Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Mad Wo-Men...

In photography everything is about style. Every photographer does their own thing, whether they have a stylist for a shoot, an art director, hair, makeup, Adobe Photoshop, Lightroom, Apple Aperture or even Macromedia Fireworks (now Adobe). A lot of times how you process your images is just as important as setting up an image correctly. Some people prefer to be as much in camera as possible such as Joe McNally. Others such as Miles Fork do quite a bit of photoshop work. Now I'm not saying there is no post processing involved on any photo, and if there is it is usually referred to as: Straight out of Camera. It's pretty rare when those files pop up, except for demonstration of a camera's raw ability. I don't even like it when people see my straight out of camera files, unless I managed to do a really good job on location or in a shoot someplace. Most of the time I prefer to do most of my work inside the camera, but there is ALWAYS some post processing that each photo goes through before it goes to the client.

(Nikon D3, ISO 320, Nikon 28-70mmF2.8@65mm. 1/50th@F7.1. Nikon SB-900 Speedlight above camera left shot through a 60" umbrella set to iTTL +1EV, One Nikon SB-800 Speedlight set to iTTL-3EV shot into a white reflector leaning against the wall to the right of the frame. Both Speedlights were fired by an SU-800 Commander Unit attached to the camera's hot shoe.)

The Image above is flat out not finished yet. I can't decide what to do with it. I've run adjustment layer after layer between Selective color, Contrast, Levels, Photo Filters, soft light filters, hard light filters, multiply filters, and no matter what I can't make it what I consider to be: over processed. I can easily over process it, but not to where I think it looks good. I figure what I think matters considering this shoot was self assigned. I even bought two martini glasses for this shoot, that somehow both managed to get cracked in the 1 mile journey from the store to the office we shot in.....

This shoot is the shoot that I mentioned previously with my friend Heather. She came to me and wanted to do a Mad Men style shoot, and I decided this would be a great shoot to try some post processing. When a lot of people think Mad Men, they think of something along the lines of this, by Nikki Sutton and Polina Osherov. Outstanding photos, but, when I personally think of Mad Men though, I think of the promotional photo for Season 3:


Heather made a great model, and the wardrobe she picked out was outstanding for the shoot. I wish I'd have thought about the shot more, and could have found a few more props to go in the office, but in the end I think the shots turned out nicely. I'm definitely not done with the shots completely, but I couldn't resist putting some photos of the lovely Heather up.

Everybody has their own take when they think of Mad Men though and I may be the minority as to what I think. Heck, I've never even watched the show. For my shoot with Heather; I wanted to give the Mad Men feel except using a Woman. Same style of photo except with a modern twist; Heather is the executive with the office. The technical difference between these photos though; is the processing. Any of you that read my blog know that I prefer the straight out of camera, very sharp and very polished look. That's no secret. Even the guard cactus outside of my front door knows that. Sure enough, that's where I ran into problems when it came to the over-processing I thought it would require to do this shoot...

(Nikon D3, ISO 320, Nikon 70-200mmF2.8VR@140mm. 150th@F3.5. Nikon SB-900 Speedlight above camera left shot through a 60" umbrella set to iTTL, One Nikon SB-800 Speedlight set to iTTL -3EV shot into a white reflector leaning against the wall to the right of the frame. Both Speedlights were fired by an SU-800 Commander Unit attached an SC-28 Flash cable and held by my assistant Brad.)

Photoshop lightroom has lots of preset filters that can allow you to make different effects on photos very quickly and easily. For weddings or events it's outstanding. Like, my honor roll kid can beat up your honor roll kid kind of outstanding. When I really want to do in depth photo edits though, I rely on Photoshop all the way. To each their own though, whatever someone is comfortable with is what they should use to do processing. Really though, well done over-processing is somewhat of a mystery to me. Really though I I'm pleased with how these photos look. If anybody has any suggestions though, that's what the comment section is for. More Soon.

(Nikon D3, ISO 320, Nikon 28-70mmF2.8@62mm. 1/40th@F7.1. Nikon SB-900 Speedlight above camera left shot through a 60" umbrella set to iTTL +2EV fired by an SU-800 Commander Unit attached to the camera's hot shoe. A 60" gold reflector was on the floor to heathers right to hilight her legs, a 60" white reflector was on the wall behind heather to camera right, and my assistant brad held a 32" white reflector to heathers right about head level to lighten up her face.)

3 comments:

  1. I really like the first shot as is

    ReplyDelete
  2. I am going to agree on the first photo, when you compare it to the season 3 sampler photo they have some simularites in the photo.

    Great photos over all though, cannot wait to see some of the others... I wish we had more props around the office to play with... next time.... next time.... haha

    ReplyDelete
  3. The styling of the shots was great, posing was good for the theme.

    ReplyDelete