Sunday, September 19

Forget it Jake it's China Town...

Those that know me well will attest to my commitment to one of my passions in Photography that is artistic nude. They will tell you that not only do I scout my locations (in fact some of my closest friends often come along) I even visit the locations precisely at the time I intend to shoot the conceptual scene in the future. It gives me a pretty good idea as to how to manage the crowd (or sometimes integrate) and more importantly the compositions and ambient lighting!

The idea of shooting a scene in China Town even on a weeknight past sunset presented a slew of concerns. Probably more so than any location in which I had done nudes. And although there are no surveillance cameras, broad daylight was really out of the question (unless I had big crew of lookouts, chase, and getaway cars. I probably could have put something together with some friends, but even then it would be too difficult to manage). I visited several times in fact... At 5 pm, 6 pm, 7, pm, and finally at 8 pm. I thought 8 pm could work with just one minor concern. The lanterns above China Town were still lit at 8 pm but overall lighting was quite bleak (the sun sets at 6:40ish this time of year now so perhaps this bold concept would have been more feasible earlier in the year). This really worried me because I like to use my wide angle lens -the Canon 17-40mm L- on these shoots because of the range (at least until finally get a Full Frame Camera coupled with the fantastic Canon 24mm L!). And though its quite a spectacular lens when used for its intended purpose, portraiture in dim lighting could tend to get very adventurous (and as you can see on the first photo the backdrops are almost always soft even at f/6.3. The other two at f/8 are much better). And so as much as I disliked the idea of shooting at an extremely high ISO and woefully low shutter speed, I had to live with it...

Luckily however my model seemed to sense my distress and encouraged me to take my time and re-shoot stuff if i felt like it.... Oh by the way I decided to shoot the scene at dawn. Yeah go figure! And why you might wonder? Well I figured I would be better off shooting into sunrise rather than the bleak evening throughout...

Overall I am not happy with the 17-40mm L it really really let me down this time. I am really quite lucky I got a couple of decent photos at all because when the sun finally rose and lighting became absolutely ideal, well, so did the good people of China Town...

Well here we go. The first is complete trash I think... the other two are okay (the last one being my favorite) Oh no one is going to believe this but this model has worked with the photographer that inspired me to shoot artistic nudes Gary Breckheimer:





2 Comments:

At 2:26 AM, Blogger Mel said...

Have to TOTALLY agree - the last one is pretty good. She's a super interesting looking model btw....

 
At 2:44 PM, Blogger Marc Gabay said...

Yeah I really like models that can pull-off stuff I want. You see the original pose on the composition (of the last photo) was a frontal quirky pose, but as I was shooting it I realized perhaps a backshot with head turned (looking down) would be better; makes her seem lost or it kind of adds to the ambiguity of the overall scene.... and I think she did an awesome job!

 

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