Sunday, December 29, 2019

White Out Group Shoot

On December 8th,  I participated in one of the Cincinnati Female Image Makers group shoots.  The theme for this shoot was White Out and it was held at Locust & Vince Studios in Cincinnati.  This was a small group shoot that lasted only an hour,  with four models and four photographers, we shot round robin style so that everyone worked with everyone.   It was a nice little group shoot,  the models were nice and it let me step away from hosting a shoot, and my school work.   (I’m in the middle of taking master’s classes, that is why the blog hasn’t been being updated as frequently.)

For this session I shot 242 frames, edited 147 frames, and delivered 70 final images.  For this set up I used a Canon 80D, with an 18-200mm lens,  a light stand, a two 430EXII-RT speedlights (one was acting as a trigger/transmitter only) and small 9x9 inch LumiQuest softbox.  I was glad I brought the flash and softbox, because while the studio would normally be full of bright natural light, it was a cloudy overcast day not providing a lot of light to the inside of the studio.  For this shoot I shot at ISO 100, with an aperture of F5, with a shutter speed varying between 1/100s to 1/200s with most shots at 1/200s, and finally my focal length varied between 18mm and 70mm, with most shots being at 18mm.

ISO 100, Aperture F5, Shutter 1/100s, Focal Length 24mm
During a cosplay  group shoot,  you get characters with specific personalities, stories, and settings so it narrows and focus the shoot with that cosplayer.  However, when shooting during a general model group shoot you only have a theme, while the photographer must come up with the mood and story.  In some cases, this can be easy in others it can be more challenging.
This first shot (left) with Erin was just a plain simple dreamy shot. It used a combination of window light and flash.  I used the flash a fill to bright the whites and reduce some of the shadows. During post processing I bumped the whites and reduced the clarity to give it a softer look.

ISO 100, Aperture F5, Shutter 1/200s, Focal Length 18mm

This second model, Alexis,  was fun to work with, and her clothing option was creative.  To me she gave off a puck vibe but in all white. One of my favorite shots (right) taken of her is of her siting on a stool.  The light stand was about 45-degree off her face with the flash raised and pointed slightly downward.  I was a little less than 15-degrees off from the light stand. I am usually not a big fan of eyes being closed in photos but in this case it just works. When editing this photo, I kept the brightness on her face,  bumped the whites slightly but then added some deeper shadows to the left of the image, were the light was naturally falling off.  I also added a slight vignette to the image.  Overall it portrays a very interesting mood.

ISO 100, Aperture F5, Shutter 1/200s, Focal Length 24mm

When working with the third model, Elizabeth, I felt like I was shooting a make-up campaign.  I liked her suit jacket with the white feathers, which gave me the impression of a music star at first, however when editing the images, I felt it was more like a make-up campaign.  One of my favorite images (left) is of her laying on the floor and giving a simple beauty shot pose.  For this shot the flash was lowered to her face level and slightly less than a 45-degree angle off her face. When editing the image, I added a soft glow by reducing the clarity, bumped the whites slightly, and used a little bit of frequency separation on the face to give it a more polished look.  I also kept the crop close and added a medium square vignette to the image.

ISO 100, Aperture F5, Shutter 1/200s, Focal Length 18mm

The final model, Sarah,  I worked with gave off the that 1990’s early 2000’s pop star vibe, but at the same time when I was editing her shots, I was getting a 1970’s movie actress.  Especially in this image, for some reason it screams 1970 to me.   I will say at first it was not one of my favorite images, but it grew on me.  I did not do a lot of post processing on this image,  I balanced for the whites, reduced texture, and clarity slightly, removed a bit of an orange cast, and added a slight vignette.

Overall it was a good group shoot, though I felt just an hour was a little rushed. I think 90-minutes would have been good because that would have given people 15-minutes to get ready and 15-minutes to pack up to get ready to leave.  Hopefully, I will get to attend a few more of these group shoots after my weekends clear up a bit.  You can see all the finals from this shoot here:  White Out.

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