Behind the Scenes

matty_7.1.10_ 165 So, what do you need to use when you are looking for softbox-like light quality without having light spill all over the place? The answer is simple, the gridded softbox. It gives you the same control over light as normal grid spots that you'd throw in front of a normal barebulb light, but now with soft, beautiful light. I've always loved using grid spots on my barebulbs, but the light can just be so harsh on a subject's face, especially when it is one of the key lights. The gridded softbox works on that same principle, controlling the light and only letting it hit a small portion of a subject, but now you can get those pleasing contrasts and skin tones you can't get very well with barebulb lighting. That's typically my problem too, wanting that gorgeous, soft light on my subjects (usually female), but having trouble trying to keep the light off of other elements of the photo. It's not an easy task, that is, until now. Notice the photo below, my subject is literally 2-3 feet away from a black sheet used for a background, yet no light is spilling onto it. Even though it is a black sheet, if you were using a normal softbox for a light modifier, you'd have light spill onto the sheet and you'd get a little grey tint to the background. The grid added to the softbox directs the light on just my subject... a very good thing in this case.

handwashingHANDS It's so important going into a project to bring some sort of a vision along for the ride. You just don't show up to a location for a gig, drop your gear bags, look around with your hands on your hips, deeply inhale, and then with a sigh-like exhale go "ok, so how we gonna get this baby done?" Don't get me wrong, in some cases that is literally the situation you are thrown in, but in all instances when you are lucky enough to get that planning/conceptualization time... USE IT! That's why I thought I'd write up a little post about "the vision" that goes into projects, where the concepts start, how I work on key visuals, etc. The following are some sketches from the concept phase that we drew up prior to the shoot day side by side with shots from the video we just finished last week. Yes, you will always get something a little off from your sketches, whether that be restrictions of your location, time, access, etc., but some of the sketches below show how the main idea is retained from the concept and carried through to the final product. This first guy is a perfect example of that. We originally had a cat sitting on the bed to give it a more "homey" feel. But... you can always count on the most predictable animal to act like a D-bag when you really need them to pull through for ya. Our ridiculously lazy cat model, who on any other day wouldn't move if you stepped on him, decided to emulate a curious cat on a crack high, not sitting for more than half a second. Oh well. For the rest of it, it worked out pretty much to plan.

IMG_0636 So, what do you do when you aren't liking your shot? You change your angle, lighting, exposure, or... you can jump in the pool. When planning this shoot, I had thought that I'd might need to get in the water, but for concern of dipping my camera in the water, and/or loosing my footing while working and my camera going under with me, I didn't want to risk it. That and once I was in the water I would have to stay there and finish out the shoot so that I wouldn't be trailing water all over the place and most likely all over my equipment. So I didn't have any intention of getting wet, didn't bring a suit, towel, or a change of clothes. Hey... I wasn't getting in... right?

The studio is ready for clients! Lisa was so kind as to help me test the newly created "seamless" setup. Seamless, meaning your subject(s) are completely wrapped in a pure white environment, giving the appearance that you are floating in a white abyss - no...


Here are a few pics from a couple shoots back from a weekend in April. Images courtasy of my good friend, Andy, who is also putting together a promotional video for Matty Photography, which should be out any day, so stay tuned! Andy shadowed me and the models for the weekend and captured some great shots and video for me.