self portrait

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 24: GoPro

This weekend was incredible. Myself and a couple of good friends headed to the river.  I have always gone to the beach so this was a first time staying at the river. Right when we got to the river there was a beautiful sunset. I kept yelling at Dylan to hurry up or we are going to miss it. I could't wait to break out the new GoPro that I just got that day. We quickly hurried to the edge of the water and just made it before the sun went down. I think all of us grabbed a selfie right when we got down to the water.  

Now this week self portrait was photographed with the GoPro. Since it doesn't have a way to fire strobes or even use it manual mode. It automatically picks the the shutter speed. That was my one concern was it didn't have manual mode. Normally i would expose for the sky then add the necessary light. But in the end I'm glad to experiment with some new equipment.

Below are some images from this weekend: (Yes most are selfies

52 Week Project: Number 23

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Alright so this week I did not prewrite my blog like I normally do on Monday. I was working on a special project which I can not wait to share with everyone. This week I am writing this blog on my phone on the way to a funeral (my great uncle just passed on Thursday). I do like the fact I can blog right on my iPhone. When I go on a trip it makes it so I can stay connected with everyone.

So this week was a little different for me. While I was at the beach last weekend I had an idea for a portrait. The idea was for me to hold up a sign that says "free kisses" and see everyone's reaction. I was going to do that after the pier portrait but since I loved how the portrait went I decided not to do it. I'll save that one for a later week. 

Setting up for this portrait was pretty easy. I had my partner in crime Jordan wright the words on the carboard. (You wouldn't be able to read my hand wrighting).  After we headed to the street in front of the studio. I had to be careful about where I put the light since I didn't want to blind any drivers. The light was to the left side of the camera with my travel softbox. I really like the fact that I now have a travel kit. I do need to upgrade the flash and the transmitters but hey I get what I need with the equipment I have. This week I went back to the good ol Fuji. I do like this camera way more then my DSLR (I know I keep saying this, buy one and you will see). 

Well that's it for this week. As always let me know what you think of the portrait. 

 -TD

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

52 Week Project: Number 20

20 weeks into this project. What this means is Jordan and I have had 20 portraits. It's pretty crazy. We both have learned a lot. Trying all kinds of techniques that we learn.

Anyway on to this week self portrait. Not much to say about this one. I used a basic three lighting set up. I wanted to keep it simple. I decided to use the X100s again. Instead of using it at 1000th like last week I used it at 500th at f/8. I really love this camera. The color out of the camera is awesome. The sharpness on point. 

Anyway onto the lighting setup. I used a soft box off to the left of me. Also there is a hair light right above me. Last there is a accent light behind me. Below is the lighting set up.

That's it for this week. Sorry for the short post.

-TD

52 Week Project: Number 18

So as some of you might know, my camera broke (sad face). I should be receiving it today, hopefully.

Anyway onto week number 18. I decided to bust out the good ol Fuji x100s for this one. I'm just going to say this. I FREAKIN LOVE THIS CAMERA. Why have I not been using this camera all along?! With the built in neutral density filter and a leaf shutter so I can shoot at 500th of a second with strobes. Yes the sky is the limit with this camera. I do need to pick up the wide angle attachment for this camera. Would be sweet to have. 

I keep forgetting that I have it with me. Now I have an eye-fi card and can view my images on my Ipad. Oh well, I will be using that camera just a little bit more and might start a personal digital film series.

So with this image I wanted to go for a more film look. Something a 1970s camera would have. I also wanted to keep it simple. With one light and one camera. I think I accomplished just that.

TD  

52 Week Project: Number 8

Photographed with the Fujifilm x100s

Photographed with the Fujifilm x100s

Recently I made a couple of big purchases for myself. One of which is a new camera! The fujifilm X100s (or Ethel if you are following me on instagram) is now my pride and joy. From the beautiful colors to the amazing sharpness. This camera is an excellent add on!

Trying to lug around Betty (Canon 5d mark ii) is the worst. I wanted something to walk around with and enjoy taking photographs. I currently am working on a new series to keep me entertained called the digital rangefinder. The rangefinder diaries is already taken by my good friend and photographer Dan Bassini who is the reason why I went to Hallmark!

I will be updating my flickr as well as set up a portfolio on my website! The images I have snapped so far amazes me. To add another twist to the photos I will be editing them in VSCO Plugin for LIghtroom! What VSCO does is edits digital photos to look like old film cameras!

Here is the link to my Flickr where most of the photos will be going. I'm more then positive that I will do a couple of blog post on some of the photos and how I edited some!

TD