Saturday, January 21, 2017

As simple as it gets. Black on white

This is a simple shot I did for an e-bay listing. Yes good pictures do help and this old super-8 camera sold in..20 minutes? E-bay needs simple, clean looks. I achieved this by

  1. placing a large softbox as low and close to the objects as possible. This creates an even light, soft shadows and most of all nice reflection on all the black surfaces. The camera is standing on a table covered with white paper.
  2. two reflective cards, one per side. 
  3. a small flash positioned behind and below the objects, pointing at a white background about 3ft away.
    Boom! A bit of cleaning in Photoshop for the dust I had failed to remove (tsk tsk me) and the image was ready. 

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Shoes in the rain aka: a rock as a prop.

I shot these two images with the same set up: top hard light, ring flash and some cards at the front and  the sides. The rain effect was obtained using a trusty sprizzer and an additional flash  to the left. Assistant: Adrian Rae Btw yes, the set is a concrete back alley.

Sunday, August 30, 2015


I have a small backlog of posts I need to write up. Here is  one I got to finish: a mini shoot I have done while helping  Kate Powell (art director)  and Adrian Rae (main photographer) on their main assignment. The theme was centered on the  moon and so we selected a full moon night and shot at different locations. For these simple images I used a speed light with a very very long snoot, hand held on a boom. I used gel to color balance the light (the filter was actually a light orange, as the ambient light  was very orange... due to street light).  The speedlight turned out to be a good alternative to more powerful systems, as the area to be lit was very small and I did not want any spill. Exposure times were  long, a good chunk of a second. Colors were shifted around in Lightroom. The superimposed nature  prints are from 19th century Japanese artists. Last but not least, Michaela (HMUA) and Mikayla (Model) did a great job. 

Friday, September 26, 2014

Oh magical Teapot grant me a wish.

Like a magic lamp, this (magical?) japanese iron teapot sits on a pile of black sand. This is a portfolio shot I did some time ago. Softbox from above, if slightly behind. Ringflash for fill and f2.8. The reflections on the handle come from the softbox and a few cards. I accentuated the nice turquoise hue in post.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Flash Jump.

Import/Export is a Seattle band that put me in charge of moving their image  'past the classic shot of musicians in alley'. The band and I  shared a love for the  documentaries of the explorer ship Calypso (which features in one of their songs).  We tossed ideas back and forth over a couple of sessions  and we decided  that a key concept was to add movement to the image.  The rain laden sky would provide a sense of  `unfamiliar' and `being away'.  The main image was obtained superimposing two shots and having the musicians jump on a little portable trampoline  (got the idea from a Dior shoot). The trampolines were removed in post and then the image was colored. Shot with  a softbox to the right and a ringflash as fill. f4.0/1/125/17mm/ISO160. This is the first time I used this set up in the field!

And the dog? Si the Dog, just literally walked by the set, on a  jog with his owner. Never say never to a free prop.

Friday, March 28, 2014

Annie Ford Band. And that chicken.

Annie Ford Band is a great group of  Seattle based musicians.  We shot this last Summer, with
a simple backlight sunset setting + soflighter setup. My valiant assistant doubled as chicken wrangler. Here is the link to the Annie's last CD:

Saturday, August 31, 2013

That Class of 2014 look.

Every now and then I get invited to give a seminar on lighting tecnniques  at the excellent Commercial Photography  program SCCC, (Seattle Central Community College).  This is the result of this year effort. The program gives me  access to some seriously Pro level equipment,  a whole class of  excellent assistants and... some seriously talented and hipster looking subjects. Profoto strobe mounted on a Soflighter, high on a  boom high on camera left. On camera ring flash for fill  and screen on the right to block some the light from a very  sunny Spring day. What I like in this shot? The triangular shape created by  the shadows that nicely frames the subjects.