The environmental portrait project was an enriching experience that I intend to continue as a personal project. I met a lot of nice people and made a lot of new friends. Throughout the project there were takes and outtakes. Here are some of each: 🙂
We’re winding down to the last two weeks; deadlines are fast approaching. Patti Silverstein will review our images tomorrow and pick the strongest ones. Next Tuesday chosen images must be printed and matted to be hung in the gallery. The following Tuesday the portfolio, business cards, and promo piece are due. “I’m doing my best. I’m getting through this, I’m in school to learn”!
Below are recent candidates for portfolio. Adan Alonso introduced me to John Marini, owner of Marini Music in Alhambra. I’m SO glad he did. As fate would have it a professional photographer (now drummer) was in the shop who was kind enough to assist me and give me portrait tips. God is good!
I can always count on DJ Warapo for a photo shoot. I even have full access to my favorite artist, Alexander Abreu, at a concert Warapo is promoting. ❤️
After critique of prior Amtrak engineer shot I decided to submit another shot from the session. We’ll see how that goes. 😊
UGH, school! I’m in school to learn, not to be persecuted. (I have to remind myself.) So to be totally transparent and so I won’t forget, when shooting environmental portraits:
1. Declutter your set. Unless it contributes to the story, get rid of it.
2. Establish separation between the subject and the background either with depth of field, lighting, composition or something.
3. Employ standard portrait techniques, e.g. Place subjects head against uncluttered area (try that one at home 😀)
4. And of course, tell a story.
Bottom line is minus a couple of exceptions I need to start over. Piling on my Epson 3880 stopping recognizing ink cartridges so I can’t print. Not to mention the 2 packs of Arista Lustre I bought have to go back because they don’t have sufficient portfolio weight. Back to Hollywood mind you. OMG! But we trudge on!
April 26 additions to portfolio. Thirteen images and counting.
I will owe a sizable portion of my degree in photography to my friends who have patiently agreed to be photographed again and again. Even allowing me to intrude into their classroom for this image. Thanks Cindy!
Jeremy Buck, ladies and gentlemen! I was thrilled with the opportunity to shoot Jeremy in his home studio. Singer, songwriter, producer you’ll find on drums, guitar, keys, and more!
Adding images to Environmental Portrait portfolio.
Week 8. Well, I guess I’m not going to drop. I have 11 images (all posted below). It’s been a experience, a REAL experience in so many ways. It’s not quite routine, but the repetition of shooting one type of photo is teaching me a lot. I developed a routine of contacting subjects, meeting them prior to the shoot to discuss the project, time requirements, expectations then calling the day before to confirm. I’ve improved analyzing locations(prior real weakness) to include insight/story of the subject as well as composition. I also am learning to work fast. It’s not like beauty and fashion where you have a model who knows they’re in for a couple of hours of shooting. I typically ask for 15 minutes of set up and 30-45 minutes to shoot.
Week 8. I guess I’m not going to drop. I need 4 more images.
For some reason Reggae Classics on Spotify is working tonight! When was the last time you heard Red Red Wine – UB40 or Dawn Penn’s No, No, No You Don’t Love Me? Buffalo Soldier 🙂 OMG 4 more!
I never fully appreciated car photography before this assignment. In this post I’ll show you the work that went into creating the image above.
First some lessons learned:
1. Location. Cars are just super huge shiny appliances like a million toasters or Kitchen Aid mixing bowls. They reflect whatever is in a one mile radius of them. I could not find in Los Angeles an area that was totally devoid of cars, trucks, poles, trees, houses, people.
2. Time of day. Only sunrise and sunset will provide the lighting you need. I’m not sure I’ve ever seen a sunrise.
3. Turn front wheels so that you see more wheel and less black rubber tire (I forgot).
4. I also forgot to focus on and highlight identifying features e.g. wheel caps, bumper insignia, etc. Next time! 👍
I met my Bentley owner aka BFF at Dockweiler Beach just below the takeoff pattern at LAX. Sunset was 4:45 we ran off about 40 shots.
The lot was totally vacant except for a huge ass RV, poles, houses are on hill – all reflected in the car. OMG!
I was happy with the soft reflections from the clouds and the warm sunset colors on the bumper and passenger door. So here’s our SOOC image replete with dull lifeless sky, reflections of all sorts (including me) in the body, the requisite windshield stickers, cracked passenger side bumper (oops, how’d that happen?), etc. Let’s see what we can do.
Really enjoyed Pandora’s Sunday Brunch station while working on this image.
update Nov 18 – Got through it! The second cosmetic shot: color product on same color background. It was not without quite a bit of angst, but here it is. Now I think I’ll try it; packaging says results are guaranteed 🙂
During post processing I rediscovered and seriously grooved to Oh Honey by Delegation. Released in 1977, Yikes! 🙂
We’re counting down. 4 more weeks to go. Only cosmetics and a car remain. The cosmetic assignment is 2 shots: Black product on black background and color product on matching color background. Whatever, we’re getting it done! 🙂 If Trump can become president, I can shoot this assignment. (expletives, deleted of course) OMG!
This is what I have so far for black on black background:
Color shot is giving me trouble, still a work in progress. We’ll see what happens. Stay tuned.
On continuous repeat for at least the last hour is Smooth Sailin’ Tonight by the Isley Brothers. OMG!
Oh my, election 2016, Really? Really? Just how far back do we have to reach to make American great again?! Hopefully, not pre Civil Rights legislation.
I’m diverting my attention from the election results by writing this post. This assignment was about collaboration. I was paired with a graphic design student and given the task of designing a book cover. We chose The Book of Four by Arthur Conan Doyle from a list of 6 classic novels.
Believe it or not I’ve never read a Sherlock Holmes novel or seen a Sherlock Holmes film. God bless YouTube.
If all collaboration projects ran this smoothly the world would be a different place. We met and shot her husband as author and Sherlock Holmes at the historic fire station across from Olvera Street in downtown Los Angeles. I was responsible for the photography and printing. She chose the location, model, wardrobe and did all the design and layout. It was wonderful and so easy working with an uber talented graphic designer. She gave my images real life and I made a new friend.
The shoot was broken up by security because we did not have a permit, but that did not dampen our spirits. We got the cover shot in front of the red door as we were begrudgingly packing up and leaving.
October 10th update: Before and after images.
October 5th update: Plan is to reshoot to open blinds and blur out background, get dust off counter, fill pot with coffee to hide photo props, get real sun flowers.
As promised 3rd Product Photography assignment was to shoot a shiny kitchen appliance in an upscale kitchen. Think Sur la Table, Crate and Barrel advertisement. Sounds easy enough, you try it without getting lights and/or your face reflected in that shiny appliance. OMG!
I built a light box, I guess it’s called, and surrounded the entire set with white foam core. In the front of the set I hung a roll of white seamless from C-stands and cut a whole in it for my camera. The black vertical band in the center of the pot is where my camera was. I set up one strobe with 3’x 4′ lightbox behind the set to camera left. There was a second light behind the set at camera right with a snoot made of Cinefoil bouncing off foam core to illuminate the front name plate.
Nikon D750; 140 mm, ISO 100, f9.0 at 1/160 sec.
I’m missing hair and makeup, but we can get through this. 🙂 Next up food!
Listening to Below the Baseline by Ernest Ranglin.
Getting a jump on their holiday cards I met the Scott family aka my best friend, Deb, her husband, Neil, and my god daughter, Ali, in Pasadena for a photo shoot. Where does the time go? 🙂 We had typical Christmas in Los Angeles weather: dry, mid 80s, pleasant breeze so the wardrobe was perfect. We probably had more fun catching up than did any shooting. Here are some images from that session.
Merry Christmas! 🙂