Robert Hall, an Edmonton and Vancouver actor, came to me for a new headshot upon Nikolas recommendation. I was looking forward to this shoot. Not that I don't enjoy shooting beautiful women in their late teens to early twenties but there's a lot of character to be found in the face of an experienced, older male actor. Nikolas was responsible for hair, makeup, and styling. Robert's own clothes complemented by my wardrobe which has begun to double as a styling kit for male subjects on photoshoots. Thank you to Derk's for having all of the cool clothes that I like. At time of posting, Robert is represented by the legendary Darryl Mork of Edmonton.
Darryl selected this photo to use as Robert's headshot. It's one of my favourites from the shoot. Shot with the Nikon D3 and 24-70/2.8 AF-S Nikkor at close range on the western side of the high level bridge. It was a particularly cold day and Robert was able to wear my favourite winter coat, a Tiger of Sweden peacoat.
My absolute favourite shot from the shoot. Shot with the Zeiss Ikon and the Leica Elmarit 90/2.8 (39mm filter variant) on the new Kodak Tmax 100 pushed to ISO 400 in Kodak HC-110 developer, dilution B. Scanned with the Nikon Coolscan 5000 ED. For so long I have avoided shooting film due to its inferior technical quality in terms of resolution density, exposure latitude, colour gamut, and cumbersome workflow. However, there is something beautifully organic about silver halid grain that I have grown to love. And there is no digital Zeiss Ikon yet.
One of my favourite shots that Nikolas took. Shot on the same roll as the previous photo. There's always something interesting on the roll or memory card when Nikolas picks up the camera.
I know Nikolas hates this shot because the tie is flipped over and in a strange position but I like this shot because of how naturally Robert managed to pull off a walking in an awkward line across a steep incline and in someone else's pants. Hahah.
Yura, Tom, and I discussed shoot concepts over some KFC and Coke and Chopin potato vodka at 350 Designs a few days before this shoot. We talked about using rundown locations, roof tops, old fire escapes and the usual back alley and parkade stuff but we needed a story to tie everything together. A year or two ago I told Leanna that I wanted to stage a drug deal in a warehouse or on a large piece of tarmac and shoot it. Leanna frowned upon the idea. She probably also gagged much like how she does whenever she sees my nude with Hasselblad cameras photo but Tom and Yura gave me the opportunity to put a commercial spin to the concept. I think it was Yura who proposed that instead of people just wearing Tom's shoes and dealing high-valued controlled substances we should replace the drugs with shoes. That got Tom thinking about his resources for locations and extras. He had a friend with two pitbulls and he also had a hook up to a warehouse operated by UT Quality, an ultrasonic underground pipe testing company. While I may do my original drug deal concept one day, I was pleased with the results of this shoot that, unlike my original concept, has commercial value. Lots of images. Sorry for the long load up. Also check out Yura's application of the images into an e-mag at ShoeGuru.ca.
The beginning of this day was far from smooth. We had several hiccups with wardrobe limitations . . . try pulling clothing for about ten models on short notice from a high end store. But Tom and Nikolas (website isn't up . . . contact me if you need an incredible makeup artist/hairstylist/fashion stylist/overall really cool dude to have on set) pulled through and we have Urban Fashion Group to thank. Also a big thank you to Dong Kim for pulling his connection at Urban for us and a huge thank you to the facility manager for UT Quality's warehouse for taking the place out of commission and staying with us until about 8:30pm. If you see this post please e-mail me so that I can credit you. I'm sorry that I have forgotten so many names. You know who you are and without all of you, nothing that we achieved this day would have been possible.
Hahah . . . I love the initial approach of the buyers.
Nikolas' man-purse bag thingie serves as the symbolic bag of money.
Enter one of the pitbulls. Lighting provided by two old 4.5" theatrical tungsten Fresnel spot lamps on the shoes from camera left. Extra lighting provided by two Altman and one ETC Source Four ellipsoidal reflector spot lamps (all tungsten). Fill provided by two Bowens Quad X packs with 7" reflectors filling a 6x6foot frame with a reflective scrim left of the Fresnels. Rim lighting provided by a Chimera Video Pro Plus and 20degree Lighttools Soft Egg Crate from the other side of the subjects and camera left, driven by another Quad X and Quad head with additional rim lighting provided by two 200W Flo-lite high frequency ballast fluorescent light panels equipped with daylight balanced biaxial fluorescent tubes. Some light thrown on the metal cases for the testing equipment with a fourth Bowens Quad head and bare reflector with grid and barn doors. And some fog for ambience and to limit visibility.
Enter the sellers.
I wish Lighttools/Lightrein's David Montizambert's and Nick Vedro's seminar happened before this shoot. Then I would have lit everything with continuous light. I don't like how the fog worked out in a lot of shots. The fast flash duration that photographers pay a premium for worked against us this day.
The Asian dude that some people think looks like me is my brother, Glendon. Once again he pulls through when I need an extra model. With Nick Hawkeye he put together the inline dimmer switches which we used to control all of the tungsten lights. As I am writing this, he's in Norway researching carbon recapture technology . . . definitely the brilliant son that all Asian parents wanted.
Olivia begins to prepare the package for inspection. Despite all of the initial problems with this shoot, Nikolas' masterful fashion styling helped to make the scenes realistic and convincing.
One of the few shots where the fog worked out alright. Photos were white balanced to the tungsten light but dimmer switches warm up light colour temperature so some of the lekos produced even warmer light than the basic tungsten balance. That's why if I were to dim the lights "correctly" I should have used neutral density filters or scrims. Many more photos after the jump.
I was driving back from Leanna's place at about 2am and happened to have a large format monorail camera and two sheets of ERA Pan 100 film left in my Grafmatic film back. I was passing the University of Alberta Hospital and I noticed that there were some people out back coming out for a smoking break. I stopped my car and asked to take their photo.
I set up as they were chatting and I didn't ask them to hold still. I wanted to see how the frame would turn out. At F/5.6 and shot to be pushed to ISO 400 my meter figured I'd get a 3s exposure. 3s exposures don't work well with people who aren't holding still but I still thought that the photo was interesting.
This time I asked David and Angie to hold still for a few seconds. I think David still twitched a bit. I kept the Horseman LE parallel to the ground and kept the rear standard square but I employed a bit of front rise and swing. Rise to compose out some of the ground while maintaining parallel vertical lines and swing because David is sitting a bit closer to the camera than Angie.
I had a brief chat with the two who had also just met each other. Angie was in for a bad ear infection and David was back for a check up after losing his leg in a house fire. I believe that both of them are doing alright. They both have my business card and I offered to make them some prints if they were to contact me. If you lost my card but see this entry, give me a call because I owe you some prints.
Both shot with the Calumet Caltar-S II 210/5.6 which is a private-labelled Rodenstock Sironar-S of the same aperture and focal length. ERA Pan 100 is a Chinese made film on a thick base and a relatively traditional anti-halation layer which allows shots to become a bit "glowy" around specular highlights. The person I bought my Kwok Camera from included a 25 pack of this film because it's so cheap. It's about $0.50 plus shipping from China. I believe that I successfully pushed this film to ISO 400 in Ilfosol S developer with a 1+9 dilution. Digital Truth's Massive Dev Chart didn't have development times for pushing ERA to ISO 400 but I looked at the development times for Ilford's FP4+ which is also a traditional grain film, compared this to suggested starting points for push processing and to ERA's listed development times for ISO 100 and decided that 14minutes was about right. Worked out on the first try. Scanned with the Microtek M1 scanner.
Sort of a "bonus shoot", we took a few photos of models getting out of a vehicle, in this case, Tom's dad's BMW X6. We wanted to use a vehicle with a taller step up so it would be easier to light and shoot and to get a more dramatic relative low angle. Lighting mixture was similar to what was found in many of the other images from Part 2 with key lighting provided by two tungsten theatrical Fresnel spot lamps and other light sources daylight balanced as will be discussed in Part 2. Thank you to Nick Hawkeye of Hawkeye Printing and Photographics and Dylan McAmmond of En Vogue Photography of Saskatoon, SK for assisting on this shoot. All photos shot with the Nikon D3 and the 17-55/2.8 DX Nikkor. Yes, I'm using a DX lens on an FX body without turning on DX crop. I just keep the lens at about 24mm or longer.
It'll be tough to figure out whose legs are whose. I think these legs belong to the DJ guy but I can't remember his name. He's cool.
These legs belong to the other Red Deer model, Olivia. I shot Olivia and Rebecca for the swimsuit components of their portfolios at Sylvan Lake last year. It's a bit odd sharing those photos online but Olivia's photos were some of what I felt were the best from that shoot.
Whitney's legs. She's the other half of En Vogue Photography. Depending on how you look at it, sometimes she is more than or less than a half. Right, Dylan? She's one model whose face doesn't appear in ANY of the photos from either part of this shoot day. Hilarious because Nikolas did a fantastic job of her hair and makeup and Whitney has an incredible look.
In the weeks following the Derk's advertising incident, my studio neighbor, Yura Sklyar and his design company, 350 Designs, referred to me Tom Jablonski and his e-tailer, Shoe Guru.ca. Shoe Guru has exclusive resale rights in some territories for Gola and some other brands. Yura was helping Tom with the launch of Shoe Guru.ca Version 2.0 and they needed some new images to use to help show off some new models of shoes as well as for a composite concept Yura had in mind. Here are some of my top picks from the shoot. All photos were lit identically: three Bowens QuadX 3000 powerpacks total driving four quad heads, three of which for key all vertically aligned with the highest one modified by a Bowens 15" Softlite with 20degree 7" spot grid and the two lower ones modified by Bowens 8" Maxilite reflectors. This vertical arrangement was set camera left. Fill on camera right by a Bowens Esprit Gemini 500 analog monolight with a Calumet Illuma Medium softbox and Lighttools 40degree Soft Egg Crate. Rim light provided by a Chimera Medium Video Pro Plus softbox back camera right controlled by a 20degree Soft Egg Crate and the previous generation Bowens ring flash camera left behind the subjects mounted on top of a tall tripod. Shot on Superior's dull aluminium paper and processed in Adobe Lightroom. Shot with the Nikon D3 and the 70-200/2.8 VR Nikkor and tethered to my back office computers with the NEC LCD3090WQXi so that we could see the images come up in near real time from another room. This marks the first commercial shoot that I've had with the D3. Nikolas did all of the guys' hair and makeup for all of the models.
Tom brought a whole bunch of props to the shoot including a snorkel mask and a yoyo. Being the interesting dude that he is, Suppa thought that this would make a good pairing with some large women's sneakers.
Raj (unintentionally) ended up as our token visible ethnic minority representative.
Nick Croken of Redline Photography shot Janice in a previous shoot for Tom. Janice was a top returning model pick to have as part of the new shoot. She's modeling some flats.
Christina (sp?) was ill with a very bad cold on this day but we could hardly tell. Her yield from the shoot was incredible. Easily four out of every five of her photos was usable. She was easily styled with a sample of Tom's athletic shoes. And I know . . . I totally should have requested that she remove her underwear.
Pam is Janice's hair stylist and good friend. She had lots of great ideas and brought enough energy to keep the whole shoot moving along smoothly (except when it came to shoot Tom ). She was responsible for some of the modification of some of the tops that the female models wore during the shoot and for Janice's hair colour and styling. I left this photo untouched to show what happens when a photographer remembers that he's shooting with the intent to have the photos close-cropped later. Hahah . . . I think photographers all get a bit sloppy when that happens.
Laine (sp?) required virtually no direction from my end of the camera. I just told him to be himself. No one else was in the studio when we were shooting this set and he just did his own thing. I felt that his photos were some of the most varied and characteristic from the shots of the guys this shoot.