Seattle Central Creative Academy: Photography Assignment (Clear Glass)

To light this image of Stranahan Colorado Whiskey I used a giant soft box and placed two Profoto lights inside facing each other to blow out the background.  With two large black cards left and right of the bottle, the edges became defined.  Then with one Speedlite below and slightly in front of the bottle, which rests on plexi glass, I fired it to highlight the label.  One final softbox was placed directly behind the camera and raised to hit the bottle at a 45 degree angle.

There were four exposures composited in PS5: bottle, label, cap and pour.  To wrap it all up in post, the image was masked with a white background.

Location: SCCA Studios, Seattle, WA

Camera/Lens Specifics: Canon 5D Mark II with Canon EF 100mm f/2.8L IS USM Macro Lens

100mm, 1/160 sec at ƒ/22, ISO 100, tripod mount.

Post: Adobe LR3 & PS5

Photo of the Day: Georgetown Brahs

Favorite edited version of a one-shot on-location assignment in Georgetown (Seattle, Washington).

Location: Georgetown, Seattle, WA

Models: William O’Donnell and Paris Gore

Camera/Lens Specifics: Canon 5D Mark II with Canon EF 24-105mm f/4.0L IS USM Zoom Lens

24mm, 1/250 sec at ƒ/7.1, ISO 500, tripod mount.

Post: Adobe LR3 & PS5

Seattle Central Creative Academy: Photography Assignment (One Shot On-Location)

I had to previsualize, find a location, bring models/props, light and execute for this pass/fail one shot on-location assignment.  A homeless individual, living in squalor with his meager slice of privacy.  A dirt bike rider, out for a thrill, looking to shred.  The two collide in this scene.

Lit with four lights, I had one Q-flash camera left on the bum’s shelter, two Q-flashes camera right to spotlight and fill the biker, and one Speedlite with a blue gel behind the homeless person.

Location: Georgetown, Seattle, WA

Models: William O’Donnell and Paris Gore

Camera/Lens Specifics: Canon 5D Mark II with Canon EF 24-105mm f/4.0L IS USM Zoom Lens

24mm, 1/250 sec at ƒ/7.1, ISO 500, tripod mount.

Post: Adobe LR3 & PS5

Seattle Central Creative Academy: Photography Assignment (Floral)

To depict the differences of diffused light and hard light on flowers, I created the following composition of an unknown flower species.  Upon completion, the differences observed are slim.  Diffused light – left.  Hard light – right.

Location: SCCA Studios, Seattle, WA

Camera/Lens Specifics: Canon 5D Mark II with Canon EF 100mm f/2.8L IS USM Macro Lens

100mm, 1/200 sec at ƒ/5.6 & ƒ/11, ISO 200, tripod mount.

Post: Adobe LR3 & PS5

Seattle Central Creative Academy: Photography Assignment (Environmental Portrait)

To create a narrative environmental portrait, I had three fellow photographers with one Elinchrom and two Triton strobes, as well as a lonely Speedlite.  The Tritons were placed behind the subject through the doorway, with the Elinchrom resting beneath the camera pointed at the foreground and up the stairs.  The Speedlite, attached to a PocketWizard, was placed directly at the feet of my subject (aka Tre).  And once the exposure and lighting was perfected, I placed a handful of potato starch in Tre’s right hand.  One.  Two.  He lobbed the starch over his head.  Three.  I released the shutter, capturing the four flashes while dragging the shutter to 2.5 seconds in order to absorb the ambient light and the fall of the potato starch.  The effect?  A man and his dog, come upon the viewer and suddenly something mystical transpires.  The man is not who we think he is.  Neither is his dog.

Location: U District, Seattle, WA

Model: Tre Williams

Camera/Lens Specifics: Canon 5D Mark II with Canon EF 24-105mm f/4.0L IS USM Zoom Lens

24mm, 2.5 sec at f/11, ISO 400, tripod mount.

Post: Adobe LR3 & PS5

Seattle Central Creative Academy: Photography Assignment (Clothing)

Apparel.  The working man/woman’s gloves – Carhartt.  Comes with a price, too.  At just under $30, I purchased these with the intent of photographing and returning them.  Taped to a hammer, stuffed with cotton balls and a sock, hung with 6lbs fishing line and stabilized with a chopstick.  It was hung in front of a black background with two white cards camera left and camera right.  There was a diffusion panel above and a gold reflector card beneath.  Two Q-flashes camera right and camera left in Strobo mode each flashing fifteen times while I dragged the shutter speed to 1 second.  After checking the exposure in LR3, I then shot the background, the top of a nail, with a 100mm Macro, and edited the final photograph in PS5.  Viola.  A fun shoot of construction and design, problem-solving and improvising.

Location: CK Studio, Bainbridge Island, WA

Camera/Lens Specifics: Canon 5D Mark II with Canon EF 24-105mm f/4L IS USM Zoom Lens

50mm, 1 sec at f/16, ISO 200, tripod mount, trigger fired.

Post: Adobe LR3 & PS5

Seattle Central Creative Academy: Photography Assignment (Lo-Key)

Lo-key is the opposite of hi-key.  The absence of light and a play on dark tones defines the dramatic lo-key photograph.  Incorporate a good use of positive and negative values, and a narrative should unfold between your subject and the audience.  Here I photographed my subject in character as a Shaman.  He’s preparing for a ceremony with wild turkey heads using a large rusty cleaver in silhouette.  He painted himself a sooty black with a singular white stripe running from forehead down to chin.  There’s an aggressive, tense look as if he was suddenly interrupted within his sanctuary preparing for the ritual.

Location: SCCA Studios, Seattle, WA

Model: Matt Kuntz

Camera/Lens Specifics: Canon 5D Mark II with Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS USM Telephoto Zoom Lens

70mm, 1/10 sec at f/4.5, ISO 100, tripod mount.

Post: Adobe LR3 & PS5

Seattle Central Creative Academy: Photography Assignment (Food Prep)

Food Prep.  An enjoyable shoot because after you’re finished you get to eat it.  I wanted to create a striking image focusing strictly on the food and a particular message.  And the message?  Polluting our planet, polluting our food.  We live off the resources this planet provides us, and by wrapping a plastic holder for a six-pack can of Dale’s Pale Ale around the salmon’s head while floating over a white ceramic plate, represents the sense of fragility yet power which our food is.  This image is a composite: one image exposed for the plate, the other for the salmon which was hung with 15lbs fishing line cleaned up in PS5.

Location: SCCA Studios, Seattle, WA

Camera/Lens Specifics: Canon 5D Mark II with Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS USM Telephoto Zoom Lens

70mm, 1/25 sec at f/4.5, ISO 100, tripod mount.

Post: Adobe LR3 & PS5

Seattle Central Creative Academy: Photography Assignment (Profoto Softboxes)

Softboxes come in a range of shapes and sizes.  Here we needed to experiment with three different boxes in the studio: a strip bank, an octobank, and a 2×3 foot softbox.  Here I photographed the solemnity of a noose in the following order:

1) Strip bank

2) 2×3 Softbox

3) Octobank

And my preferred choice with this subject?  The strip bank highlights the noose on camera right, creating more contrast and thus more drama.  Which is your favorite?

Location: SCCA Studios, Seattle, WA

Camera/Lens Specifics: Canon 5D Mark II with Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS USM Telephoto Zoom Lens

100mm, 1/25 sec at f/2.8, ISO 100, tripod mount.

Post: Adobe LR3 & PS5

Seattle Central Creative Academy: Photography Assignment (High Reflectivity)

On this next assignment we were asked to control the highlights on a highly reflective subject with the use of one strobe.  I chose a simple brass cuff with Native American symbology carved into the surface.  Using one strobe camera left raised to a 45 degree angle with a gold reflector directly beneath the floating cuff, I sought to create an image representing a National Geographic artifact found at an archaeological dig.

Location: Home Studios, Bainbridge Island, WA

Camera/Lens Specifics: Canon 5D Mark II with Canon EF 100mm f/2.8L IS USM Macro Lens

100mm, 1/60 sec at f/2.8, ISO 100, tripod mount.

Post: Adobe LR3 & PS5