canon 5d mark ii

52 Week Project: Number 25: Breathing Fire

Planing, planing and more planning. Planning is key into making a portrait into okay to awesome. When you come up with a concept or a portrait try to make a work sheet or a sketch of what you want your outcome to be. I use a worksheet on most of my portraits. It explains what equipment I need, a sketch of what the outcome will be be, location of the shoot and contact info. It really helps me not to stress on the day of the shoot. 

So this week I wanted to do something a little more on the edge. I recently saw an image by Von Wong, a portrait photographer from Canada. He recently did a portrait session in Singapore with a fire performers. So I wanted to replicate one of his photos.

During the planning stages of this portrait I had to do some test with the fire, since I have never breathed fire before. I did some research and found out that cornstarch would be the safest. I did some test on saturday to see if I could make the biggest flame. I found out that cornstarch taste terrible so I just put it in my hand and just played with it.

The lighting for the portrait was pretty simple. I used two lights with orange gels to make it look light the fire was giving off the light. A soft box on camera right and a accent light on the left.

I did a behind the scene video on this shoot. It explains the different planning stages for the image. 

52 Week Project: Number 22: Relax

Relax. How come some people do not do this from time to time? I personally need to relax every now and then. This weekend myself and four other friends headed to the beach. I have been crazy busy at the studio preparing for seniors to come in. I needed to get out and relax for a weekend. I did take my camera out to the beach but did not take any photos. Why did I do this? I wanted to relax and not have to worry about going through so many photos to edit. I don't know how the moms at the beach go through so many and decide which is the best ones. Yes I did say moms but I'm sure there are some dads out there that will whip the camera out. Anyway, I wanted to just hang out on the beach and get sun burned like everyone else. I did get in the water but with it being so cold I just wanted to tan. I did whip my camera out for this portrait though. 

On to this weeks portrait. We sat by the Virginia Beach Pier and right when I saw it I knew what this weeks self portrait was going to be. I wanted to use symmetry of the pier so I set up the portrait before I whipped out the travel kit. I had my partner in crime Jordan hold the light up so the water wouldn't touch the stand and then my other friend Orie snap several portraits just to make sure I got what I wanted. We wanted to make it quick since we knew people were going to be there. Below is the lighting diagram for it. I used a small octobox not a shoot though umbrella but you get the idea. The rest of the portrait was edited in post.

Well what I learned from this weekend is that going back to work is not fun but this weekend was worth it. 

-TD


52 Week Project: Number 21: Happy 21st Birthday

Happy birthday. Well it's not my birthday but it's Jordan and I 21st self portrait. This time I wanted it to celebrate it with a "birthday party" theme. So I went to walmart and got the supplies. I found these awesome light up balloons. I knew right when I got them I was going to do something sweet. 

Anyway onto how I got the portrait. I decided to photograph it normally at a 60th of a second to see what I would get. The portrait was really dark. I wanted to expose for the balloons. So I grabbed my sweet awesome tripod. A long exposure is the only way I could do it so I didn't have to boost the ISO to 6400. I did bump the ISO to 1600 and do an exposure of 2.5 seconds. Originally the photo was suppose to be like this.

I really didn't like how it turned out. Jordan gave me the idea of sitting on the couch instead of standing. 

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It didn't feel like a party so I asked my friends Jordan and Orie to jump in. After fooling around for about 30 minutes. We finally came up with a portrait that would work. Onto lighting, I used a new one and a half foot softbox for a Canon or Nikon flash not a strobe. When i was looking at getting a new softbox I was trying to think of something that would make me faster and I wouldn't have to lug around a huge strobe. I do like using it for one reason, it's easy. It makes doing quick on the spot on location portraits very easy. 

I would like to give a big thank you to Jordan, Orie, Erika and Lexie for helping me in creating this weeks portrait.  

Yeah didn't really turn out right but hey I like it. I don't like the couches bar going though my head but it works. 

TD