Last week’s post was very short. There wasn’t much going on except scouting for this week’s shoot, which I’m pleased to say was a success! There was of course was a bit of an adventure involved, as usual, but I’m very much satisfied with the result.
This shot was a Zack Arias assignment. I had this idea for doing a line of people, one facing towards the camera and the others away for a little while. In fact, I was going to use it for dedpixl 08 (moody B&W), but never got around to it. The shot is a Brenizer-style stitch of many many photos taken at a large aperture with a long lens, which was kind of an ordeal because I had to shoot the whole thing by myself. The biggest challenge was getting the gear into Interlake park, which is a huge bowl with some pretty steep stairs. Since I was alone, I had to get everything there in one go. That would be: my camera bag, my crazy expensive lights that i rented, ~20 lb C-stand, snacks, large cumbersome softbox, and 75 lbs of sanbags, to keep the lights from crashing into the mud. I get there, set up the light, get all excited to shoot and realize that I forgot my tripod. Man, that is not a good feeling. Fortunately for me my wife is much smarter than I am; she made the suggestion that I leave the sandbags on location while I go home and grab the stupid tripod (she couldn’t bring it because I had the car). So I dragged all of my stuff back to the car (except the sandbags), drove home, got all my stuff, went back, set up and then, finally, was able to start. It took me a little while since it’s 40 some images that compose this photo. The one that took the longest is the one above. Since I was doing a Brenizer, I had to shoot in manual focus. Normally that’s no big deal, but it’s harder if you’re shooting yourself. In order to hit focus I drew a line in the dirt in front of my little perch, focused on it, and took about 30 photos as I rocked back and forth trying to get my face over it in just the right spot. I’m sure it looked ridiculous. But it worked. And here it is.
I’ve always been drawn to this sort of surreal combination of studio lighting in a completely wild setting. Especially if the light looks like it’s coming from nowhere. It’s what draws me to Rembrandt. It’s the look i try to go for every time i shoot climbing. It’s also everyone’s biggest complaint about my stuff, that it feels unnatural and that the lighting is too much. I think there’s a balance to be struck and I’m trying very hard to find it. I wish that the lights could give off a little more power for the central figure (maybe they do and I just screwed up by not forcing it to go to full power in manual). Even as it it, I think it’s pretty good. I actually like the subtle accent of the central figure. Maybe the harsh spotlight that I wanted would have been to much. Let me know what you think!