Wednesday, March 31, 2010

New ventures

I guess you'd call my lasted gig "product" photography. Advertising, maybe. Either way it was something I've never quite done before.
I was hired to showcase an artisan's wooden chest and interior decorating skills for an upcoming issue of Boston Design Guide. The June 2010 issue I believe.
The shoot only took about 20 minutes. Lighting wasn't too much of an issue as ambient light from the windows were enough to act as a decent "fill" for what the lamps lacked. The temp/tint/hue issue foreseen from the very yellow lamps was minor, and what I couldn't adjust for on-scene, I could easily manage at home in LightRoom.

The real challenge for this was the fact that the wall this piece was up against was literally almost the same width of the piece itself. My client made it clear she did not want any kind of background of her house in the image. Also, there was a slightly blown out (in comparison), and distracting light that leaked in from the front door which nestled itself into the bottom right of the frame.

So, not only did I have to crop out as much as possible, I had to engineer more background than actually existed for her wishes to be fulfilled. Covering up the light switch and some railings on either side was a snap...but creating a whole, textured, differently lit background for the last 1/8 of each side of the frame? With no discernible artifacts?

Yeah. That took some work. I should probably post a "before" photo too, but I don't have one handy with me right now.

Anyways, the client LOVED it, so I'm very pleased that I pulled it off. Now to look for my next challenge.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Interesting developments

In the last week I've been in the process of booking for a product shoot that will end up in Boston Design Guide magazine, and agreeing to a last minute request for a large engagement party shoot on Sunday.

The product shoot is for an interior designer, and I'm still waiting on the details regard when it will take place etc. I'm all for shooting anything that will end up published, as the exposure can't hurt.

The engagement party is for Andrea's friend at work. It's taking place at a museum that also hosts events, so the bride-to-be has hinted at some potentially fun pics with the artifacts. I love it when the subjects are really into the shoot, and suggest ideas to make it that much more lively and enjoyable.

I'm looking forward to both of these sessions, since they'll both be outside of the realm I usually practice in. Shots of the party up soon, the product shoot, TBD.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Gold Star BLVD

This past weekend I did some shooting during a recording session for a friends' band called Gold Star BLVD. Later on, I may be doing some live-show photography for Zach, who is in G.S.B. and another band, gigging in Boston and Worcester in May. I'm excited about the prospect of that, but the recording session was interesting in its' own right.

During the first session Darter the guitarist, decided at the last minute to tell me he doesn't play in under the lights in the studio...he plays and jams under candle light....great..and just 10 minutes earlier I had realized my Vivitar off-camera setup was out of batteries. So, no fill light for me in this very dark studio.

I had to get creative, so I ended up using a mix of slow sync flash, "puffer'd" flash, and standard long exposures.

Zach, who I thought was the bassist, also laid down a different guitar track next. Luckily, he plays with the lights on. Unluckily, the studio is pretty boring in terms of photographic potential. I tried a mix of angles, crops, and overenthusiastic use of bokeh to liven the shots up.

After Zach's session, I did a few shots of Victor on the drums, and then listened to their almost completely finished track back in the "booth" part of the studio. I had to say, I was really quite impressed. I'm too lazy to Post Victor's drum shots. But I'll have to link to the whole shoot.

Friday, March 12, 2010


In my anticipation of going to Chicago for business, I took a brief hiatus of photography. Once there, I pulled out all the stops.

I took along almost all of my gear minus external lighting and stands (which would have been a bit ridiculous). So I walked the city with my 3 lenses, and tripod etc etc. I really enjoyed having my tripod with me while out shooting everyday. Not only for the fact that I could take shots requiring the tripod, but because it forced me to take pause whenever I was considering a shot if I wanted to set everything up. It made me conceptualize my shot before just snapping away. When I was setting up the shot, I took that much more time to properly compose, expose, and correct where needed. Here's a good example of when I was in this mindset:

I tried to get out of my own head occasionally and really think about what I was seeing and find something interesting about everyday scenes or objects. How I portrayed that depended on the style in which I decided to conduct that shot. I got into a little bit of an "urban" mindset for about an hour, which led to shots like this:

Overall, I feel this was a fairly productive trip in terms of generally being able to execute the shots I wanted to, and being pleased with the results. The full set of pics from the trip can be seen here: