Throughout our lives, we are taught to value speed and getting things done quickly. We learn that doing is more valuable than merely being, and that making the most of life is a matter of forging ahead at a hurried pace. Yet as we lurch forward in search of some elusive sense of fulfillment, we find ourselves feeling increasingly harried and disconnected. More importantly, we fail to notice the simple beauty of living. When we learn to slow down, we rediscover the significance of seemingly inconsequential aspects of life …time to indulge our curiosity, to enjoy the moment, to appreciate worldly wonders, to sit and think, to connect with others, and to explore our inner landscapes more fully. Conducting ourselves at a slower pace enables us to be selective in how we spend our time and to fully appreciate each passing moment. This is especially true in Photography!
How it was Done: We recently visited The Salton Sea in the desert east of San Diego with some friends, models and a stunning Harley-Davidson motorcycle for some photographic fun. As the sun set, things got dark really fast and we had just one more shot in mind. This shot involved the rider and Harley driving slowly in front of the two models and down the long stretch of road as the camera’s shutter remained open. The idea was that the motion blur of the rider and tail lights would lend a stark and spooky contrast to the two stationary models. To execute this we had to work fast as it get pitch black in the desert after sunset! A Nikon D7000 with a cabled shutter release was set up on a very stable Manfrotto Tripod and set low to the ground. The camera was adjusted manually for a shutter speed of 3 seconds, aperture of f8, ISO100 and focussed on the models with the help of some flashlights. The autofocus was then turned off (the camera would try to track the moving bike as it passed). The rider started his run and just as he passed the camera’s viewing angle, the shutter was tripped. As the driver approached the models, the scene was briefly lit up by a Nikon SB600 Speedlight. The light from the bike’s headlamp continued to light up the road in the distance. These types of shots take a bit of forethought and setup, but when they come to fruition are truly rewarding and often surprising!
This is another shot from MCAS Miramar taken in hard mid-day sun using our trusty Nikon D7000 equipped with a 17-70mm f2.8 lens, Quantum Q-Flash and hot shoe mounted metering system. Given the intensity of the light, we chose a location where one of the Museum vintage aircraft was under a canopy. This was the ultimate diffuser! Almost all other Photographers gravitated to this location, some packing some serious gear!
During the morning, we met a clothing designer who wanted to promote his line of hats, tops, bottoms. He gave us a few items which we took to this Photoshoot at the Aviation Museum. Our model had on a different outfit (recall previous posts) and when we asked if she could try these new items, she was more than happy. She disappeared behind a trailer and emerged with a new look. We noticed that traffic along Miramar Rd slowed for some reason during the change of outfits! Hmmm.
Thanks for the kind visit to our humble blog – please drop us a note email@example.com if you have any comments or questions!
Kathleen and Erik
PS if you are curious regarding the clothing designer, check out his work on Facebook http://www.facebook.com/Pernicious.Attire
Harsh light for Photographers is always a challenge – Noon in San Diego is just rough! One must seek some kinda shade, use huge diffusers, have a Crew to be Grips…yikes! Sounds complex. Not really….in harsh light find shade for the subject. Set your DSLR on Manual Exposure and Meter the background. Then use you Fill Flash to light it up!
Here we put our Model under the wing of a Fighter Bomber at MCAS, Miramar in San Diego, California. (Top Gun Training was here…check the Movie). We were working a Nikon D7000 equipped with a 17-70mm f2.8, mounted on an Alzo Bracket, Quantum T5d-R flah and Turbo battery pack. The point is, that with the correct gear and understanding any Photographer can overcome technical obstacles and delivery their Vision!
Thanks for your kind visit…K & E
A continuation of our series from Marine Corps Air Station Miramar, or MCAS. You may recall a movie by Tom Cruise called Top Gun? It was filmed here. The Museum inside is full of gems, and outside there are so many wonderful planes it boggles the mind. Here we had a photo shoot where Models and Hair and Makeup Artists were kindly asked to bring military or Pin-Up type outfits. Here, this is in the shadow of a Fighter Bomber. We liked the colour contrast and the red contrasting with the subtle camo jacket.
This was very challenging light being Mid-day in San Diego. Without hauling portable Studio Strobes, we accomplished this shot with our trusty Nikon D7000 mounted on an Alzo Bracket, powered by a Turbo-3 Battery pack which juiced the amazing Q-Flash. The lens was a 17-70mm Sigma f2.8 which is spectacular for close in Portraits! This time we used the flash in Manual Mode (as well as the D7000), shot in RAW (or NEFF as Nikon likes to call it) to allow subtle corrections in Post Processing.
The point is, that for any situation, The Photographer needs to arrive prepared and ready to have quick solutions to technical problems. The job of the Photographer is to make their subjects look Fabulous! Hope we accomplished this…What do you think?
Thanks for your kind visit to our Photoblog . If you have ANY Questions just drop us a note firstname.lastname@example.org
Kathleen and Erik
This continues our series of shots from a special event at MCAS Miramar from a while back. We were experimenting with our bracket mounted Quantum T5d-R Flash, trusty Nikon D7000 and new Sigma 17-70mm f2.8 lens. This combination allows one to shoot in hard light. What one does is to exposed for the background then under expose it just a bit. The subject would then be totally under exposed with a typical setup. A problem that can be fixed and effectively!
The Q-Flash can be adjusted through it’s TTL, or Through the Lens, control system to bring the subject into proper exposure. This flash is more powerful than a camera mounted Speedlight and approaches Studio Power. The flash controller which sits on the camera Hot Shoe, meters the light in conjunction with the Nikon D7000 and allows incremental adjustments of Fill Light by simply turning a small switch. Additionally, the flash has a “Distance Limiter” which if set to say, 10 ft, would allow all objects beyond this range to not have light from the flash. Mounting the D7000 on a Flash Bracket puts all this gear into a nice portable package. It also comes with a Turbo-3 Battery pack which one mounts to one’s belt, that the flash and camera can plug into – great for at least 3 hours of hard work! This battery rocks!
Here, Jodi, the model, was instructed to lie under the wing of a vintage plane to get out of the hard 1PM light in San Diego. Background was exposed to get a hint of planes and then we filled her in with the Quantum on the flash bracket. The bracket itself allows one to pull the flash out around 2.5ft…perfect for a bit of side light. We had her dip her Aviators just a bit to capture her eye as the focal point.
Thank you for your kind visit to our humble blog and if you have ANY questions just Comment on The Blog or drop us a note at email@example.com We answer every and all questions! (Please feel free to subscribe, we present Photographic Gems almost every day)
Kindest Regards, Kathleen and Erik
We were invited to a Model Shoot at MCAS Miramar last Sunday. We arrived with our Mom (Security and Key Reflector Grip) an hour before the Event to check out the scene for light – it was already hard at 11 AM and Mom got worried about Contrast and Exposure. She suggested that we seek shelter under a Fighter Bomber and wait for the Make Up Artists (MUA) and Models to arrive. Sure enough, other invited Photographers and Models gravitated to our spot and the fun began!
Aeriel was the first of out Hair and Make Up so we grabbed her for some Classic shots reflective of the History of this outside Museum.
Here we wanted to capture her Vintage Look under the wing of the Fighter Bomber. The light was created by using a Quantum Flash on a hand-held camera bracket. Nice!
The next look we asked her to hide behind the enormous landing gear and give a “Peek a Boo” look. Once again, the subtle off camera flash filled her in….you can tell where the light was by the reflections in her eyes (catch lights) and the small nose shadow. Lovely!
Next, after a clothing and make change we went for hard light. With the fighter airplane in the backdrop, we deliberately decided to over expose the shot at the back to draw attention to Aeriel. The next shot wanted to show the Hair and Make up of the wonderful folks in the background who were working their asses off all day…had to capture Areiel’s curl!
My Mom had such a blast watching all the Pro Photographers and Models, it was a spectacular day. A Perfect Sunday!
If you have any questions regarding Quantum Flash or would like a Shoot, drop us a note at firstname.lastname@example.org
Also great credit to http://www.meetup.com/Pro-Am-Photography-and-Models for arranging the Models and Make Up Artists! Thanks Britt!
Hair and Makeup Creds to Cyndi Gardipee and Lori Cox
Thanks for your kind visit to our humble PhotoBlog…Kathleen and Erik
My Security Detail and Key Grip (My Mom) spent the afternoon shooting Models at MCAS Miramar in San Diego. We were the first to arrive and quickly found the prime location. The light was hard and so we brought our trusty Quantum Flash to fill shadows. There were many pretty Models and tens of Photographers with all sorts of gear. I was a bit frustrated since as soon as I consulted with one of the Models as to what I was looking for, set up the pose, the “Sharks” moved in and it seemed like everyone gravitated to the image I had. I quickly learned to secret the Model away, do a quick shot and get out before others could see the vision…funny, eh?
So, hundreds of shots later, this Gem popped out. I was tired of the Glam Look and started searching around for something different. Being a Landscape Photographer, I look for angles, reflections and details. As the rest of the gang was happy snapping away, I went under the wing of this plane to capture, what I think, is just special…The reflection of this Model’s legs on the underside of the wing is cool, and her adjusting her shoes. What do you think?
Thanks for the visit to our humble Photoblog and if you have any questions, please feel more than welcome to drop us an email email@example.com
Kathleen and Erik
Boudoir Photography does not have to be complicated with all sorts of staged shots, props or complications. Here we have a very simple lighting set-up…. black backdrop and only one single Softbox to create this dramatic image. Regarding gear, Nikon D90, 100mm Prime, radio triggers for the strobe and off camera flash. Always Manual on the Camera and shoot in RAW or as Nikon terms it, NEFF! This gives flexibility during Post Processing. JPG is OK for everyday shots but, each time you save it, info is lost forever!
For this shot, Kathleen asked if our wonderful Model, Jovis, could envision 1930’s Hollywood poses. She immediately got the vision that Kathleen had envisioned and we had a spectacular session. Kathleen is so Masterful about posing! She brings out the best in everyone! Such a Gift! Now a bit about Glamour!
Glamour originally was a magical-occult spell cast on somebody to make them believe that something or somebody was attractive (Crazy, eh?). In the late 19th century terminology a non magical item used to help create a more attractive appearance gradually became ‘a glamour’. Today, glamour is the impression of attraction or fascination that a particularly luxurious or elegant appearance creates, an impression which is better than the reality. Typically, a person, event, location, technology, or product such as a piece of clothing can be glamorous or add glamour.
Virginia Postrel says that for glamour to be successful nearly always requires spreezzatura – an appearance of effortlessness, and to appear distant – transcending the everyday, to be slightly mysterious and somewhat idealised, but not to the extent it is no longer possible to identify with the person. Glamorous things are neither opaque, hiding all, nor transparent showing everything, but translucent, favourably showing things.
This is how we wanted this shot, alluring, subtle and provocative! Thanks for visiting our humble Photoblog and if you have ANY questions or would like a Photo Session, just drop us an Email at firstname.lastname@example.org
Kathleen and Erik
This continues our series of Boudoir Photography from our Studio. Here, we again, have our lovely Model, Daniela (You should look at some of the other posts of this stunner). Boudoir Photography does not have to be overly complex, crazy Studio Lighting or elaborate sets. This was shot with a simple black backdrop, large softbox to the left and we adjusted the fill lights on the right to get a soft wash over her face. To get the high angle, we used a small step stool shooting down. Most of the time it is a good idea to shoot women from a higher perspective. It allows for accentuation and concealment of good and trouble spots. Men are a different story – usually from a lower angle to give a sense of power. Sometimes for Corporate Women, you can also use the lower angle, but for Boudoir, this is not typical.
The Gear: Two Alien Bee Strobes, Radio Triggers, Nikon D90 with an 18-55mm lens. Light Modifiers are from Paul. C. Buff, large softbox to left and large reflective umbrella to right. The softbox has a silver interior that can be further softened with a velcro attached diffuser and focussed with another velcro attached grid. The umbrella surface can be changed from silver to white and again, one can also add a diffuser on top. It all depends on the vision, some experimentation and most of all, just having fun!
Thanks for the visit to our humble PhotoBlog! If you have any questions or would like to book a session, drop us an email at email@example.com
Happy Holidays, Kathleen and Erik
This is another shot of our stunning Model, Daniela. As you may recall from previous posts she has gone through an amazing transformation and has become our “Own Biggest Loser”. The effort and persistent that she has shown is be an inspiration to us all who want to Live Fit. We hardly recognize her, but, Wow! So proud. Kathleen has been having her ass kicked every morning, waking up at 4AM by this dude: https://www.facebook.com/#!/profile.php?id=100001071686692 Kudos to K and M to keeping this going!
Now a bit about this shot. Black backdrop, and from the Catch Lights in the eyes, you can immediately see a large softbox 45 degrees left and a small fill umbrella 45 degrees right. Always look at the Model’s eyes and you will find the lighting! Cool. eh? Our set-up is simple and effective. Getting the exposure correct takes some practice, setting up the gear with wireless controllers and HD Monitor for Model Feedback is a chore, but getting the pose…that is the fun!
Thanks for visiting our humble PhotoBlog – if you would like us to work with you, just email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Happy Holidays, Kathleen and Erik
We have found that shooting nude models, although it sounds exotic, is really hard. Nobody is perfect and light can be a harsh reminder of that. It is up to the photographer to bring the best out of the model, and out of the vision of the shot. We have discovered that imagination bests everything when it comes to nude.
In this shot, our lovely model, Jovis was naked. We covered her up on the bottom and had her front face away from the camera. The lighting was very simple. Large Softbox which washed light over her back. We instructed her to look a bit left to silhouette her face. We think this is very subtle and delicate – somewhat classic in composition.
What do you think? Thanks for visiting our Blog. We are currently on location in Maui and will bring to you many spectacular shots of Landscapes, Tropical Rain Forestst, Surfers, Sail Boarding and More. Stay Tuned!
This continues the series of Boudoir and Studio Photography. The previous post detailed a bit about Complex Lighting and showed a behind the scenes shot of the lighting set up. There were Speedlights everywhere, large Soft Box etc. The results were wonderful, but to haul, set up and fine tune all of this equipment is quite a chore. To do things right, many practice shots need to be taken before the model should even consider entering into the set. It is somewhat boring for a model to have the photographer give instructions like, “Just stand there. OK. Can you wait a second while we adjust the brightness of this light? OK, one more. Hmmm, looks like the angles are all wrong”. You get the idea. Everything should be set up and ready to go – a model’s job is to help create the vision of the photographer, not to be a dummy for light balancing!
The point of this is that sometimes simple is also good. For this rather dramatic shot, a large Softbox was used in a dark room with black background.. This is an easy set up to haul, construct and dynamically adjust as the session progresses. It is also relatively inexpensive and can be used for dramatic Profiles, Rembrandt, Flat and High Key. There is no Hair Light from behind or fancy edge lights, but sometime you just don’t need this – and often all that stuff just gets in the way of a nice shot!
Thanks for you kind visit to our Photo Blog!
This behind the scenes shot demonstrates the gear involved with a shoot. Here we wanted to conserve the Rembrandt Light on our model and get High Key Back Light. The concept was to get a bit Hollywood into the shot – like Runway Photographers. The background flare comes from a bank of portable Speedlights. The main light is from a large soft box. To get the Rembrandt Lighting one only needs to direct the model’s nose position to look to or away from the light. Here is a shot of the setup.
Studio set ups do not need to be expensive or overly complex. One does not need to invest hundreds of dollars for Nikon or Cannon TTL Sppedlights – you can buy older models for a fraction of the price and not have to worry about when you drop them. We have broken several expensive Nikon SB600 Speedlights through incidental damage. An old Vivitar does the job just as well. The only other tools one needs is some light stands, perhaps a few light modifiers like umbrellas and most importantly, radio triggers to control the lights. If you shop around, all of this gear is really not that expensive.
The fun part is learning how all of this works with your camera, lots of trial and error and learning to see the light.
Thanks for the visit to our Blog – we really appreciate it!
When we were studying The Art of Boudoir Photography we noticed that there are some common props that are used, like the acoustic guitar. The guitar is typically used to hide portions of the model to generate an “Implied Nude” shot. Here we tried something a bit different – we went Electric and Rock and Roll. One can imagine a lead guitarist walking onto a smokey stage, her “axe” ready for a great show, high heals and fish nets. Somewhat Eighties feel like Pat Benetar, don’t you think?
What is fascinating about this shot is that the female form follows the lines of the guitar in a very flattering way. Perhaps the designers at Ibanez had this in mind? We think it worked. As far as lighting goes, black backdrop, low lights, great music and as one can see from the reflections on the guitar, a huge gridded softbox. The grid (aside from adding complementary textures to our models fish nets) allows one to create soft lighting and yet it is very directed. Think about shooting a flash through 100 straws, very similar to a single Snoot but a lot more of them.
Please let us know what you think of this shot and thanks for visiting our humble blog!
Here the shot of our Thai Model, Dinah, was executed with two banks of Speedlights to illuminate the backdrop to wash it out. Another two banks of Speedlights were aimed left and right at 45 degrees to fill in her face. Although not true High Key Lighting which requires highly ever exposed and washed out shots, we still like this one because Dinah was getting into the Concept. Sometimes the technical aspects have to adapt to the space and time one can afford to a Photo-shoot.
This was not at own Studio, so time was limited, the Dinah was on a schedule, and the owners of the Studio became increasingly involved with direction of our Vision. This became increasingly frustrating as it started to turn into another “Rent some time in a Studio Snap Shoot”. As well, as we posed Dinah for our concepts, other Photographers were just shooting the same image. We would never take someone elses shot. Artistic Respect…and we paid for the Studio time. Lesson learned!
For that reason, we have our own gear, space and can create our own Vision. Dinah is a member of Model Mayhem (www.modelmayhem.com) – you should check out her portfolio if you would like to work with her. (#2291268). Thanks Dinah!
Thanks for the kind visit to our Humble Photo Blog. We have so many new projects on the books this year including some Runway Shots as well as an exposee of one of Kathleen’s Personal Trainers. We are so excited!
There is a lot of work that goes on behind the scenes at a Photo Shoot. Lighting and Concept needs to be determined, Models needs to be prepped. Then technical issues need to be fixed, like exposure, lens choice, test shots. From the first image you can see we used a large Soft Box on the left and a couple of Speedlights from behind. The idea was to get nice light on Dinah and have the Speedlights give back fill on the hair. There is deliberate over power to the flash on the upper right – shows a bit of Glam.
As we are still learning, the experimentation will continue. We hope you are enjoying our journey!
It was October of 2010 when we were asked to take photos of a beautiful family here in San Diego at Sunset Beach. The beach had a very special meaning for the couple and the photos turned out beautifully. The couple also renewed their vows a couple of weeks later in a beautiful ceremony and life was happy for the family.
Now because we are very close to the bride, we know that shortly after the renewing of the vows- she decided she needed to make a change in order to be happy with herself and show her son what a healthy lifestyle is all about. The results were that at the model shoot the first week in November 2011 at our studio- she was not only beaming and still a knock out- but she was also 75 pounds lighter!
This is a challenge to all of us- even to me who after she met her 75 pound goal- decided it was time I took hold of my life & health as well. It is a very long hard road to lose this amount of weight and this is a tribute to her and all of the hard work she put in to it. I watched her week in & week out- and I know just how determined & how much will power she had to have.
Congrats my dear friend- you are rocking it- and you are just such a picture of happiness!!
We continue our Series of Studio Shots. Here we were at a Pro-Am Studio in California and had the wonderful opportunity to work with Dinah. She is a member of Model Mayhem (#2291268) in case you would like to shoot with her. The concept was High Key Lighting. Sometimes one needs to branch into different lighting styles. High Key is complementary, up beat and subtlety beautiful. Our inspiration was from a T-Mobile image of their cute model which we saw in Time’s Square! We will post a few more of Dinah shortly and also a bit of “Back Scene” so you can see how we captured the great shots! Now just a bit about High Key!
High key photography uses unnaturally bright lighting to blow out most or all harsh shadows in an image. High key methods were originally developed as a solution to screens that couldn’t properly display high contrast ratios, but has developed into more of a stylistic choice.High key images usually convey a positive or upbeat tone. This method is perfect for a subject that is funny, lighthearted or beautiful.
Many thanks for visiting our Photo Blog – please visit our website for all of our other Images of amazing International Landscapes and just Cool Stuff!
Kindest Regards, Kathleen and Erik
We spent the afternoon in San Diego’s Pro-Am Studios practicing High Key Lighting. The idea is to flood a white backdrop with lights and illuminate the Model from left and right 45 degrees. The Camera is then adjusted for a slightly over exposed shot. This gives a washed out look which is, in some well executed images, quite flattering. We found coming into someone else’s Studio and adapting to their concept of lighting to be challenging. We like to be able to control all aspects of light right down to subtle minutia, including props, angles, poses.
We also like to have a High Definition Monitor hooked to the camera so that both the Model and the Photographer can immediately see the image and mutually adjust poses, lighting and camera settings. This makes the shoot a joint effort. It was a bit frustrating to have the Instructor start shooting and directing the Shoot – we paid for it after all (She is a super nice person, BTW). We were spending time to learn about High Key Shooting.
Our expectation was that the session would begin with concept pictures, how lights would be set up to achieve the concepts, followed by some time with our wonderful Model. Then, a review of the results, corrections and critique. After that we could refine our techniques and arrive at the expected results. Being and Engineer (Erik), he is very analytical about all aspects of Light and The Art of Photography. That is why we love and hate these sessions. The Studio Owners set up the Lighting and let folks snap away, however for seasoned Photographers, perhaps this is not really optimal. Our Visions clashed many times. We still did manage to get some great images if Dinah and would love to work with her again in some other setting.
Thanks for the kind visit to our humble blog. Kathleen and Erik
It is easy to take stunning pictures of the people who are in their twenties and thirties. They have not yet developed their “experience” lines. In the Studio, they can be illuminated with harsh flat light, 90 degree light, Rembrandt and essentially anything (even Monster Lighting) and they look wonderful. The job of the Photographer is to make their models look fabulous, period. This requires some analytics technically for lighting and also knowing how to pose the model during a shoot to make them look fabulous! Boudoir is for everyone – as mentioned in previous posts, this is not about “Gentlemen’s Magazines”, it is all about subtle and sensual images that are shared with a loved one. Implied is always better than displayed in our opinion.
Standards of Glamour Photography have changed over time, reflecting changes in social acceptance. In the early 1920s, United States photographers like Ruth Harriet Louise and George Hurrell photographed celebrities to glamorize their stature by utilizing lighting techniques to develop dramatic effects. During World War II, Pin-Up pictures of scantily clad Movie Stars were extremely popular among US servicemen. However, until the 1950s, the use of glamour photography in advertising or men’s magazines was highly controversial or even illegal. Magazines featuring glamour photography were sometimes marketed as “art magazines” or “health magazines”. How times have changed!
Thank you for visiting our Photography Blog!
Sometime the use of different perspectives makes the model provocative without going over the top. In this shot, immediately the eye is drawn to the red shoes, the tattoo and then follows the lines down to the model who is on her back. What an Ab Workout! Her hair flows into darkness. Often these types of shots are about subtle suggestion and not necessarily how fancy the britches are (We purchased all of the garments for this shoot from K-Mart by the way) and how “The Girls” are displayed.
A great deal of “Boudoir” is now created in the Photographer’s Studio or in luxury hotel suites, where it has become very fashionable to create a set of sensual images for women in “Boudoir Style”. This often takes the shape of partly clothed images or images in lingerie, and has become more than just a passing fad for Brides to surprise their future Husbands. Although in the past there were many negative connotations associated with Boudoir Photography, in recent years the trend has begun to gain momentum, and the entire look of Boudoir Photography has begun to change.
Bridal Boudoir Photography is becoming particularly popular. Brides often have an album of Boudoir style photographs made as a present for their soon to be Husbands. Other common themes for Boudoir Photography are anniversaries, birthdays, Valentine’s Day, weight loss, maternity, any form of body change or alteration (breast augmentation or reduction, etc.), and for soldiers overseas.
We have been increasingly developing our Portfolio in these areas, working hard and producing eye pleasing and tasteful images. We welcome any inquiries. Thank you kindly for the visit to our humble Blog!
We have shot several sessions with Professional Models in a Studio Setting and found that nude is truly challenging. To give credit to the models, they are typically in fine form, but tuning in posed and lighting to get the best representation of their full form takes years of practice. Glamour Photography allows the photographer to use props to enhance the image and bring some mystique into the story. Here, the use of a simple rd towel implies that our model is disrobed – perhaps yes, perhaps no, but this does not matter. This helps both photographer and model to be more comfortable and allows both to concentrate on what is truly important – the character of the shot and the emotion of the model. Now a bit about this Genre and some History!
Glamour photography is a genre of photography whereby the subjects, usually female, are portrayed in a Romantic or sexually alluring way. The subjects may be fully clothed or semi-nude, but Glamour Photography clearly stops short of ‘Playboy-Type” shots.
While there is some overlap in the time periods, the term glamour photography did not begin to be commonly applied to such photography until the 1960s. Before then, the term erotic photography was more commonly used. Early types of this kind of modeling were often associated with “French postcards”, small post card sized images, that were sold by street vendors in France. In the early 1900s the PinUp became popular and depicted scantily dressed women often in a playful pose seemingly surprised or startled by the viewer. The subject would usually have an expression of delight which seemed to invite the viewer to come and play. Betty Grable was one of the most famous pinup models of all time; her PinUp in a bathing suit was extremely popular with World War II soldiers.
In December 1953, Marilyn Munroe was featured in the first issue of Playboy magazine. Bettie Page was the Playmate of the Month in January 1955. Playboy was the first magazine featuring nude glamour photography targeted at the mainstream consumer. We will stick to Glamour, much more suggestive and comfortable for all!
This is continuing our series from a Boudoir Photo Session which was conducted at our Studio in California. Here we set up our model with a fresh white men’s shirt which is set off against a black background. We used a bit of elevation on the composition for some added dimension. The lighting is just a bit less dramatic than Rembrandt (you may recall a previous post). If you look carefully at the model’s eyes you can reverse engineer the lighting setup very quickly. Here you can see a large rectangular soft box at about 45 degrees to the left, and also a smaller and much less bright fill light at about 45 to the right. Sometime edge lights are used to sharpen and highlight the model’s frame. Often a hair light is used to accentuate the hair from behind, but this was not the effect that we were looking for.
Studio lighting tends to use one, two, three or four lights, with reflectors and other light modifiers, and is generally done with studio strobes rather than continuous. For a studio lighting setup, you need the lights, the relevant stands and light modifiers, something to trigger them, reflectors, and a backdrop of some kind. You will need to set the camera to manual exposure, because all automatic exposure modes will measure the ambient light and not the flash. You should set the shutter speed to your camera’s maximum synch speed. You can then adjust your lighting by their intensity, distance to the model and by your camera’s aperture setting. Having a flash meter is very helpful to dial in a setup.
There are four basic reasons for using lights, and, in order of importance, they are:
- To give enough illumination to the subject that you can capture all the details within the dynamic range of your camera, with the depth of field you need.
- To give true, high colour rendering
- To use shadow to bring out the three-dimensionality of the subject
- To freeze motion, so that you can, for example, capture the movement of hair
It is generally best to start with just one light, using reflectors to fill in, as it is easier to achieve natural results this way and easiest to learn. From there, you can progress to two lights, and so on.
These are two poses from a Studio Session with our wonderful Model, Jovis. We were experimenting with our lighting set up. We had a large soft box at around 45 degrees and really low and had Jovis on a black sheet with a black backdrop. This first shot is what would be described as “Monster Lighting”. It is somewhat uncomplimentary, harsh and unnatural shadows under the eyes, nose and kinda creepy. One can execute this effect by having a strobe very low to the model and the shooting from down below. This can be effective to create high drama, but not for a glamour shot!
This shot we simply reoriented Jovis so that the light flowed over her. All of the harsh shadows disappeared, and this is a killer image. The lighting set up did not change, only the perspective of the photographer!