Shooting it: Blowing Bokeh


Blowing Bokeh!

Since this gathered a lot of attention on Flickr, I guess I’ll show every one how it went down. There was a bit of “cheating” involved, but it came out great! (And plus, I’m not shooting for a news paper or anything.)

Here’s a shot of how I set up the light!

The softbox was very high, I’d say maybe 9 – 10 feet pointing down at her. I also had a nude flash coming from behind her to give some fill light. Here’s a picture of the setup to give you a better idea just where the lights were.

Personally I don’t think this photo deserves as much attention as it got. I feel the lighting isn’t all that great, and if we had a few more minutes, I could have gotten a better angle of her face, instead of just a flat profile. I got the idea from gathering what other photographers have already done. We’ve all seen the photo of the person holding the sun, or people using filters to get heart, or star shaped bokeh. I’m pretty sure I have seen this exact picture somewhere else, but I can’t seem to find it. :/ Anyways, now to the cheating bit. I used photoshop to change the exposure, and help with the contrast a bit. I also photoshopped out some distracting lights from the picture. Here’s what the photo looks like unprocessed…

Doesn’t it look so boring and lifeless when it’s not processed?

And post processed…

Long story short, it took more lining the bokeh up with her face than it did lights! 🙂

I hope you enjoyed this, and feel free to ask any questions!

Shooting it: Half the Hour Glass


My first post here will be about what I think is currently my best work of art, “Half the Hourglass.” I will go over my difficulties, and inspiration, and motivation, and setup, and post process.

Motivation:

I attended the “Art Erotica” party this year, hosted by the Octopus Club, and was amazed at everything that was happening there! The main idea of this party is to raise money for AIDS awareness. They do this by becoming a venue for a giant silent auction, where they sell works of nude / erotic art! All the proceeds generated by the silent auction go into a charity donation! I decided I would like to donate a few pieces of art myself next year, and help the cause!

Here’s a link to the group that hosts the party every year!

http://www.octopusclub.org

Inspiration:

I actually had the idea in my head a few months before my motivation came along, and it’s from an Infinity ad campaign! Here’s a link to the video that inspired me for this shot.


Here’s a link to the video in case the player didn’t work: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p1kbzpYRogg

The contour lines of the roof, and the door is what led me to my idea. I don’t know how I went from a car commercial, to a nude girl, but viola!

Process:

Before this shoot I had no experience shooting a nude model before, and it was very difficult to find a model willing to ‘donate’ her body for this cause. I was looking for a model for several months prior to the shoot, so this was a major hold up as well. After I found a willing model, and a place all was set!

I used a single strobe paired with a soft box for this shot, straight overhead of the model, and maybe a few feet back. The model was to be laying in front of a window for the shoot, so we had to block out as much light as possible. I took two sheets to block out the sun, and dropped the ISO as low as it could go, and bumped up my shutter speed to 1/200 to keep it dark. At first when I started shooting, I had the model lay on her side to get a profile shot, just like in the Infinity commercial. This proved very difficult, and I think a long rectangular softbox would have proven much more useful, but also wouldn’t have given me the image I ended up with. In this image, there is a “hot spot” near her waist, and it kinda fades off as you near the edges of the photo. It took me forever (about 2.5 hours of shooting) to get this image we see here, and it is the very last, or second to last one in the series. Here are a few shots of what I was experimenting with…


After many attempts I got this image!

Of course there are many things wrong with this image straight from the camera. I had to adjust the contrast, sharpening, erase some distracting objects, and even crop it a little to adjust the placement of everything. I even played around with black and white versions as well!

At first, I didn’t want the sheet in the photo at all, and I even started out with a black sheet. However, there was light spilling onto the sheets behind her, and I could not stop it from happening, so I decided to use the red sheets to be more aesthetically pleasing. I then also wanted the sheets to be perfectly flat, as to not distract from the subject, but her weight created ripples in the sheets, which then act as leading lines, so even if the eye is distracted by the redness of the sheets, the folds in the sheets will still lead the viewer’s eye back to the subject. I also had to end up snooting the softbox with a spare shirt laying about to reduce light.

The final image:

And that’s how I made, “Half the Hourglass.”

Adam D. (Obtuse Photo)

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