No.8 - "Kate's Mug Shot"
Another Kate Shot; this one was just a spur of the moment walking down the street. We had just happend accross this historic building on the corner that had this sign mounted on the side of the building. Looked at it, then looked at her then had the bright idea that she would look cool infront of it. I messed her hair up a bit and we played with her expressions. I have 3 other versions of this that are also wonderful. I wish I had a more impressive story for this shot but...nope.
Mar 26 08 12:51 pm Link
EMB Images wrote:
I've worked in the emergency field for over 20 years; 13 of which were on an ambulance. I've witnessed more deaths than I could possibly remember...some natural, some tragic, some violent and some horrific. Despite that, I've never felt "moved", or connected to any of the thousands of people I've seen pass before me. The story to this image though, brought tears to my eyes. As I read it, I kept glancing down at the image. It put me there, right in your shoes. It moved me like I've never been moved before.
Mar 26 08 07:34 pm Link
I developed a concept through some depression and a decision to up my game. I planned out each shot and drew it and lit it over and over again on paper first. I knew the moment I developed the concept who the female would be and looked around just a tad for the male and found him rather quickly as well. I worked hard to find the right stylist because I knew the clothing had to be just right, I had seen Arturo's black net hat and wrote him about a white one. I hired an assistant through a friend of a friend and he turned out to be fabulous! I searched Craig's list for the right bed and bought it. I saw a bar in a window display and rented it from the owner. It was a 15 1/2 hour shoot. We were all exhausted at the end but I knew we had done something special. I'm very proud of all the work and resulting images. I think I succeeded in my goal and hope to do more shoots of this caliber. Wow, sounds like I'm full of myself. Sorry 'bout that. It's just that I really worked hard on this one, the stylist and I laughed 'cause we both felt like barfing for about 3 days, including the shoot day 'cause we were so worked up for this. Anyway, thanks to all who voted
Mar 27 08 02:13 am Link
Bath, England, United Kingdom
Ice bridge at Upsala glacier, Lago Argentino, Argentina
This shot was taken on a trip to Patagonia in August 2006. We went out on the lake to see the glacier and as we arrived we saw that a large iceberg had broken off and was floating in the lake. This bridge had formed on one side of it and pieces were falling off into the water with loud cracks like gunshots. Luckily the boat passed right by with the sun behind the bridge shining through the ice and I managed to get this shot.
NB. The ice really is this blue! It's not a PS trick. The weight of the ice in the glacier as it moves down the valley causes immense pressures which force air out of the ice making it denser. This results in changes to it's refractive properties and the appearance of this blue colour.
Thanks again to everybody who voted!
Mar 29 08 04:03 am Link
Stefano Brunesci wrote:
That's BEAUTIFUL! Thanks for sharing.
Mar 29 08 05:15 am Link
Ed Burns Photography wrote:
that is absolutely gorgeous
Mar 29 08 05:55 am Link
Delmar, Delaware, US
EMB Images wrote:
I happened to walk in the room while my husband (Craig aka EMB Images) was typing this post. Tears were flowing down his face as he typed it. Every comment that each person has ever left regarding this pic always brings tears to his eyes. This image has touched him in so many ways. I remember him calling me from the hospital battling his emotions wondering if he should take a photo of his father passing away. I know now that he would have regreted it if he didn't take this simple yet so powerful image. I think it has helped ease the guilt he had for moving so far away from his Father. The one thing that would have kept Craig & I in Colorado was if his Father said don't go to Delaware. But his Dad told him because of the business opportunity Craig had, he would be a fool not to go. It was just a shame that the stroke happened so soon after we moved here. I love my husband so much and am very glad he has shared such an emotional time in his life with all of you out there.
Mar 29 08 07:45 am Link
we are all lucky to have the good fortune of hearing his story and viewing his tender image. these are the things shared with us on MM that makes this place so great. thank you for sharing
Mar 29 08 08:52 am Link
Stefano Brunesci wrote:
what a kick ass image Stefano, well done
Mar 29 08 08:53 am Link
Peoria, Illinois, US
Tears were flowing down my face as I read it. Mr. Blount was blessed to have such a loving caring son, and I'm sure he knew it.
Mar 29 08 04:03 pm Link
This is a picture of my father-in-law a few months before he passed. That's a picture of his wife in her hay day. She had passed recently before him. I just sat him in front of a window with natural light coming through. I shot with B & W film (old school). I processed and printed it myself. I metered and closed down so the rest of the room wouldn't come in. The brightest light was on him and the picture of his wife so I metered for that. There was a huge zone difference between the blacks and the whites so I shot for the shadows and developed for the highlights. This win was quite awhile back. But I didn't know about this thread for quite awhile so sorry it took me so long. Plus it's hard for me to look at the photo now that he's gone. I loved and still love him very much - he and my mother-in-law were wonderful people, parents and the best grandparents and great grandparents. They are missed.
Mar 29 08 09:43 pm Link
Charleston, West Virginia, US
The fabulous Melissa Baker. This was a fashion editorial shoot assigned by a magazine. I had pitched the idea and they approved it. Melissa flew in from New York. This was the final of six shots. I had planned it a few weeks out and practiced the lighting a few days prior. I put the camera on a tripod and with Melissa blocked out the space she'd be within the camera's view. I shot one after another as she slowly got up. I think it was a total of twelve frames. Then in photoshop, my retoucher (my husband), sandwiched them in layers, the shots I had chosen to be the final of the 12 that had the best flow. He masked out each shot and lowered their opacity except for the one of her on the floor. The lighting - there were two lights a softbox towards her right back side at a 45 degree angle (rembrandt). And one on the background with cinefoil over a reflector head with tiny slits cut through it to let the slits of light on the backdrop. That's pretty much it. Oh - the magazine never ran the pictures. They changed their policy the month these were supposed to be published and decided to have no local shoots only national. Nice timing. Even though we had it in writing - they broke the deal with a sort of apology.
Wow! Shooting with Melissa is a win within itself.
Ok, it's been a while...who's next?
May 16 08 04:27 am Link
Charleston, South Carolina, US
Step one: find an amazing model like Val K (MM 248794)
We were wanted a fall fashion look, and Val has a great sense of style. She showed up dressed as you see, hair and makeup done.
I had my trusty Alien Bees B800 with their large octabox and the Vagabond battery. Kit was the digital rebel and ef25-85 f/3.5-4.5
I had scouted the area and found these great trees. I like to use the sun as a hair/rim light in outdoor shots like this so made note of the time of day that would work best.
Set my light up to camera left. I zoomed in on the area of the background in full sun and shot a frame on full auto mode and noted the settings. Flipped over to manual mode and put those in. Recomposed the image as you see here and adjusted the light's output until the desired effect was achieved, chimping all the way
Converted to duotone in Photoshop, roughly as detailed in this post I made in Ransom's thread.. http://www.modelmayhem.com/po.php?threa … ost3462630
here's a similar shot in color, for comparison..
May 16 08 05:20 am Link
Arturo Rios is the hat designer. He called me to see if I'd be interested in doing an editorial with his wedding series hats. We agreed Korrina was the right model. I pitched the meadows in Topanga Canyon as the location and we were agreed. Poor Korrina. LOL. She's not a big fan of nature. She was in gowns and worried something could crawl up her dress and when she was in just her underwear we had her in (for this shot) a field of very, very tall beautiful greenery and she was very concerned with the bugs and that snakes could be hiding. I've seen rattlesnakes and garter snakes there. She was quite the trooper. Hahahaha. I used the natural ambient light for one shot and the rest I used the sun as a backlight and an alien bee with an umbrella and it's battery pack for paramount lighting to the front and letting the sunlight fill in the rest. I've shot at Topanga many times and unfortunately have brought a friend or two (ticks) home with me. They've never managed to imbed themselves, I always did a tick inspection and caught them before they planted themselves firmly. I let Korrina know about this when we arrived and she was a bit freaked out but like I said - what a trooper. As far as I know, we were all tick free after the shoot I metered the ambient light and closed down one from that reading while keeping the main light (alien bee) what I meteted the ambient light to be. It makes the subject pop a bit and makes the other colors a little deeper. So, for instance, the sky will be a darker blue.
Thank you for your votes Korrina deserves it. She's gorgeous and generous.
May 18 08 03:25 am Link
Lucinda Wedge wrote:
I absolutely ADORE this shot.
May 30 08 12:50 pm Link
Jamaica, New York, US
I seem to have lost my winner, it was made from a leftover green scene and when I shopped it I noticed the mound in the middle. I was still making everything big at the time with the new printer and I made a 24"x48" print which got pinned to a wall in the studio. Then as time went by and about 15 shoots later I looked up from the disc copy workstation I was doing someone's disc at and finally saw the lions. The monkey, The gorillas, the baby, the camels, the vampire, the womans mound, and all the other things that models kept seeing in it made me enter a copy in the early PoTD thread.
May 30 08 03:06 pm Link
i wanted to take a look at that moody stuff I was shooting from another perspectave, so I booked 3 days with a legand and put together the team. I am still absorbing all I learned from those three days. I have got to say that Mr Talbot is not only one of the great masters of photography but one of the nicest folks you ever could meet.
the first day we went over looks with Roshar, that man should be an art director as he is so creative
The models Ms Vanessa and Valencia were nothing less than bad ass and once again well worth hiring.
with this shot Valencia rocked my funky blues and we tripped the light fantastic with the full face mask, man can that girl dance
as for the lighting, I say thats why I spend the big bucks...... im rather proud of the direction my photography is headed.
as for me, im headed back into the studio real soon
May 30 08 07:58 pm Link
ooops i forgot the image
May 30 08 08:00 pm Link
Jevousenprie shared with me so much,
we had been outside and the police threatened to arrest her for indecent exposure, i was shocked as we were shooting a white dress. well we went inside and she took off that white dress and she climbed up on my dresser drawers. i could feel that she felt violated by the police...
we begun to dance, all moody and sensual, i asked her to show me her love sign and she extended her hands out past the light source, towards the camera...i asked her to push further and she did and I snapped this image.
the key light was a soft box to her left and up high with a mirror bouncing light back into her face from the lower right side and a reflector from the lower front and center
May 31 08 09:04 am Link
Cindil had driven up from san diego and she went to the trouble of hiring one of the amazing MUA that I work with, we went with a flapper theme and did it our way, one thing led to another until I had her up in that window, she was looken good and I handed her the mask and we played peek a boo... i pulled the soft box around and we nailed this shot
Jun 24 08 09:55 am Link
Saint Paul, Minnesota, US
May 25, 2008 Winner
This is part of an ongoing series I am working on using models and a piece of fabric . This was shot in studio. I do not remember the lighting exactly, but had a medium softbox to camera left and a larger one filling in on the right. I had a light with a grid from back side of the sweep hitting the model. Also had a light on the background boomed above. The model and I had several ideas and then we tried doing different things with the fabric. She dances and started doing this like this with the fabric. This one stood out. Minimal retouching of the image.
Many thanks to Josarah (MM# 104467). She is an amazing model and great to work with.
Jun 24 08 04:33 pm Link
This was taken in Severna Park, MD after Beatrix just finished shooting with Tortured Artist. The hair and make up were all done by Dominic at "O'Hair Salon in Fredrick, MD. So I took advantage of her already looking great. I took about ten shots of her that afternoon in her loungewear. Four of them have become some of my all time favorites.
Jul 11 08 09:54 am Link
Carolina D, aka "Juicy Carolina" This girl is so freaking popular on flickr photo sharing its amazing. Ever since I have worked with her my photo stream on that website has gone from zero to hero. This photo was taken near her home at a local park, some editing of the color tones were done in picasa. The light that day was just right, she is wonderful to work with.
Jul 11 08 10:00 am Link
Miss Susie B, This one was taken in my living room with natural light coming thru a window. I chose the flower arangement, strategically placed them and took about ten frames, this one was the most beautiful. I then experimented with just about every action I could in photoshop, mostly because I don't know what the hell I'm doing in there. About 30 minutes later I came up with the final image of her.
Jul 11 08 10:05 am Link
Lindsey Bickert, in the garden, what else can I say. She is wonderful to work with photographs beautifully everytime. This session was one of my all time favorites. I just simply picked out the location, chose the wardrobe and snapped the shot. No reflector, all natural light as usual, keeping shit real simple these days.
Sep 24 08 07:53 am Link
ummmmm...yeah, see above
Sep 24 08 07:55 am Link
Las Vegas, Nevada, US
Posted by request.
There is one grid modified strobe light directly above her at about 45 degrees to her eyeline metered to highlights in her natural skin tone. Blue gel was used to "push" the camera's contrast behavior in the sensor. I'm standing about 2 feet in front of her to shoot. Post process was to further push that contrast, remove blue overcast with toning adjustments, and finally selective sharpening.
Nov 21 08 05:31 am Link
checken this out
this dude is so bad ass, ya gotta love it
Sheridan, Wyoming, US
Zabrina wanted some photos with her cello, which she started studying a couple of months ago. Having played the viola for nearly 50 years, I coached her some on the left hand position, and helped refine the right hand.
The photo was shot in her living room, using only window light. I did some minor smoothing of the wall intersection behind her, which was naturally obscured in the dark area, in Photoshop, along with some minor skin smoothing, and the remainder of the adjustments were made in Lightroom 2.
Nov 28 08 10:29 pm Link
Florence, South Carolina, US
I would like to first thank all who voted for my entry. The competition is always awesome!
I was recently in Conway SC at Graphic Blend Studios ( MM# 796205 ). Thanks Robbie!
Laurie K (MM# 443418) was present mainly for submission photos to Elite by Mike Eaddy (MM# 352073). I have long wanted to photograph Laurie. I look forward to working with her again. The shot was taken behind the studio at an old loading dock I had scouted earlier in the day.
I've been asked more than a few times about the process I use. Rather than giving step-by-step details, I'll simply touch on the highlights.
The most important step is the shot itself. I've found that 2 things are critical: 1; is flat light. It was very overcast that day, so the light was ideal. 2; are the camera settings, jpg or raw doesn't matter as much as shooting flat (slightly under exposed -1 stop min.) and if in jpg it must be RGB.
This method gives a wide gamut and is easy to process to obtain a greater color value & range. Processing was in 16 bit. I will also state that one of the key layers is B&W. (something that I picked up from a post by Bob Randall) Minimal dodge & burn was used and was used only as a last option.
Dec 03 08 07:28 am Link
London, England, United Kingdom
EMB Images wrote:
Never has an image moved me so much.
Dec 04 08 04:49 am Link
Virginia Beach, Virginia, US
Dec 18 08 02:53 pm Link
Virginia Beach, Virginia, US
That has to be one of the funniest stories I have heard on here only because I have 5 kids and when I buy my camera next month (can't wait) I can't wait to see what images I get from my challenged personality children lol.
Dec 18 08 02:57 pm Link
like all my intimate shots, this was no differant, part of my into the soul of a woman series, Love Sign
Dec 19 08 04:01 am Link
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, US
EMB Images wrote:
Thank you for sharing this with us. I am so sorry for your loss. This photo took my breath away. I'm going through a similar situation with my father right now, and as weird as it sounds, I have had this urge in me to take a photo like this, just our hands holding, to remind me that I was always with him, and will be, even after he's gone. It's like a shot in the heart but I may now have the courage to do this for myself. Thank you again... the picture tells the story all by itself.
Jan 22 09 03:44 pm Link
Everett, Washington, US
I've been resisting posting on here out of respect for the touching nature of the last shot and associated story. However this thread has been stalled a long time and I think it would be valuable as an educational tool to document how a winning shot was created.
My shot from a week or so ago was this one:
My inspiration came from this photo (18+):
Aside from the obvious subject, if you study it closely you can almost see the figure of a woman in the middle. I found this fascinating and inspiriing. I felt originally that I failed in my quest to reverse create this shot. The idea was that there seemed to be a woman in this close up of a woman, I wanted to reverse the concept and create a shot where there was a woman who seemd to be in the middle of a close up of a woman, if that makes sense. Essentially the conceptual reverse. After comparing the two (and you might wish to do the same side by side) I was surprised how close I came to capturing the sense of it. About the only thing missing are giant papier mache fingers, LOL.
The first time I attempted this I used two fans, lots of fabric and a grey background. Honestly, I wasnt sure just how symbolic or realistic I was trying to make this. This is one of those few times when an art shot I pursued wasnt fully pre-visualized in my head. So I didnt know for sure when I was "there". The big hassle was that the fans did not inflate the "wings" the way I would have thought. The fabric fluttered and avoided the wind streams, revolving to one side or the other. No amount of fan placement seemed to get them to stabilize. Moreover the lighting was pretty but did not create an effect similar to the reference shot. It was more ghostly and undermined the "realism" of the image.
I didnt publish the final result because it just felt like failure to me. I played around with the idea of trying it again sometime. Not long after, the opportunity came around again and I felt that the problem had been the fans. I rented two gas powered leaf blowers to direct a more powerful airflow exactly where I wanted them. I dropped down black seamless and cut a hole in front of the model for the two leaf blower pipes to slip through and duct taped them to a small black lightstand at approximate upward angles. Firing them up and enduring their obnoxious droning, I was shocked to discover the wings STILL didnt hold up.
Over repeated trials, I surmised that the issue was that the delicate "ribbons" of fabric I cut for the wings wouldnt and couldnt balloon up like a parachute. Any ribbon is going to flutter around trying to avoid a blast of air rather than being "inflated" by it. So I capitulated to their obstinance by pinning and clipping the pieces together, and to the model's wrap, essentially sealing all the air leaks. At that point, the fabric did "inflate" however not in the shape that I wanted. There was a lot of fabric and multiple redirections of air involved and we could never quite get it to the shape it needed to be. It looked more like large ears if you will. Additionally, a couple of clips on strings tied to the top of the background stands were needed to keep the top of the wings upright and stable. I took five shots and called it done, again feeling like this was failure. TWICE now. But I figured I had something to screw around with and maybe something would come of it. Mind you this was approximately 5 hours of set up, and I took exactly 5 shots. Not a lot to take home for review and consideration.
So I looked through the shots and picked the one that seemed to have the most potential. The last couple were nude, the first few were wrapped.
As you can see, it was really rough as starting material. I lit the backgrounds to an extent to simulate legs but that really didnt come together at all. I wasnt sure what to make of this.
Among the first things I did was liquify the wings into the right shape. Not having a third fan to make the fabric stick to the model nor wanting to upset the stalwart airflow even more than it was, I also added a little curve to the fabric hanging off her to accentuate the hidden feminine shape.
There were some color and level adjustments in general, and after blacking out the rest of the shot, there I was staring at this disembodied shape, detached from all reality. It didnt trigger any response in me because it was out of place. I tried accentuating the "leg lighting" but that just looked odd. I kind of put it aside for a day or two to see if maybe some fresh eyes might spark some additional momentum. I think looking at the starkness again, it became evident that I needed context. This symbolic object cannot stand in the abyss because thats not how we ever see anything like this. It stands in context. And a ready made context was the existing fabric texture already in the shot. I grabbed each wing and blew it up to the size of half the frame and "eased" it into the shot, blending, liquifying, masking, etc.
The final tweak was to softly blur the wings and context with varying masking and opacity. I had worked on this image for so long I wasnt really sure what I had. I couldnt "see" it anymore -- my eyes were burned out on it. I didnt think it had any impact and again felt like it was a distant remnant of what I was trying to do. The model on the other hand insisted that the shot was fabulous. Between her shipping the shot around and my posting it for critique, I was surprised to see a nearly universal thumbs up. Everyone was seeing something that seemed to be going over my head. Or through my head.
Nevertheless I threw it up on the POTD competition almost embarrassed with a slightly renegade spirit. There are some incredible shots posted there every day and I felt this would get a rolling eye silence, and was very surprised to see it win.
But thats a lot of thumbs up by enough people that I put it up for sale. Yay me, LOL.
Wanted to say one more thing. Its obvious from my story but also I think my personal perspective that its not how you get the shot. IMO, it doesnt matter whether you sculpted it, painted it, shot it, or screwed around with it in photoshop or with crayons for that matter. Its the final result and how that makes the viewer feel. THATS the success of the artwork. Not the media or method that got you there. Again, my personal perspective on it.
Aug 05 09 09:02 am Link
Harrison Township, Michigan, US
EMB Images wrote:
This image has been ingrained in my memory since I first saw it. By far one of my favorite images of all time.
Aug 05 09 10:13 am Link