February 16th, 2012


Fantasy, Surreal, Both, Either

Last week today I posted about the good energy in the Studio 318 session, and today you may choose to see some of the work. You may choose not to view it, or to view later. This work does qualify for that wee caveat, Not Work Safe (for various definitions of work, and safe, and such).

The overall concepts going into this session included a surreal setting, providing component pieces for composite fantasy or science fiction work while those same pieces being able to stand on their own. I've been learning that to make a good composite, first start with a good, solid, well made component image. I also wanted to resume exploring Strobist lighting, though in some sense this isn't strictly Strobist (using the component flash units which will fit the 'hot shoe' mounts on ones camera). Some of the images I also simply used 'hot lights', daylight balanced and lighting you've seen me use before if you're following the blog at all.

Not strictly Strobist because, though I did use a Nikon SB800 unit I also used three Spirotone flash units I traded some whiskey with my friend S some time back (oh, ten years or so, maybe). These are AC powered units. S bought them while he worked on his PhD in Marine Zoology. Used them to photograph some wee creatures which were the subject of his doctoral disertation. Said they put out a lot of light, and they do. After all, photographing those wee creatures to fill a 35mm slide frame he also used a bellows on his SLR, and that 'ate' a lot of the light, and... Anyway, yes, they do put out some light. They're also older tech, as mentioned. Newer units are probably more powerful.

Newer units I don't have, other than the two Nikon flash units I also use. And there is a benefit to their being AC powered. So, I ganged them together using the cords that came with their kit, on a single light stand. Improvised a black cardstock 'snoot' light modifier for these, and the SB800 which I mounted on the camera as the 'master'. And proceeded to make photographs.

The mask used is Kitsune, and made by a wonderful mask-maker who lives in Buffalo and goes by the name merimask and the same name over on Dreamwidth, and sells her wares via Etsy. Kitsune is a Japanese mythological, folklore creature, Fox, and a shape-shifter.

Our model today is an old friend who wishes to preserve anonymity, which is part of the reason for using the mask. Still working on a 'working name' so I can provide better credit than 'an old friend'.

Reminder; following the cut links puts you into Human Nudity World.

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As mentioned above, the 'hot lights' are in the previous image. They are on short stands behind the stage setting. I'd hoped to get that bright, somewhat washed-out look in all the photos. However, either the ganged Spirotones or the SB800 (and I actually suspect, both) put out enough light to overpower the hot lights.

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This one and the next three are strictly Strobist. The Gang of Three are off to the side as the primary light, and the SB800 on the camera as the command light and to do some fill.

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This one is from the get-go conceived to be a component in another piece. All very mysterious and such, stay tuned for further and future developments (pun intended).

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Not too unhappy at all with the results. Some results contribute to the learning curve; that bit about the strobes washing out the hot lights, for example. One of the lessons learned I read up first, how to work Strobist using DSLR. One of the features of a digital image is the histogram, a graphic representation of the light in the image. Using a histogram display while making the photographs it is really quite easy to 'dial in' the desired camera settings (shutter speed & f-stop) by making a photograph, examining the histogram, and making adjustments to either setting or both, as needed. Once the histogram is 'dialed in', then the rest of the session continues from there.

Lots more to learn, of course, but we're off to a good start.

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