Bikini Model Chantal – Water Nymph
Yeah this was a fun shoot, and there is nothing better than taking pictures beach side and sharing the experience. Chantal is one of the easiest going models I have worked with this year, and is very talented as a model. She was part of the rock the bikini photo shoot a few weekends back that was an awful lot of fun. There is something about good music, good people, happy photographers and models that make an entire shoot just click nicely. This was one of those times.
I took these pictures at 100 ASA, F5.4, with a fill flash and my trusty Gary Fong because the light was direct sunlight. These were taken in the afternoon so the light was coming in on her side and I really needed to be able to fill in the heaver shadows that the direct sunlight was casting. However that made for some awesome highlights in the water, and lit up the background beach nicely. I honestly thought about using a white or silver reflector but no stage hand to help out, and the fill flash seemed to be doing the job nicely along the way.
These were taken in Poulsbo Washington on one of the few sunny days here in the state. All that light helped make the editing process in Lightroom 4.4 very easy. Since the images were mostly the same, you could make the corrections to a key image, and then copy all those corrections over through the rest of the set. The only real corrections were to lighten the shadows a bit, then work on the color channels to bring out the colors of the Bikini (all that light was washing out the colors), and then bring about a natural skin tone once I had the blue and aqua channels set up the way I wanted them.
In all if you are taking pictures in broad daylight in the water, you really do want to have some kind of fill flash or a reflector (mine is a 42 inch white, silver, gold reflector) to help kill off some of the shadows that are going to be generated by all the light reflecting off the water and from the direct sunlight. In all though this is something worth practicing and having a model that is willing to work with you while you are flipping through the camera settings is always something that is really handy. Thank you Chantal, this set came out pretty good.
Bikini Model Chantal – Water Nymph
Pinup Model Alley Kat
Alley Kat is new to me, and I was able to get some quick pinup pictures with her at the recent Rock the Bikini photo shoot in Poulsbo Washington. In all this ended up being a really interesting photo shoot, and one that could be easily made into Vargas style prints using Photoshop CS 6. Whenever you get the chance to shoot a pinup think of Vargas and the posing will be a lot easier for you to do. You can also think of Dita Von Tease as well if you prefer a more modern approach to Pinup. I am more old school, thinking the front of bombers in World War 2 more so than the stern latex style of today.
Alley Kat is perfect for old school, especially with the school girl one piece bikini that she was wearing. The problem was that the background didn’t have enough draw on the ground, and I didn’t want wicked shadows in the shoot. So I ended up having to do a lot of background fill in to make these pictures work. These pictures were taken in bright sunlight, fill flash, and a white background on pavement, running at 100 ISO and as clamped down on the camera as possible to flatten the picture (almost Bokeh) to the point where everything would flow together when taking the picture.
There were minimal light room corrections overall, other than the healing brush, upping the exposure and upping the contrast to bring out the tattoos that she has. I used the dodge burn tool in Photoshop CS 6, along with upping the highlights in the hair, adding a burlap texture, as well as adding a 10% opaque fiber to the picture to make it look like it had been rained on, or had some serious wear and tear to add to the Vargas feel.
In all, not enough pictures came out the way that I would have wanted them to come out. Some came out exactly as I was seeing them in my own head. I’ll probably go back to this shoot later on and do some revising of them to see what other things I can do to bring out what I was thinking at the time I was taking the pictures. Many thanks though to Alley Kat, I would love to get her back into the studio again and see what other kinds of pinups we can do. If you ever get the change to do a “rock the bikini” as a photographer or as a model, it is worth checking out.
Renee latex and gasmask set two
Renee is one of the best models I have worked with and doing a photo shoot down in an abandoned warehouse in Seattle was probably one of the most fun things I have done in a while. I did this photo shoot a while back, and just now getting around to posting it. It has been a pretty busy year with taking pictures, so I am way behind on the work flow right now. They are posted, and you can check them all out on Smugmug under People/Models if you want to do so.
Because it was an abandoned warehouse, I wanted a really stark look to the whole thing, harsh lighting (Flash set on full auto) ratchet down the aperture and did some very short exposures on this photo shoot. No reflectors, no soft lighting, no glamour, nothing but abandoned spaces, an amazingly cool person to work with, and some really harsh feel to the whole setup. In Lightroom when I brought them in I increased the clarity to 100% because I really wanted to bring out all the lines and make them look like something out of a Mad Max photo set. I wanted it gritty and post apocalypse in look and feel. I think I pretty much so hit it on the head. When you are not in a hurry and you have time with a model to just get to spend the time realizing your vision and the model is totally receptive to what weirdness you are trying to do.
If you get the chance to hire her you should, she is really awesome when it comes to taking pictures, and have a lot of fun being a model.
I really do love the post apocalypse feel with the gas mask and the latex outfit. The red and black corset just helps set the whole thing off. She is very pale in skin tone, but you can have a lot of fun with images in Lightroom to help bring out some of the more nuances with the lighting and how the photo shoot went. There is just a whole lot of awesome when working in an abandoned warehouse, with a model in latex and a corset and a gas mask, then just goes to town with your own vision and what you want it to be. Renee really helped pull this one off, and it was a really sweet photo shoot.
Renee latex and gasmask set two
Grid Girl Frostess
I think I have taken a few thousand pictures of Frostess over the last year, and she is also one of my favorite models out there. I got an opportunity to work with her doing a little bit of cosplay with a screaming hot car to go along with it. She had put on a partial silver spectre cosplay for the grid girl photo shoot and it worked out very well. The black and yellow worked with the vintage car helping set a great mood for the entire set. Frostess is over on Model Mayhem and her number is 2290334. The key to working with Frostess is that you have to work the images softly, her skin is really transparent, and so you really can’t get away with making the images harsh using Clarity (maybe a recommended setting of clarity 2, better at 10 to 20). The color balance with her is also interesting; you want to jack the whites while you are at it to get an awesome image.
These images were taken with a Nikon D5100, 18-105 portrait lens with a 62MM polarizer because of the over cast day. Also had a gold reflector aimed at her because of the overcast and how I wanted the yellows to pop in her cosplay. Overall the effect I was looking for worked here, I wanted something more dark and noir than the standard glamour shot.
And that is where it gets to be interesting, if you are working with a model, it always helps to try to discuss what you want to do at all times. Frostess and myself had talked about doing something cosplay for a while before this photo shoot so everything just clicked nicely when we got to this point in the group shoot with Femme Photo LTD. Otherwise, I hope these are helping you get better options with your photography, drop me a note, let me know what you think.
Glamour Model Plush – Post Andy Warhol
Sometimes you click with a model in such a way that you can get some vision going with a photo shoot and everyone agrees and starts acting like we are going to have some fun here. Working with Plush – Model Mayhem Number 2257785 is a lot of fun. She is amazingly cool in front of the camera. So what I wanted to do was try to capture some of the wasted feel to the Factory Studio that Warhol ran from the 1960’s through his death. Like it or Loath it, Andy made an impression, and sometimes it is nice to get a feel from his art and the times by being able to try to recreate the look and feel of the era. Plush did really amazingly well trying to capture the whole idea behind it.
These pictures were shot at the old INS Building downtown Seattle now called Inscape. There was some street art feel work down the basement and we basically camped out there, used the natural light from the yellow overheads (to match her very blond yellow hair) and said, let’s act like we are on LSD and see what we can come up with. Plush just went for it.
Some of the more interesting angles were me laying on the floor (she is short and I am tall, there is almost a foot difference in height, so very little shooting at the same eye level was going to happen here) and her doing her thing trying to look drugged out. The cigarette was just a nice bonus as a prop for her to work with. This is the result, and while not pop art, it is more of a representation of a very bygone era. There will most likely not be anything like the 1960’s again or for a very long time. The pendulum seems to be swinging back to a more conservative time. With any luck though, there will always be interesting interpretations of a time where everything, every boundary was being pushed. From personal viewpoints to equal rights, to art, to sex, to science, to people we explored. I hope that we get an opportunity to have something similar in the future, but then, on that one I don’t know if we can pull it off.
Glamour Model Plush – Post Andy Warhol
The Forbidden City at Nighttime Beijing China
Sometimes you really just need to stay up late, and as part of taking pictures of the super moon over Behai Park, I was right down by the Forbidden City by the end of that particular shoot with Beijing Photo Walks. The Forbidden City is just one of those places you don’t really care if it got rebuilt after the Cultural Revolution or not, it has a special place in the world as one of the largest imperial family complexes in the world. At night time it is pretty darn safe, without all the people trying to sell you stuff as you walk out of the tour, or even just walk by. The nice part is that there were many photographers out that night trying to get the super moon over the Forbidden City pictures. The number of people out and about on a Sunday night was pretty impressive because you maybe had about 40 minutes from the time the moon rose to the time it was obscured by the smog clouds over the city.
The Forbidden City was closed so you are stuck outside the walls trying to get the good shots on the north side of the complex. The north side is the best for nighttime shoots because of the moat, and the lighting provided by the neon and the spotlights provided by the controllers of the area. The lighting is good enough that you can hand hold the camera unless you are doing long exposure. Most people can hold the camera steady at about 1/30th of a second shutter speed.
I shot these at 3200 ASA, Full Auto, ranging from 1/30th to 1/60th of a second shutter speed, and F Stop ranging from 3.5 to 4.0. The thing that made this the best was all the extra lighting from the neon and from the street lights and beacons in the area. You can see some of the spotlight beacons in some of the pictures from the south side of the Forbidden City in some of the pictures as an added smear of light in the otherwise dark sky.
The good part is that this is a totally easy photo shoot to do, it is safe on the streets, and there are going to be a lot of people around doing the same thing. Taking nighttime pictures of the Forbidden City is something that a lot of people do, and a good way to stretch your skills as you learn more about your camera and how to work it in low light settings. If you are ever in Beijing, take Subway Number 1 to Tiananmen East, get out, head towards the Forbidden City and start taking a walk north. You will see some other awesome sights along the way. If you have time, stop by the night time market and take pictures of the street vendors while you are on the way over if you get off at the Wangfugin Stop on Subway 1, and then walk north and west to get to the Forbidden City.
The Forbidden City at Nighttime Beijing China
Grid Girl Rebel
Nothing better than a vintage Charger and Rebel. Rebel is almost a Seattle institution in her own way, she runs her own modeling support group called Femme LTD, and she has some of the most fun photo shoots in the Seattle area. You rarely run into a dick photographer, and when you do, you can usually just confront them on the spot and they pretty much so shut up. Rebel is that important to the modeling photography scene, people tend to behave themselves when she is throwing a photo shoot. On average she does this about every 40 days, so if you are in Seattle, make sure to check out the group and see if you can get into the picture taking process.
These pictures were modified in light room 4.4, and used a lot of HDR settings to set these up, that means highlights off, shadows set to 100%, whites down to about 40% and blacks up to about 60% with the clarity setting up all the way to 100% to offset the race track and bring out the shadows in the car. I used a polarizer on the 18-105MM Nikor Lens to also help cut down on the variable lighting. And then finally used a gold reflector in the background to bring out what little sunlight I could bring out on the day. It was really overcast, so anything you could do to bring out a little more natural light was going to be a benefit to the photographer. I shot at 200 ASA, with aperture priority on a D5100. In all the more stuff you can do in the camera the less you have to do in post processing. I seriously thought about bringing in the Vibrancy settings in the camera, but after a couple of test shots the colors were far too overblown to get the mood that I was looking for out of this photo shoot.
All the pictures were taken at Evergreen Speedway.
I really went into this photo shoot looking to do something beyond the hot sexy model and a hot vintage car. I think I captured more of what I was looking for, adding an artistic and harsh flair to the whole process. Most of the modeling photography is so over done in Photoshop that you really don’t know what you are looking at, but you know it is not real. No Photoshop on this set, just the camera, and setting Lightroom to the standard HDR settings that you can use. There is a huge difference between going for glamour, and going for a more harsh realistic part of being a Grid Girl on the circuit. I think I captured what I was looking to do fairly well.