignores me?’. We tried it and it went. Almost. What you see is not the shot as I took it; it’s an embarrassing modification. The contest asked for 3 things: people, something spilling, and a news delivery device. Unfortunately, most people do not get news from a book, so I had to recreate the light in my apartment and shoot a magazine, which was photoshopped in by my friend, Hillary. So, thanks a ton, Hillary.

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DEDPXL07 Submission 2

This shot is a stand in. I wasn’t sure if I could use the teacup photo, as it was not yet fixed, so I had to improvise and shoot a backup. The day was hectic: my wife, Abby, was gone, so I didn’t have a model, I was out of ideas and really disappointed that such a good shot was wasted. But I also wasn’t going to give up. Jeff and I talked about a shot the day before where we could do something along the lines of a waitress and a customer so busy with their phones that the waitress spills coffee all over the table and neither of them notice. While that was a nice plan, I had one day to shoot the photo, no models, no access to a coffee shop, even for a composite. I don’t really know how it came to me, but I remembered that my sister, Darya, gave me a thermos shaped like a Nikkor 70-200 f/2.8 VR. The rest is, as they say, history.

(Note: a big thanks to Dirk for helping me with post for this shot)

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light setup for shot 2