Saturday, February 14, 2009


Run!, originally uploaded by blister gone.

It's Valentines Day, I'm waiting for Audrey to finish her study/volunteer time, so I'm at home doing nothing. My shoot up friend Steve decided to do a subject shoot from an ordinary object. Today's subject was - Shoes.

The Process
I started by shooting a couple shots with the concept of the common problem of "which shoes should I wear today?" with a row of shoes, and my feet standing in front of them. The shots were ok, but it wasn't really working for me. I knew I could do better. By this time, I had set aside my Gitzo because it was not low enough for the perspective I wanted. So I went and got my Gorilla Pod. I shot a couple more frames, but still was not happy with it. I guess the shots didn't come out as cool as I thought they would.
what to wear?

Then I thought, I wonder if I can create a Shoe Monster with my Gorilla Pod. Hm, it needs a head. So I went and got the good ol' photogenic rangefinder and put it on there, and stuck two of the legs into the shoes. One of the arms is stuck out ready to seek and destroy.

I've shot a couple of these Gorilla Pod monsters, but they were all kind of boring. There's no action or drama, it just sits there. So I somehow got the idea to use my lego guys from my Millennium Falcon as the victims.

Boy, it is hard getting those Lego characters to keep upright.

So I had everything set up and ready to go. Now the challenge was the lighting. I had been shooting one SB 800 off camera, but I knew I wanted some kind of backlight for the monster, and some fill light for the lego characters. So at first I tried placing the SB 800 in the back to send light forward, and having a reflector to bounce back light back into the legos. Not nearly enough light. I tried several configurations before I gave up, because I had to knock out the ambient light as well. So I said screw it, and went upstairs to grab my B800.

I ended up using the SB-800 with a small softbox for fill on camera left, -1 FEC from the ambient, and the B800 camera right to light the shoe monster. I think this worked out perfectly as the light from the B800 acted as a nice kicklight for the legos. It gives nice separation from the background so they stand out.

Here's the set up shot:

set up shot

Any suggestions for a subject for next week?

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