Playing with lighting for photography is always fun. In fact, its one of the main ingredients in an images recipe, and one that adds a tremendous amount of character. Finding unusual lighting sources and applying them in a creative way can transform something common into something much more visually interesting.
For one of my clients, we had the opportunity to do just that. They had a small projector system in-house that was available to use, creative ideas started to flow, and we all worked to make it happen.
Projecting light from underneath the glass platform onto the bottom of the shoe, revealed multiple distinct patterns reflected in the various levels of the glass platform. This created an interesting high technology feel and suggested the concepts of industrial testing, measurements, and research, right in line with the clients focus.
The final images will be used to promote the clients measurement instruments for the athletic shoe, medical, and research industries.
I still have a fondness for black and white photography, duo-tones more specifically. I like what a blend of warm and cool tones can do to a monochromatic image. Add a nice modern building with reflective glass, an interesting sky, and the combination just works for me.
Another nice blend is black and white or duo-tone night images. I don’t often see many night shots done in black and white, and its refreshing when I do.
And below is another example, although I mixed back in just a tiny bit of color saturation to give is a slightly different look than a duo-tone, while still retaining the same look and feel.
I’m a creative. A photographer. We pay for visuals by hiring special locations, building elaborate sets, extensive wardrobe and props, or otherwise doing what we need in order to get great visuals. So why should my hotel room be any different 🙂
When I needed to book a room in Shanghai, I noticed the Park Hyatt hotel in the heart of Lujiazui business district in Pudong. What caught my eye, they showed an image from one of the rooms looking down on the city. The hotel occupies floors 79 to 93 of the Shanghai World Financial Center (SWFC), and makes it on a very short list of the highest hotels in the world.
I looked in the cost of a room, expecting it to be outrageously expensive. After all it is a 5 star rated hotel and looking at their images of the rooms and the view they possess, they can command high prices. But with the favorable exchange rate, it wasn’t nearly as bad and I thought. So I booked a room on the highest floor I could get. Not that it really makes any difference between say floor 86 and 91.
The view was everything I had hoped for. Although heavy rain and clouds were expected the days before my arrival, and after. I was afraid the clouds would clear late or move in early, and I’d be looking at 18% gray windows rather than a spectacular view. Luckily, the weather forecasters were correct. Everything worked out perfectly.
The hotel room was great. Large, roomy, a view to die for, and they waited on me hand and foot. Everything was automated, including the toilet seat that was situated in a room all by itself. While I liked opening and closing all the blinds and blackout curtains by a switch by the bed, I elected to forego the automation in the bathroom. I was too afraid I would have to explain why I was walking funny to my client after an accidental self injury. But it was fun to see the toilet greet me by lighting up and opening the toilet seat cover every time I entered the room.
Not too much to say other that this is my ‘bread and butter’ work. High technology machines, products, or processes. Typically used for marketing, advertising, or editorial use, and videos created for web based marketing, trade show loops, training, and internal communications.
I love light, sparks, action, and warm colors. Shooting a laser cutting machine for my client provided all these wrapped up in one image. We did a series of images for their marketing collateral and advertising use. Here are two images and a video created from that shoot.
Here is a short demonstration video we created to show three different cutting and welding functions of the laser for their technical audience.
This assignment, one in a series, was to produce editorial portraits for web, marketing, and promotion use of NECN on-air talent. Karen Swensen, a news reporter for NECN in Boston, was an easy subject to shoot. Very accommodating, confident, open to our ideas, and willing to open her house to the three of us.
Our content goals were presenting her in a flattering and approachable way, using casual poses, and including some of her daily environment. The technical challenges were balancing the various light sources in the areas we chose to use.
In one of the images there was strong direct sunlight through the kitchen windows. This dictated the high end of the exposure for this area. We then needed to balance the fill and subject lighting to match.
We metered and tested the lighting in that area to get the desired effect for the direct sunlight. Slightly overexposed, but still retaining detail in the important areas. We also planned on positioning her such that she blocked a large portion of the direct sunlight on the walls and floor directly behind her, eliminating the hot spots.
Next we setup a strobe to bounce light off the wall and ceiling behind us to create an overall fill light to balance the window sunlight. A few test exposures and rearranging its placement and we had a nice overall soft fill. The warm paint on the walls warmed up the strobe fill creating nice skin tones. We called Karen in to take the place of my assistant standing in for her during the tests.
We also used a single strobe on the right side of the frame to light Karen. It was balanced about a stop under the sunlight, and a stop over the fill. The strobe was in a small 24″ square softbox to soften the light, but still allow some direction and soft shadows for definition. We adjusted power and distance until we achieved the desired result.
We left negative space on the left for editorial type as this images was for a double page spreads with article title and intro. This being one example.