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Sunday, August 15, 2004

Dimensions of Janet

It was an interesting coincidence that my third photo shoot with Janet on the same day as my blog-a-thon for charity. Because I was moblogging the shoot wirelessly with my Sidekick, I created a real-time activity journal that presumably allowed interested readers to follow along. It was a challenge to remember to post at 30 minute intervals on top of juggling my photo equipment, props and directing Janet. Producing 48 blog posts in 24 hours sapped my interest in posting to the main column here for a couple weeks, but I've still been trickling posts into the sidebar. Below, finally, are some samples from the shoot.

My previous sessions with Janet were out in cold weather and indoors in front of a window. So I was excited to finally go outdoors in warm weather to expand our photographic collaboration. We were working in the yard of a house in Ellicott City that has a panoramic view of the Patapsco River Valley and Old Town.


I had hoped for sunny weather, but no such luck. I took the cloudy skies as a challenge to re-create morning sunlight with my studio flash kit. I ran a long power cord from the house to my power pack and set up two flash heads: a bare bulb on the left, and the other bouncing off an umbrella from the right. It became windy about an hour into the shoot, but I was able to poke the light stands up through a couple heavy wooden lawn chairs for stability. I did have to straighten out the umbrella several times. Here I have Janet seated in front of the river valley. We did a variety of poses seated and standing. In retrospect, I wish I had a third light head to point at the dark silhouettes of the tree trunks.


Then we turned the set-up around 180 degrees and made some portraits against the ivy-covered hill. Janet said that she looked and felt tired from only four hours of sleep the night before, but honestly, I couldn't tell—she looked fantastic as always. I haven't blogged this fact before, and I don't think Janet will mind now, but does this look like a 44-year-old woman to you? I say ROCK ON BABE.


Next, we moved indoors, and set up the backdrop stand by a bed and draped the whole scene with many yards of white cloth for some simple figure studies with flowers as props. I just used window light and a couple silver reflector discs.


The most interesting effect of the indoor series was my first attempt at the old technique of simulating moonlight by shifting the digital camera's color balance from daylight to incandescent. The effect works well, but I'm glad I shot a bunch of alternalte frames in standard daylight mode. Next time I have this image open in Photoshop, I think I will mask off Janet and subtract some of the blue out to make her skin tone more realistic.

Janet attains muse status with this third shoot and many hours in front of the camera. She was even ready to do another session this coming weekend, but I told her to get ready for, and enjoy her upcoming vacation. I'm fortunate to have Janet as a friend, and that she's interested in photography herself.

11:24 PM in Photography | Permalink


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