Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Ken Shung's Lighting for the Magazine Class -- #3 -- Octabank Light

Model: Laura Volapacchio

For our third class, we had our choice of setting up with a Octabank, Softbox or Foamcore... I decided to go with the Octabank since we were doing portraits and I wanted a soft feel ... And after 15 minutes of shooting, this is what I ended up with ... :D

Background: Laura Volapacchio is currently attending NYU Gallatin, pursuing her own major focusing on Visual Culture (which is all encompassing fashion, dance, art and beauty). She is quite a sensible young lady and I wanted to portray her as such. Additionally, she loves to dance and has a background in ballet, but would love to do jazz or modern tap dance -- so my thought was to capture two types of portraits -- a young, sensible and fashionable young adult and a dancer with her ballet shoes on.

Lesson of the Day: Don't be afraid to move your lights around. Sometimes the model can be 2 ft away from the light -- and its ok... Just play with it, test it and see if it is what you want your photo to be... and of course, always be creative!

sidenote: for those who don't know what a octabank is (because I didn't), its essentially an octagon shaped soft box. there are two brands that make it (that i know of) -- elinchrom and westcott -- and its great for portraits. its a great bank light to evenly distribute light (or so, that's what I found). The bank light is also put on a redwing studio boom stand, which allows you to swivel the octabank everywhere (above the head, to the left to the right, below)...

I wonder though --- if you can achieve the same evenly dispersed light via umbrellas? ... probably similar, but not exactly the same -- Ken mentioned that the Octabank manages highlights better in clothing, where other smaller light sources have fall off within a foot.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Chinatown Kids Playing with Party Snaps (Chinese New Year Celebration)

If you walked around Chinatown on Chinese New Years Day (February 14, 2010) you were bound to see kids walking around with their box of Party Snaps. Party Snaps are "noise makers" -- little sachets filled with some sort of fire-cracking powder that once thrown onto the ground makes a KA BOOM noise. Ok, not that drastic... but it does catch your attention. And kids love these things -- I know I did when I was young (and a little older... alright alright, I still enjoy the occasional surprise you POP ... its fun for all ages!). These things are about $1.00 for two, or if you're lucky and aggressive with the sales people, you can negotiate three for $1.00 (good luck though!). Any random knick knack store sells them in Chinatown and if you absolutely can't find them -- google it and you will be surprised that sells it and a whole bunch of other online retailers!

Below are a few photos of this very animated young girl playing with her party snaps... you will love the expressions on her face! Click away on the photos if you can't see her face...

This is her digging DEEP into the box to get a good number of POPs to throw our way!

The ... "I'm going to get YOU sucker " face...
and "Just to show you I'm serious, I'm throwing one on the floor to demonstrate how scary I can get!

The "UTTERLY" annoyed face of "why didn't it pop!"

"Ok, I'll get you next time!"

SNAP away!

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

What did I learn from Ken Shung's Lighting Class Today?

"Forget the technical, be creative!" says Ken Shung...

and he may be right, considering there's only TEN three hour class sessions with him. So, with limited time in each class (less than two hours after instruction and set up), he says -- BE CREATIVE!

With 30 minutes on the clock ... I start to photograph .... I have to think creatively, I have to act decisively, and most importantly, when all the sh$t hits the fan, I still have to think positively!

So what did I learn from Ken Shung's Lighting Class today? Be Creative and let the technical part come later ... and I present to you my photograph of ...

"A Silent Wish ..."
Model: Ayana Barber

Note: Don't be misguided, the technical part is very important and it takes months/years to understand, so expecting to pick-it-up within a 3 hour 10 week session will be challenging! Thus, creativity with my photos will be at the forefront of this class... in addition to getting to use all the fabulous equipment at the School of Visual Arts. But so far, so good with Ken Shung's instruction of Lighting for the Magazine class!

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Happy Valentine's Day

Just wanted to wish everyone a

Happy Valentine's Day!!!

and of course,

A Happy Chinese New Year!!!

Photo done with a 4x5 View Camera w/ a Phase One H25 Digital Back.
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