Industrial Fashion Shoot with Athenaïs Testi [Fashion]

Late in the summer I had a chance to work with Athenaïs Testi as a lighting assistant for Jenn Gregory.  She was modelling some pieces by Posh City Jewelry, and I was able to work on a bit of an idea I borrowed from an ad in Vogue.  

Fast forward to a few months later and Athenaïs tells me she's coming to Halifax for a fashion show audition (which she did quite well in, as she was walking for FOUR designers in the Atlantic Fashion Week Showcase!) and wanted to try to get a shoot in with me.

We tossed some ideas around and came up with an industrial theme with a couple outfits in mind. I did my best to sort out a handful of locations, and made use of the area near the Cunard Centre for part of the shoot, then a fire escape stairwell, and finally winding up at the NS Government House on Barrington. 

I was absolutely floored when I got home and started going through the images.  Athenaïs absolutley ROCKED this shoot, and I couldn't be happier.  It was one of those times where everything comes together.  I really feel like I broke new ground with these images, and I hope that I can keep moving in this direction for future shoots.  I even submitted these photos to Vogue, which, sadly they didn't take.  That's not going to stop me from shooting more stuff like this though!

We used the stairwell a couple different ways too.  The first thing I tried was a nice soft modifier to create a balanced, even light on Athenaïs with just a bit of punch to her face.  It took some time to get the feathering just right (just ask Chris, my assistant) but it was worth the fiddling.  

Once I had the shot above, I knew I wanted to try something a bit punchier, with more dynamic to it.  We simply used a bare strobe to really kick the light up a notch and got some really cool shadows.

I used a beauty dish on these last few images, and used the light overcast as a fill.  There are some days when the light is just perfect, but other times you just have to help it along a bit.  The three different looks were all put together by Athenaïs and her mother, Nathalie.  They make a great fashion team! 

How do you think the shoot turned out? Leave a comment and let me know!  

Daily Photo: 01/10/13 - Ashley at the Dingle Tower [Portrait]

I'm very happy with this small two-light setup.  I used a 45" octagonal softbox on the right and feathered it out until it looked as natural as possible, then popped a beauty dish onto the background, which also meant it could do double duty as a rim light as well.  The effect is quite subtle.  The final piece of the puzzle is the reflector, held by Jacob and just off camera left.  This was a tight crop shot so he was able to get in nice and close.  

The way I've been lighting lately is a new thing for me.  Instead of just firing the light at the subject, I'm really spending time working on the way it hits them, and building a believable set up.  I've got a long way to go but I think every shoot gets easier and easier! 

Technical Information:
Camera: Canon 5D Mark II
Lens: Canon 85mm f/1.8 
ISO400, f/4.5, 1/100s
Location: Dingle Tower, Halifax, NS
Process: Apple Aperture for RAW processing, Color Efex Pro 4 for toning and film grain
Model: Ginger Snapzz (Ashley)
Assisted by Jacob Connell

Pre-Bachelorette on the Waterfront [Portrait]

Marisa's Bachelorette party started down on the boardwalk with a photo session!  It was a different request than what I would have expected, but incredibly fun to shoot.   All the girls were ready to hit the town and have a blast, but wanted me to take some photos beforehand so that they wouldn't have to worry about getting pictures through the night.

We hit some important locations along the waterfront, including the boardwalk by Murphy's,  the Bicycle Thief (where they went to eat after the photo shoot) and Garrison Brewery.

When we arrived at the Garrison everyone decided to grab a beer.  Hey, sounds good to me!  Cheers!

The shoot lasted only about an hour, but the girls seemed to have a good time and I got lots of pictures to help them remember a great evening.  It was a challenge to get some good photos in the bright direct sunlight, but I was fortunate enough to schedule the shoot around 5pm, so the light wasn't as bad as it could have been.  

Congratulations Marisa!

Sunset shoot with Alysha

Alysha and I met up at Sandford Flemming park around 6:30 pm to do a photo shoot last Friday evening.  Talk about beautiful lighting. The weather was absolutely brilliant and we were going for a fun and girly type of shoot.  As soon as we had confirmed a time, I put an issue out on facebook asking for an assistant, and  Rachael Sherwood, a friend of mine from the Sackville Photo Club answered the call.

Honestly it was tough to get the right kind of attitude for this shoot right out of the box.  I had a vague idea in my head for what I wanted, but finding the location to fit and getting the right poses were both challenging endeavors.  I also need to work on my coaching a bit. However, We got some really great shots.

The first couple photos took were done in a pathway with a warm glowing back-light effect.  I didn't really do much to enhance this in post, it pretty much looks like this on the back of the camera.  

I also wanted to use the sun as a main light from the front, and we set up on the edge of the pathway that winds around the edge of the Halifax Arm.  

Rachael had spotted a woman walking her dog and noted that it was about the same colour as Alysha's top. We could totally run with this idea, and when the woman came by again, she graciously allowed Alysha to take the little guy on a short walk.  It turned out that Alysha and Lena (the dog's owner) were from the same area in Nova Scotia.  

I have a few photos from this series, but this was my absolute favourite. Alysha's expression and the way the dog is pulling her along just make the image work. 

We continued walking around the park, looking for really nice, simple clean backdrops with a great key lighting from the sun, getting ever lower in the sky and incredibly pretty.

As the glow became even more golden, we hiked up to the base of the Dingle Tower, and made use of the brick wall.  Alysha had just put her head back to relax for a second, and we worked with it for a few more shots.

Finally, after a quick break to get some more lighting supplies and water, we went down to the dock for a couple of artificially lit portraits.  I have a few of these that I really like, but I plan to do a special blog post to show how I lit and balanced them.

That's all for now, Cheers!

Test shoot with Chantal

Though it feels like I haven't been shooting much lately, I still have a few sets of images that I haven't blogged about!  This shoot with Chantal Giroux was a sort of meet and greet test shoot, but I had a couple ideas of what I wanted to do.  I was really hoping for two images: a diptych that had a full body shot and a close up, and a nice, evening light-backlit photo with a bit of flare.  

I think I got both of those images, and more.  Chantal was very energetic and creative, despite having just finished her first day back at work. I was doing my best to make use of the natural light throughout the shoot, and minimize all the equipment that so often winds up coming along with me.  I made use of the 85mm lens for most of this shoot, but then switched out for the 70-200 for a few shots.  

The diptych, a type of work that I'd like to do more of.  I processed this shot with Silver Efex Pro for that film-y look. 

I tried to use the pathway at Victoria park as a leading line/triangle in this shot.  Chantal's pose really helps to keep focus on her while the background elements melt away.

I wasn't sure when I took this if it would work, but the graphic elements of chantal and the gritty wall make it a very interesting shot.  I especially like the way it looks almost as though she's floating in the space.

Chantal's killer smile.  This is the over-the-top high-key shot I was hoping for.  That evening light was beautiful, and with the flowers in full bloom in Public Gardens, it made for a nice portrait location.
That's it for today, Cheers!