Task 2 – Photographic Shoots:
The basic structure for your photographic shoots should be as follows:
- Shoot plan: Where are you going? What will you take? What do you hope to achieve?
- Contact sheet: A full contact sheet of images from the shoot.
- Evaluation of shoot: A short evaluation of the shoot. How well did it go? What didn’t work? What will you improve on next time?
- 2-3 of your best images: Upload larger versions of your best images from the shoot.
Repeat this as necessary, a minimum of 3 shoots is expected.
Shoot Plan 1
Who involved; Kyra Elton (Model); Helen Draper (MUA/Stylist); Ian Walker (Photographer) and June Mackey Utting second shooter / observer.
Model release researched and prepared
What concept – Helmut Newton inspired fashion shoot
How / what equipment; full frame digital SLR camera and B&W 35mm SLR film cameras. The former allows speed, flexibility and assurance in shooting and post production. The latter will recreate the challenge of shooting but not having immediate qualitative feedback. Much the same as Newton experienced.
The actual equipment included – Nikon D800 (digital camera), Nikon F5 (35mm film camera), tripod, reflectors, portable flash. I shot in RAW for maximum image quality and post processing flexibility and the Ilford film selected is HP5 (400ASA) “High speed for fast action and available light photography”
Processing and scanning will be done by http://www.snapsphotoservices.com/ourshop/prod_1977906-35mm-BLACK-WHITE-FILM-PROCESS-AND-259mb-TIFF-FILM-SCAN.html
The lenses, 24-70mm, are wider than I normally use and the plan is to shoot lower angles to convey a sense of space, elegance, elongation and dominance by the models.
What budget; (rate details redacted – available on request)
|Equipment / Overheads (£150pd)||4||£20.00||£80|
|Creatives – MUA/Stylist||4|
|Creatives – Model||4|
|Creatives – Photographer (Planning)||2|
|Creatives – Photographer (Shoot)||4|
|Creatives – Photographer (Post)||4|
|Mileage per mile – @ IR rates 40p/mile||30||£0.40||£12.00|
|Consumables (B&W film and processing)||1||£15.00||£15.00|
Where; Cleveleys Lancashire
When; Planned for 24th January but rescheduled to 23rd January 2016
Tide Times for 23rd January (high tide on 24th was about 11:28)
Low Tide 04:44 (1.48m)
High Tide 10:28 (8.64m)
Low Tide 17:16 (1.20m)
High Tide 22:50 (8.61m)
Timing; planned for 10:00 – 14:00 but rescheduled to 1200-1600 with shooting c1330-1530.
Risk Management; see risk assessment in proposal
Evaluation of shoot
I decided on using a model I knew from my studio work – a tall elegant model that can create striking shapes. I also decided to use a MUA/Stylist I have used extensively and trust in her work and creativity. I also offered a second shooter opportunity to a developing photographer to help her portfolio and experience location work and also provide another pair of eyes – creatively and importantly keep an eye on what was going on around us.
It took a while to agree the styling, particularly the outfits – how close to Newton’s work will we go? Essentially where on the continuum between copying and inspiration. Once that was agreed we were on a roll until the original model pulled out on the Tuesday when the shoot was on the Sunday.
That cancellation with very little time to re-plan left a major dilemma; reschedule or find another model! Rescheduling was a problem due to other work commitments well into March so I looked on Purple Port (a popular model, photographer, creative website that I’m a member of) and found a new model, Kyra Elton, that was everything I was looking for- tall, elegant, strong pose shapes and local too! A very professional and prompt message exchange followed and after diary co-ordination with the team we ended up planning the shoot for the Saturday.
Model release signed – (details withheld – available on request)
Equipment taken on location – D800, F5, 24-70, 35, 50, 85mm, SB900 speed light, portable studio light, white umbrella, light meter, spare D800 and tripod. Cleaned equipment and charged/spare batteries.
I didn’t use the 50, 85mm or the SB900 speed light. The portable studio light, white umbrella and tripod were left in the car. The 50mm and 85mm lenses weren’t appropriate for the artistic intention once in the location and although the light was failing the flash might overwhelm with harsh shadows and as for the studio flash it was too windy and immobile. On reflection I should have tried speed-light ‘balanced fill-in flash’ but I’m not confident in using speed-lights in that way. Therefore, I will practice before the second shoot.
Equipment performance was something of a hindrance in workflow! I have decided to use D3x cameras for the second shoot – the D800 resolution, file sizes and consequential demands on lenses, camera technique and post-processing is onerous and in this scenario and for final image size/use the increased resolution simply isn’t necessary.
Image management; as soon as the shoot finished I downloaded the RAW images, importing them via Lightroom. I ran my backup programme to duplicate and make a third copy to an external hard drive that I rotate monthly with one held off-site. As this is college work I also synchronized the files to my MacBook. Once I’d checked all were stored and backed up I formatted the cards in the camera.
I did a basic edit – consistent white balance and consistent exposure and black and white treatment and put them on-line where the creative could access – I have found quick feedback builds confidence and a feeling of a job well done.
Post processing as can be seen in the following screenshot all that was necessary was a black and white conversion, exposure adjustment and increase in contrast to get the look I wanted. Film pics required minor highlight, shadows, whites and blacks tone adjustment and a little contrast to give the pictures ‘punch’.
For the final ’10’ I exported to and edited in Photoshop to tidy up the and finish to pictures to a high standard.
Lessons Learnt One consequence of having to reschedule due to model changes was that the shoot timing was compromised. The original timing was 0930-1330 but the revised time due to availability was 12:15 -16:15 with the pictures being taken from 14:26-15:46 (with dusk at 16:33). Thus, from the start, the shoot was compromised and consequently felt rushed.
The lesson learnt is the need to start shooting earlier – from 10:00 through to 14:00 for the best winter light. At 400 ISO and f8 the shutter speed ranged from 1/800s at the beginning of the shoot down to 1/13s towards the end as the light failed; a six-stop difference. I could have gone down to f.5.6 but didn’t want to go lower for lens sharpness and depth of field reasons or I could raise the ISO but that would increase grain and noise. The failing light also reduced the contrast in the shots.
Overall the main issue compromising the shoot was a need for better lighting; either ambient by starting earlier or fill-in which I need to become proficient before the next shoot.
Another issue was that the weather was cold, too cold for the model and although we used coat to keep her warm between sets we needed to work fast and with genuine empathy..
I set out to;
- Broaden my portfolio with adjacency and relevance to my existing work.
- Provide images for my portfolio, models portfolios and MUA/stylist portfolio
- Provide images for my websites, models webpages and MUA/stylist web pages.”
I have done all that through this shoot!
The pictures have been viewed 13,000 times by 26/02. They are driving traffic to my pages although For one site visitors are photographers! Not bad to be recognised by fellow photographers though! The pictures are getting ‘liked’ on Facebook and ‘loved’ on the model’s page on Purple Port and getting comments such as
..classy work indeed..
Love this series of pics
These are fabulous!
and from the model herself – I love them! I think they look so much like the inspo photos you showed me, I’m so glad. The images look so elegant and crisp, how fabulous. They’re such great photos, I love them!
I was extremely pleased with my choice of model, especially as she was a stand in and we are already looking to shoot again together. All’s well that ends well!
In addition, despite late cancellation creative team performed well such that the vision was achieved. I have demonstrated an ability to project manage all the elements of a location fashion shoot; a given scope and expected outcome delivered to a schedule, to a budget, to a high standard whilst managing the associated risks.
A good result!
And a final lesson… don’t shoot on location in an exposed area, in the North-West of the UK, in winter! And have back-up plans for everything!
Best 5 images – film
I have selected these 5 images because they evoke the look and feel of Helmut Newton’s work. The black and white rendition, the strong poses interacting and contrasting with the built environment and the softness, grain and graduation of 400ISO film so reminiscent of his work.
Best images – digital
I have selected these 8 images because they evoke the look and feel of Helmut Newton’s work. The black and white rendition, the strong poses interacting and contrasting with the built environment. There is an element of additional interest – the people, seagull and the dog too. I have edited them using light room to emulate his work.
Contact sheet – digital
Contact sheet – film