Tuesday, November 9, 2010

09/52 Samantha Gribble

So in my rules, it clearly states that the photo has to be taken in the allotted week.

...it says nothing about when I have to blog about it.

So the lazyness busy-ness ends here. The good news is not only do i have pics from the last two weeks, I'm already done this week as well. Now all I have to do is write up about all this stuff. More details after the jump.

In the spirit of Halloween, two weeks ago's this week's shoot was done in full costume. I took pictures of both Samantha Gribble and Rodger Ruzanka, who in theme both dressed as characters from the animated series "Adventure Time." As a team effort they both made their costumes from scratch, showing off their passion and penchant for all things crafty and creative. In the end, I liked a pic of Samantha the best of all the shots, and I also want to try to do a different concept with Rodger a bit later on.

Samantha Gribble is a cello player and all around crafty person. She plays cello several bands around town, such as The Dead Superhero's Orchestra, and is working towards a master's degree at DePaul. She and Rodger make an awesome team, making everything from hand-crafted plush toys and clothing from scratch to delicious homemade adventurous ice cream flavors (smoothies are the next level, asserts Rodger). Together they've launched an etsy shop where they're putting their wares on sale.

Rodger and I got in to shooting flash at the same time, and both owe a lot to David Hobby and his awesome blog for it's infinite lighting-related wisdom. Since we both started to learn and experiment, Rodger and I have always swapped ideas on technique. Over time however, we have developed our own unique styles and approaches. Because I'd be shooting Rodger as well as Samantha, I decided to give the shoot the full-on Rodger treatment. Combining his and I's resources we came up with something truly frightening for Halloween:

An 8 strobe shoot.

We shot in the burnt-out apartment in the front of Rodger's building. Extra spookiness provided by Rodger's fog machine, which he owns for photographic purposes only.

Rodger is into super contrasty dramatic hard light, from multiple angles. Here you see the front of the setup. There's a gridded sb600 to camera left, and a bare sb800 from high camera right. Notice the umbrella being on backwards? This is what lazy people do to ditch their soft key in favor of something a bit more harsh. Rounding out the front is an sb600 low camera right with a moss green gel, and an sb600 low camera left with a full CTO gel.

Behind the subject at camera left is an sb600 sith barn doors acting as a hair light/edge. There's also an Sb600 in the bathtub at the right of this frame with a full straw gel.

There is a strobe at back camera right, firing through slats in the burnt-out wall. This flash is appropriately geled "fire," and the slats create a cool effect when caught by the fog.

The lighting setup was very much a collaboration between Rodger and myself. He schooled me on the finer points of his lighting style and helped me adjust my setup. The final Sb800 was used as a TTL controller for all the other flashes. True Rodger style is all TTL all the time. Here are a few outtakes from this week:

I liked this one a lot, but I feel it looks just a bit too much like the front of a Halloween costume package.

We did a few pics of them both together as well. I probably could have taken some time to adjust the light setup for two people, but we were running late into the evening and I had to work early the next day.

Strobist Info:
SB800 high camera right
SB600 camera left with honl gridspot
SB600 low camera left with CTO gel
SB600 low camera right with moss green gel
SB600 back camera left with barn doors
SB600 back camera slight-left with full straw gel
SB600 back camera right with fire gel
SB800 on camera in controller mode

Camera Settings:
1/125 f/5.6 at ISO 400
Nikon 17-55 f/2.8

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