I have had a few people asking me for some more details on the how I shot the rendezvous cover, so I thought I would do a post on it.
Ok so I knew what I wanted: 1 image of 4 girls and an antique car all looking amazing with a 1940’s feel too it. So the fist step was to draw-up some sort of mock-up to have it approved by the Rendezvous people (Turns out Brianne has mad stick-people drawing skills too).
Once the idea was approved we had to figure out how to make it happen.... with a tight budget and a tight shooting timeline. So the options were to shoot it all at once, or to shoot it in pieces and put it together later as a composite. The problem with shooting it all at once is that that it would take allot of money, people, gear and time... funny... all things which we don't have! So composite it was! The key to a composite of this nature is to make sure you have everything consistent allowing for an easier time in photoshop piecing all back together. So that starts with your camera on a tripod which never gets moved, and a manual exposure and a fixed focal length lens... then the only thing that changes is lighting, focus and models! First I had 4 photo doubles stand in for the ladies so we could figure out our composition.... which I knew was vertical orientation with negative space on top and bottom of the frame to allow for text. Once we figured out that part, I locked down the tripod.... duct-taped the crap out of it to the floor and hooked up a pocket wizard with a motor drive cable (to remotely fire it and the lighting).
|You can see the high teck duct-tape !|
Then it was shooting time... So on manual exposure and focus (again so nothing changes) I shot a ton of images of the car and of the luggage only changing the lighting position and type. With the pocket wizard this worked really well, cause I was able to do this all very fast and by myself. I was able to just run around with 1 light on a wheeled boom stand shooting and repositioning the light.
|Me wheeling the boom stand around|
I didn't care about light direction cause my plan was just to light the crap out of it and make a surrealistic nighttime type look anyways... so having the light coming from a specific direction didn't matter for this shot. Once the car was done we setup up and shot each of the girls separately... making sure we got the best possible image of each of them. The girls lighting setup was pretty simple... I used one 4’ soft box as the main in front of them, then had a bare bulb kicker on the sides to give them a little bit of highlight and separation from the dark background. Interesting thing I learnt was that dark fur is like a black hole for light.... it takes allot of light to register on the fur... but then by that time your blowing out the skin... was tough to balance. Doing it this way also had other logistical pluses, like while I shot the car the first model was having hair and make-up done... then when I was shooting her the next one was being prepped, this way we needed only one make-up person and one stylist...cheaper!
|Brianne doing an amazing job on the props|
|Sharon and Denali |
|who is this guy?|
|Over all view of where we were working|
Next came the photoshop stuff and that was pretty straight forward process of a million layers and just painting in things I liked from each different shot. The only cool thing was I was able to use gravel from another shoot in the summer and place in the bottom of the image while maintaining all proper shadows... I was stoked that it worked out so well.
So thats about it....
I would like to thank:
- Mike Collins at Rendezvous Society for great ideas, art direction, and tasty snack table
- Brianne Meister for being an awesome photo assistant and stylist, and set designer, and mad stick-man drawing skills
- Lyndsey Hamilton for her super resourceful stylist skills, and knowledge
- Sharon Speiss for all the lovely make-up and hair work she did for us.
Canon 5d mk2
Tethered to laptop shooting to Lightroom 3
Fired by motor-drive Pocketwizard
Lights used - 3 Alien Bee B800’s controlled by more pocket wizards