The five of us (Eric Gautier, Kelly Formus, Richard Flores, and Andrea Figueredo) got together in June 2011 for another photography workshop. This time it was in an abandoned warehouse. Vacant warehouse. We had two models named Aamira and Heather. Andrea handled makeup duties and did a fantastic job!
I try to keep my equipment bags as light as possible, so I once again shot with Canon Speedlites. Since I shoot in full manual mode, even with flashes, I have total control over each exposure. I can appreciate Canon’s E-TTL function, but I still prefer manually setting all of my equipment when I have the luxury of time.
The warehouse was massive, so each of us could should wherever we wanted without getting cramped. Toward the rear of the building stood a huge brick wall which turned out to be one of the best backgrounds.
We kept things moving throughout the night sharing each other’s setups and eventually it was time to break out my favorite piece of equipment; THE FOG MACHINE! I don’t like to overuse it, but it’s definitely great for adding a little extra something to a scene. I will usually manipulate it a bit in post-processing, but having it there in the actual scene helps keep the effect grounded in reality.
Thanks to our fantastic and professional models Aamira Garba and Heather Dorian. Special thanks to Pablo for providing us with a motorcycle and modeling for a few shots.
This particular series of photos was taken by Kelly Formus. I was asked to work my magic bringing two images together and blending them into one long panorama. I also wanted to bring in a lot of the tones that were missing on the original exposure. I have a particular process I use involving Lightroom, Photomatix, and Photoshop. I tend to not overcrank the settings in Photomatix, which gives the image a nice even tone and not the harsh garbage that 90% of people churn out with their HDR software. Moderation, people.
Look at everyone having a great time and letting themselves play off one another. (MVP goes to the dude doing the handstand.) The lighting is absolutely perfect. Natural and neutral. That is key to creating a lovely image.
The final image took approximately two hours to complete.
Last Thursday I met up with a few creative people in Edison, NJ at Picnic Garden Korean BBQ. It’s across the street from Sam Ash. Amazing food and it’s done buffet style. Go up to the bar, pick out your own food by hand, and bring it back to the table to cook it. DELICIOUS! Food ranges from flavorful to very spicy. Your choice!
Kelly Formus, Eric Gautier, Rich Flores, Andrea Figueredo and I discussed plans for future photography projects. We’ve been getting together for very cool workshops that have produced excellent images for our portfolios.
I ate a ton before heading down to Delaware for a long weekend. Great way to start the trip! The cost of the buffet is approximately $25.00 as of the date this was written. Plenty of parking is available and they keep the restaurant very clean.
Many months ago, we met up and discussed our respective photography businesses and threw around some ideas for a workshop. We all have our particular strengths and knew it’d be great to learn from one another. We talked about getting a model and shooting wherever we could. Fast forward to January 2011. Easier said than done in the middle of winter.
Our location really needed to be someplace indoors and local. I have been following a particular fashion photographer’s work, Stephen Eastwood, and learned that he has photographed inside Studio 212. If it’s good enough for him, it would be good enough for us. All of us arrived by 7:15pm and started searching for Studio 212. “Where the hell is this place?!” Well, it’s in the back of a large industrial complex. Next time we shoot there, we’ll save about 15 minutes looking for the joint.
Once we got inside I introduced myself to Greg Price who is both a photographer and owner of Studio 212. I went on a tour of the facility. The place has just about anything you could ever want. The prop department is extensive and even has a footed cast iron bathtub. Insane. After the tour I went back to the room we were setting up. There is a cyc-wall which makes shooting models against a backround much easier. We brought in a lot of different lighting equipment. Canon Speedlites, Einstein strobes, a ring flash, softboxes, gels, Phong diffusers. It was a lot of fun seeing what everyone else used in their setups.
T. was the first model ready for the cameras and did a great job posing for the four of us. It got a little crazy at times because it’s not that normal for a model doing her thing for four different cameras all at once. We shot against the Cyc Wall and the red wall for a while. Here’s a great one Richard Flores took of T. against the red wall with a ring flash. By this time Karen and Kelly W. had finished Lauren’s makeup and hair. Lauren was ready to pose! Kelly Formus brought along a small fan with a surprising amount of wind power. It also helped cool down the studio. Lots of lights popping and lots of moving around was starting to drive up the temperature.
The shoot continued into the night and then we brought T. out with Lauren and they posed together. We used the wind machine, no less than 4 Speedlites and strobed softboxes. It was the first time I used a transmitter that triggered so much light at once. It was blinding! Luckily I packed a lot of batteries because those Speedlites were firing at about 1/1 power.
I tried and move myself around the models so they would be easier to work with later on within Photoshop. At the very least I’d be removing light stands and a slight shift in position can save a lot of time in post. After T. and Lauren finished up, Kelly W. came out for some shots. We grew up on the same block in South Plainfield and it’s great that East Golf Avenue churned out some pretty creative folks. There is still hope for South Plainfield after all!
Last model I shot that night was Karen and the image I had in my head was of her against a black wall with red gels everywhere. I’d say the final images of her turned out great and she even made one of them her profile photo on facebook. Which is pretty much the internet equivalent of winning a Grammy or Oscar. To see more of the shots from that night, visit the Products gallery.
Photographer and Filmmaker located in Paterson, NJ at The Art Factory