B&W Graphic Portrait Project

14 10 2011

Here’s a project that I have recently kicked off.  I want to put together a body of work of models shot in front of very graphical buildings or backgrounds.   All the work is black and white and have strong graphical elements in it.  Here’s a few shots that I did as a test/starter.

This image of Carly was shot in front of the cool chain-mail curtain hanging around the building on the corner of Bent St and O’Connell St in Sydney.  If you haven’t seen this chain mail, it’s pretty cool.

Same building as above, but just around the corner, I really loved the black and white contrast of the steps and column.  Both of these images printed up nicely in B&W.  I’m enjoying the challenge of “seeing in B&W” as I scout Sydney in with a whole new mission.  Both shots were taken with one light, an Einstein shooting into a Parabolic Light Modifier.

Today I went scouting and found a few more locations that have potential…. see what you think….

I saw this wall in a courtyard and loved the black and white graphic patterns…. There’s a ton of it lining the whole courtyard, so I figure I can play with big patterns (if the model is close to the wall), or small patterns if the wall is in the distance.

This second shot is of a huge sculpture outside another building.  What grabbed my attention was not only the textures on the steel sculpture, but also the way the light was beautifully graduated around the curved surface.  I’m thinking that could be a pretty cool abstract background.

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Playing About With Macro

16 06 2011

We have had about a week of pretty constant rain here in Sydney, so that drove me into the bowels of my photographic cupboard to dust of my macro lens.  I haven’t shot any macro for ages, but was reading an interesting article in Better Photography about a new utility from the folks that make Helicon Focus (the focus stacking software).  The new utility is called Helicon Remote, and it is very cool.   Helicon Remote fully remote controls your camera and automatically performs all of the focus bracketing that you need to do to create macro images with large depth-of-field.  Its a wonderful piece of software.  You really need to click on these images to view them at full size to appreciate the detail in the images.

The images that you see posted in this post were typically stacks of about 20 separate images that have been combined to create the high dof images shown here.

To create these images I used a single off camera flash.  I used a straight reflector on the studio light to create the reasonably directional shadow.s

Once the images were merged in Helicon Focus, I then just processed them using Nik Silver Effex Pro 2.  I’ve printed a couple of these out large and they look pretty cool.

What started off as a wet weather experiment has turned out pretty well for a first set of macro images in several years.

the Helicon Focus sofware can be licensed for $50/year and includes the Helicon Remote utility.  You can find the Helicon software here.





Photoshop Tutorial – Post Processing Forsaken B&W

16 08 2010

I had a couple of people drop me notes asking for a Photoshop tutorial on how I post-processed the Forsaken image of Rev.  Here it is.  I hope you enjoy it and learn a useful trick or two.





Some Black And White Studio Shooting

15 08 2010

This past week has seen me doing a number of studio shoots in Black and White.  Today I did a fantastic workshop run by Daniel Linnet over at Sydney Photographic Workshops.  The workshop was called Studio Lighting and it was not only a blast, but incredibly insightful.   I’ve admired Daniel’s photography for ages (since I saw one of his presentations at North Sydney Camera Club about a year back).

Anyway today we spent the day in various low key and high key lighting setups and it was a blast.  We worked with a fantastic model called Rev who is quite a character and very photogenic.  I’ve got a great video shot of the workshop that I’ll post later this week when I can edit it up.

Last Monday night I went back into the studio for my second shoot in the Bodyscape series.  This is Desiree.  Last time I shot her arse (which was pretty damn fine), but this time I shot her lovely face as well.

If anybody wants tutorials posted on any of these shots, just holler and I’ll knock one up.

Brent





Video – Making of Bodyscape

2 04 2010

Hey folks

Here’s a behind the scenes look at the making of my Bodyscape image.  I know a lot of you like to take a peak behind the scenes,  I hope you enjoy.

Music is Infinity 2008 by Guru Josh Project





Bodyscapes – My Latest Project

2 04 2010

This is the first shot from my new project which I am calling “Bodyscapes”.  It is a studio black and white study of lighting, shapes and composition.  It is probably the most technically challenging project that I have undertaken for quite a few reasons:

  • Being black and white, the lighting is critical
  • I’ve never shot nude models before
  • Working with the dry ice fog has it’s own challenges
  • The composition can be challenging with this theme
  • The post processing requires totally different techniques

However I’m really enjoying the project and I have my next shoot already scheduled.

The Idea:

I’ve always been fascinated by the landscape shots I’ve seen that show mountains, bridges, buildings emerging from low lying fog.  In addition, I’ve also really admired some of the well done fine art black and white nudes that I have seen.  So this concept is about combining the two.  I wanted the fog to abstract the shapes from the background, and I also want to try to recreate some landscape-type shapes with the human form.  I’ve got another shot or two from the first shoot to process, and I also have a video that I will edit up over the next couple of days that shows the “making of”.  I’m sure you will find it entertaining.

This is a project that I should be able to get my teeth into.  I want to pursue this topic for several months trying to refine it every shoot.  I’ve already learned a heap of lessons from the first shoot that I will be applying to shoot number two.

I look forward to your comments and feedback

Brent