Saturday, May 30, 2009

No I Won't Eat My Brussels Sprouts!

Ok, so I've got this friend who's very supportive and enthusiastic about my photography, always waiting for my next image, my next blog post and loves to offer critiques . . . a woman friend no less. It had been a while since my last image of any substance and one day I got a message from her wondering when I was going to get busy. That's when the rabbit messing around in the yard caught my attention and I crawled around on my belly to get the image for the previous post.

The next message I got informed me that she wasn't that impressed with the bunny rabbit. Hmmm, I thought, there's an example of her nurturing side. Alright then. Don't like pictures of bunnies, how bout something a bit more dark and gritty?

This is a concept I want to try with a female model, kind of an assassin series, but I want it to be a model with a particular look and since I don't know how long it'll be before I find that model, I decided to do some test shots. And of course, that means me as the subject. It took four Vivitar speedlights to get the lighting I wanted: one high and to camera right, one to camera left, one just behind me out of the frame and aimed down at the top of the gun and one on the ground underneath the gun. The three lights up high were fired with CyberSync receivers and the one on the ground was triggered with a light sensitive slave unit. A number of adjustments to the lights and several dozen shots gave me some images I felt good enough about to take to post production.

The photoshop work included conversion to black and white, some selective retouching to clean up the image, a high pass filter adjustment, a small contrast boost, sharpening and the final crop to get the composition I had in mind. I didn't really intend for there to be anything humorous about the end result, but the darn thing looks so violent I decided to add a totally contradictory title. Now that I think about it, maybe I should have been out hunting bunnies.


Amy Dunn said...

What a supportive friend! At least that kind of feedback spawns new art. :)

Joan said...

The best self subject matter yet! Loved the lighting and felt the subject was really extreme. I sure wouldn't make you eat your brussel sprouts. The bunny was a good shot but ... You with your gun totally outdid the cute little bunny. Good Job.

Robin Smink said...

The second crop works perfect with the subject, great thinking.