Help with lighting for prosthetics - absolute beginner indoors...
I have been asked to do some photography for a performance artists show, apparently for archival purposes but also with the possibility of exhibition –
I don’t have then full info yet, but I will be shooting indoors with I’m guessing flouro and possibly a small amount of window/daylight, which is fine for me with candid snappy snap doco style photography, I would probably use a little fill flash and just follow my nose after doing test shots in Polaroid…
I do however also have the job of photographing the artist (an ex girlfriend) in what she expects to be a more ‘studio’ type shot of her after the event - this is where I need help!
The kind of shot I imagine she is after would be similar to the shots of work she appreciates – check out:
http://www.michaeljamesobrien.com is the photographer if you are interested
As you can see there is a fair amount of makeup involved …
All I have at my disposal so far is my own gear: A Mamiya RZ (50, 90 and 127mm lenses) and two Metz CL45’s (one with hotshoe connector the other PC so I can trigger them both with the RZ) …
Can I simply rely on the Metz’s with bounced flash ? what is the best method with this setup ? or is it simply not going to achieve the effects of the above samples ? - I can add to the budget some hire lamps/studio flashes – but don’t have any idea about this – any recommendations would be great - umbrella reflectors things? white bag diffuser things? Simple tips, whatever would be great (I’m usually a landscape person)
Also, which film ? I want to shot transparency, but am unsure which – I mostly shoot Velvia 50 outside, and haven’t been around cameras too long so don’t have any experience with others… Velvia is too intense with skin tones ? Astia ? Provia ? 100 – 400 ? Push / pull ?
Any help appreciated,
Can't help with much of this (sorry!) but I have shot a bit of transparency with studio flash and Astia worked extremely well with skin tones. However, given the amount of make-up involved with your examples, you might want to try a bit of Provia 100F as well (a bit punchier).
I haven't found Velvia 50 very good for skin tones (unless you want to make someone look like a satsuma! ), but I understand (not first hand knowledge) that Velvia 100F is a bit better...
Best of luck,
I think in terms is color +ve (fuji) Astia may be the way to go - I'll suggest the punchier Provia and the garrish Velvia let the artist make the decision tho
Velvia is great tho huh - cross proccessed and ploarized skys scan from deep pink to green to blue to black - love it!
This is a fairly artsy thing you want to do. I wouldn't do it with a flash, but that's just me probly. I'd use at least 3 hot lights. 1 250-500 watt photoflood near the camera axis distanced to give about a 1/25 sec. exposure, one at a 45deg or so to one side to give a little modeling, and 1 overhead to give highlights on heads and shoulders. The fixtures could be as simple as the 10 buck worklights with the aluminum reflectors and ceramic sockets you can buy at a home improvement store. For the overhead light, duct tape one of them to a borrowed swimming pool brush handle, and position it with whatever you can work out (I found I could put a counterweight on the other end of the handle and bungie the works to the top of one of my lightstands), or just have someone hold it out there (arms will tire quickly). Move the lights around until you're really happy with the result, then shoot. Don't forget to use the right compensating filter for whatever film and lights you use. I use black and white, so no matter for me. I just can't stand not being able to really see what I'm doing when I'm getting creative with lighting. Good luck!
Thanks for showing the examples, including the man's home page. They're very interesting. He lit some fairly evenly in depth, more or less disappeared the background in others. What are you aiming for?
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When I shoot theatre/sculpture my style is not to intrude on the artist's work by creating false colors or making certain colors have more "punch".
I try to represent the colors the artist used/created as closely as technology will permit.
Depending on the project I'll use my Konica-Minolta DiMage A2 on ISO 64 with "hot" lights (if there are no people involved). For those with people I'll shoot 6x7cm negs with my RB-67 on portrait quality negative film and Alien Bee strobes. I then have my pro lab scan selected 6x7 negs into a 22Mb TIFF file for $2 when I want to edit the image in Photoshop. (Their default is JPG - why would anyone want a lossy format amazes me!)
See some of my work on the set of the upcoming film "Psychopathia Sexualis" here: www.psychopathia.com I shot some on 35mm 400 color neg and some with the aforementioned DiMage A2.
Atlanta, Georgia USA
and everyone for the replies - It turned out to be a rather hapless affair and the pictures I took of the lesser players and general fly on the wall type shots came out a lot better than the main subject, which was very 'crime scene investigation' - the prosthetics were handed to a student couple to do, and the artist was very disappointed with the outcome, there was talk that perhaps it could be taken advantage of in the sense it could be portrayed as always having intended to be 'crappy student affair' fodder for the arty-farty pun/irony whatever - ugh (;
no more ! please
The budget was overshot with the video side of things so I had no money to hire any strobes, however a fair heap of studio lighting turned up and I could fill in the low levels with a handheld metz - the biggest problem was that the artist herself was the producer and spent the gig blind and gagged due to her costume, the step-in 'producer' was great for artistic direction but not good with time, gear and people management - so I was all over the place, and a few double exposures resulted, very embarrassing for me! amazing how just a little pressure can flummox you so.
It was a very good learning experience, and I have learned that my camera bag and tripod need upgrading - tripod with RZ and winder wobbled too much at the height I needed it, and the bag which was a free and dusty old crapper I kept thinking it would attract less 'steal me' attention held everything fine and dandy in its folded up nice and snug state, but as soon as its all open and you've got polaroid gunk eating its way into your filters/releases/chocolate/etc.. its not going to last (;
anyways - So I was asked the other day by a colleague of a colleague if I was a professional photographer who had seen me posing with my RZ around the water cooler, to which my answer was well 'in that I've been paid to photograph on one occasion... yes I am" (stressing the 'one occasion' bit) - so I've got another gig next week (; a band making a website and wanting some exposure ...
I'm going for neg over slide this time. Gawd
Last edited by Rock Poper; 08-13-2005 at 11:32 PM. Click to view previous post history.