Thursday, January 12, 2012

Model shoot: Rose Halfpenny

I like going to the bookstore, flipping through fashion magazine, mostly the girlie sorts. Not because i am  extremely metrosexual but because of what i can learn from the work of professional photographers there. There are crap photos, good photos and then there are great photos.  You won't get to see the crap photos because they get bin by the editor.  Good photos are the one that demonstrate solid technical skills of the photographer, with perfect exposure and good composition. What sets a great photo apart from the good ones is the mood it carries, the message or story it is telling, the emotions it triggers. I love environmental portraits. They usually tell their stories.

I have always wanted to do a model shoot but never really knew how to get started.  When i incidentally came across Graham Meadows photography workshop advertisement i got excited.  I managed to persuade my friend Peter to come along too. Like me, Peter is a long time trigger happy photography enthusiast.  We signed up, paid up and the rest were history.

Our model for the day was Rose Halfpenny, an experienced model in her twenties.  She was very good in front of the camera.  She told us she races car on the dirt track when she is free.  I thought that was pretty cool.

We were hoping to spend half of our workshop outdoor doing shoots with available light.  Sadly, it rained the whole day. We ended up staying in the studio doing shoots with different strobes set up. It was still a good experience since i have never really used strobes before.

The photos above were shot with available light through a window.  To get this exposure i had to use a fairly slow shutter speed and bump my ISO to 800.  I was surprise to see very little noise at such high ISO.  I am only using a D90, not a full frame.  The window was on Rose's left side.  We had a reflector on her right to bounce light onto her right cheek.  The effect was quite pleasant i thought.

Then we started using the strobes.  Two strobes in front the model, both with soft boxes, one elevated on a light stand, the other at ground level.  Such set up lights up the subject's with only shadows behind her as you can see in the next photo.

Props are important in fashion shoots.  Graham gave us a big rug.  The photo below was shot with us standing at the top of a tall ladder shooting straight down.  This was a four lights set up with two extra lights behind the model to give an even lighting.

It was a fun shoot.  We may do it again.  Time to sign up to Model Mayhem i say.

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