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Friday, May 25, 2012

Solar Eclipse and Forced Perspective

So, last week we had the solar eclipse and in California, we were fortunate enough to be able to observe it. If I was in Northern California, I would be able to witness the "ring of fire", but I knew I wasn't going to get that here.
Nevertheless, I finished a birthday shoot on the hills of Mulholland Drive and drove on top of the hills to look for a unique enough spot where I could shoot the solar eclipse. I ended up in this neighborhood, and set up my gear. I did not have any filters, nor any tele-converters, so I got creative in a different way.
I decided that I need to take this opportunity to give a shot to my best Harry Potter villain expression.
The above pictures were shot with Nikon D3s on a tripod at 400ISO, 1/250, f22 with an off-camera SB-900 Speed Light at 1/2 power, placed left-top of the subject (me!) as if the sun was the source of the light on my face (an attempt to forced perspective).
See you next week!

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Brittany & Brad

Well, 'tis the season!
Not that season! I'm talking about the wedding season... Love is in the air, parties everywhere...
Before tying the knot and get into partying though, usually couples do get engaged. And I had the pleasure of spending a lovely afternoon in Point Dume, Malibu with this lovely couple for their engagement session.
Meet Brittany and Brad...

Well, during the shoot I thought I had something on my face because these two were incessantly laughing... Than I stepped out of my self-centered world and stepped in theirs for a second to find love, warmth, happiness and excitement. So I did what I do best and capture their emotions throughout the time we spent together.

I've gotta be honest here... Both Brittany and Brad tried very hard to stop giggling. We were able to take a few serious photographs, here is one... Although, I can tell you that Brad is about to burst in laughter in a second.
Successful. Young. In love. There is nothing holding this beautiful couple from taking off!
This one is one of my favorites... This is one of the moments where they took a breather from having fun and forget about everything. I felt as if everything around them vanished... There was only pure love.
OK... Don't get too emotional, we're gonna stick to the general theme and finish with the shots they have requested. I am extremely excited to spend another afternoon and an evening with Brittany and Brad! I look forward to document your wedding guys!

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Lauren And Jake

The mot du jour of this week...
Well, it all started with the SmugMug meeting that I couldn't attend where bunch of my peers enjoyed photographing a few pin-up models. So I started plotting my own pin-up project. It almost came to fruition, but than a scheduling conflict between the model, the location owner and I caused the project to be postponed.
I'm glad it did!
I had the pleasure to collaborate with two lovely individuals. First, we had a night of drinking where we brainstormed ideas, listened to music, got inspired. Than, we picked a location, The Piano Bar in Hollywood. Gorgeous place, great live music by the way, you should check it out.
Than came the day. We decided on a "Film Noir" theme. And, guess what? It evolved. We visited different eras.
Here are some of the results in the very order of the shoot's evolution...
We met at the Piano bar an early morning and once the light setup was done, we set the mood right with some really gloomy jazz...

-"It was a late Tuesday evening... The bar was empty all night... But I kept it open. I kept it open because somehow I knew she would be back. Back in this part of town, back at this bar... Later... And alone.
I was right.
She was back alright.
She settled at the bar with that troubled look on her face. I gave her her favorite and poured myself a scotch... I wondered what was going on in her mind, where she was coming from, where she was heading to...
I was mostly interested in where she was heading to..."

Before we jumped back in time to a different era, I really wanted to use one of the iconic light fixtures of Piano Bar as the lead in the photograph.  So, I just did that.

We decided to visit the Prohibition Era... We did not chang much. We added a few items of clothing, we modified the lighting, we changed the mood and voila!

I wanted to have a few shots with the piano, after all we were at the Piano Bar... However, the rest of the locale was so much more interesting to me, I ended up shooting a few close-ups by the piano. This is one of my favorite shots of the day.

Evolving... Right?
Lauren had a faint idea of her and Jake sitting down in a certain way. She sat down (actually kind of laid down), and I placed Jake next to her. The light from the window reminded me of the silhouette shots I usually do for brides, so I applied it to this couple.

Than, getting bored of the same background, I moved them to the long seat next to the one they were on. The background was way more interesting and suggestive with all those tungsten lights, the day blinds and upside-down stools.
The soft day light coming from the window was perfect on them. And I countered the day light with my studio lights from the other side of the couple and I just went "shutter-happy"! I really love this setup.

We finished it back at the bar, with a few shots that are more modern.

I had to have one reflection shot...

If you wish to setup couple portraits or engagement shots with or without themes, you know who to call ;o)
See you next week!