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Recreating photoshoot, need advice PLEASE!

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  #1  
Old 07-30-2009, 07:07 AM
!jordan !jordan is offline
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Recreating photoshoot, need advice PLEASE!

Firstly, my whole school folio is centered around a fictional music artist and creating merchandise for her with my photos. My friend is modelling for all of the shots, I'm doing the styling (clothes, hair, makeup etc...), and attempting to create a similar costume.

I'm looking to recreate this shoot of Britney Spears for her Onyx Hotel Tour book:
http://www.gobritney.com/album3156/index.html
http://www.gobritney.com/album3156-2/index.html

Not necessarily every detail but I'd love to get the same mood and look. I can make it photoshop-heavy.

I'm not sure whether to go to a garden setting or to somehow set up one in my teacher's studio? Budget is a concern, not sure if I'd have the ability or the money to set up a mock rainforest like they have with that. Would it be smarter to take shots of the rainforest background and then shoot her in the studio separately, and merge them without it looking too fake?

School's got lights, reflectors, filters and gels, and I'm pretty proficient in CS3. I've got a Canon EOS 40D so nothing too flash, although the school's got a bit of a higher quality camera I'm pretty sure.

I'm going to need some advice on a setting/backdrop, lighting and camera settings. If anyone can help me I'd be VERY grateful.

Thanks
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  #2  
Old 07-30-2009, 08:10 AM
Janet Petty's Avatar
Janet Petty Janet Petty is offline
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You don't say where you are located or if the town you are in has a botanical garden, or the school has a botanical garden. If so, those might be options to use.

I wouldn't worry about the camera. IMHO, people place too much emphasis on the "camera" rather than skills. I've seen very, very nice photos (including bigger sizes) come from point-and-shoot cameras. The 40D will do everything you need it to. But what about your glass? If you only have the kit lens that came with the camera, you might want to rent or borrow a nice lens.

My advice on camera settings is to use a good gray card for color balance, meter the heck out of the shots, bracket, and absolutely do test shots before you begin.

Janet
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Old 07-30-2009, 03:04 PM
FotoGenX FotoGenX is offline
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Re: Recreating photoshoot, need advice PLEASE!

Also, if you are going to make a composite, make sure that your subject lighting matches your background.
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Old 07-31-2009, 12:40 AM
!jordan !jordan is offline
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Re: Recreating photoshoot, need advice PLEASE!

I live in Melbourne Australia, there's plenty of botanical gardens in the city as well as public gardens, parks etc. I just wasn't sure whether or not it would be smart to do that especially seeing as I can't really do lighting there.

An idea I had was to shoot in the studio, have her surrounded by a few fake plants (it wouldn't look too tacky, I wouldn't allow it!) and superimpose that over the top of another background shot. I'm not sure how great that'd turn out though?

Are there any lenses you recommend for my camera that I should hire? Think I've just got the default one. The other one I have is a lot longer so it's definitely not made for portrait photography.

Also re: grey cards, I'm not exactly sure what the point of them is? Could you elaborate a bit more, especially in this case? I looked up and found this (link) and the after image looks like all colour's been taken out of it...

And is there any advice re: lighting for either scenario? If I was to shoot in the garden directly, should I bring flash units or reflectors? In the studio, what gels/filters/directions of lighting etc?

I'm a total newb when it comes to the technical stuff, I'm trying to learn more. I'm so used to artificially creating or fixing everything in Photoshop but I want this shoot to be perfect.

Again sorry for the heap of questions but I've been blessed with a very hard to work with teacher.
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Old 07-31-2009, 02:42 AM
girlsfather girlsfather is offline
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Re: Recreating photoshoot, need advice PLEASE!

You really have to check the locations.
And do test shots with your equipment (as Janet said). Especially if you use new gear that you are not used to.
Try to talk to the manager of the garden. Maybe you can get access very early or very late, when there is no traffic and you can do whatever you want with flash units. Take large reflectors with you to check in what amount daylight can be used.
In fact telefotolenses could help to get the illusion of a real rainforest. (The sharper the fore- and background are, the more likely is that that you will see it is a fake)
So in the test shoot you find out the right place, the right time if shooting with daylight involved, and check if your equipment meets your demands.
I highly recommend to get someone to assist you - especially if using flash-units.
That person should know all the equipment.
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Old 07-31-2009, 02:48 AM
!jordan !jordan is offline
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Re: Recreating photoshoot, need advice PLEASE!

So you recommend I shoot on location instead of in the studio?

I've got a few friends who work in the business and know their way around lighting but I was wondering if there's any other useful tips re: technical stuff.

Also if you want to see, I did do a random shot a while ago while doing another shoot with my model, although she's not in costume and it really wasn't planned for this scenario I photoshopped the hell out of it and got this:

http://img354.imageshack.us/img354/1972/01tour.jpg
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Old 07-31-2009, 03:13 AM
girlsfather girlsfather is offline
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Re: Recreating photoshoot, need advice PLEASE!

Quote:
Originally Posted by !jordan View Post
So you recommend I shoot on location instead of in the studio?

I've got a few friends who work in the business and know their way around lighting but I was wondering if there's any other useful tips re: technical stuff.

Also if you want to see, I did do a random shot a while ago while doing another shoot with my model, although she's not in costume and it really wasn't planned for this scenario I photoshopped the hell out of it and got this:

http://img354.imageshack.us/img354/1972/01tour.jpg
Wich kind of school work is this? How old are you? Is this part of a professional education in the media sector or is this a homework at a public school? This is meant in a very friendly way - It is hard to give advice if I don´t know what I should presuppose, and what quality the work has to be in the end.

So I would say, first of all it depends on what level your want to get with the photo.
I think the above linked picture shows quite good that it will be hard to get a glamourous shot out of an underexposed snapshot.


- Choose a better focal length - in your example yours is much too short.
(with the effect that the proportions in the photo are not pleasing)
- Get a perfect exposed RAW to work with. Wheter you work with daylight or flash.

Try to keep your values in the picture within the limits.
Your picture shows large areas with loss of detail.
Improve your photoshop skills - if you want the illusion of a real scene no one ahould see that you "photoshopped the hell out of it"

Never give up. Try to improve your skills.
Take this criticism as what it is - an honest opinion of a professional photographer.
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Old 07-31-2009, 03:47 AM
!jordan !jordan is offline
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Re: Recreating photoshoot, need advice PLEASE!

Quote:
Wich kind of school work is this? How old are you? Is this part of a professional education in the media sector or is this a homework at a public school?
It's end of final year of high school, my last folio. This folio is going to also be submitted to Top Arts (state-wide museum exhibition) and it'll be used to get me into my chosen courses. I'm 17. I'm looking to emulate professional quality, I know I'm not there but I need images that look like they could be passed off as official. I'm getting it professionally printed and all.

Quote:
I think the above linked picture shows quite good that it will be hard to get a glamourous shot out of an underexposed snapshot.
It's supposed to be dark...it's meant to have a sort of mysterious fantasy feel to it, I made it darker and gave it a lot of purple overtones etc.

Quote:
- Choose a better focal length - in your example yours is much too short.
(with the effect that the proportions in the photo are not pleasing)
Could you elaborate?

Quote:
- Get a perfect exposed RAW to work with. Wheter you work with daylight or flash.
I haven't been shooting in RAW actually, seems to be more troublesome for me...I'll start.

Quote:
Improve your photoshop skills - if you want the illusion of a real scene no one ahould see that you "photoshopped the hell out of it"
As you can see it's pretty obvious the images in question I'm trying to recreate have been heavily edited...so I'm not really sure what you mean?
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Old 07-31-2009, 04:29 AM
girlsfather girlsfather is offline
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Re: Recreating photoshoot, need advice PLEASE!

Quote:
Originally Posted by !jordan View Post
It's end of final year of high school, my last folio. This folio is going to also be submitted to Top Arts (state-wide museum exhibition) and it'll be used to get me into my chosen courses. I'm 17. I'm looking to emulate professional quality, I know I'm not there but I need images that look like they could be passed off as official. I'm getting it professionally printed and all.


It's supposed to be dark...it's meant to have a sort of mysterious fantasy feel to it, I made it darker and gave it a lot of purple overtones etc.


Could you elaborate?


I haven't been shooting in RAW actually, seems to be more troublesome for me...I'll start.


As you can see it's pretty obvious the images in question I'm trying to recreate have been heavily edited...so I'm not really sure what you mean?
The links that you posted do not show the pictures and I will not register at the site - so my advice is more general to that kind of photography.

You are too close to the subject. You are only a bit higher than the model, shooting a little bit down to the ground. Face is almost same hight. But you look at the feet almost vertical. That makes her legs very short in the picture and the head quite big. That is not sexy! (most of these starshots have in common that they show the female artist as attractive, super sexy...)
The focal length should be at least the "normal" focal length. That is the diagonal of the chip size, in your case (APS-C chip) would be around 27mm. Better longer!
Your picture looks like shot with 17mm (equals 28mm with full-format chip)
Try 35mm or 50mm.

Shoot RAW or/and JPG!
Using the RAW for postprocessing you have more information and are less likely to ruin the picture with that much changes in photoshop.
Even though you change the look in a very extreme way, you should not loose that much tones and details!
Be shure to have a well lit and exposed photo to start with.

Could you please post a download-link to the High-Res Before-Test-picture?

Keep up trying!
Don´t be pleased with your work too early.
Look Fashion Magazines!
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  #10  
Old 07-31-2009, 05:20 AM
!jordan !jordan is offline
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Re: Recreating photoshoot, need advice PLEASE!

Quote:
The links that you posted do not show the pictures and I will not register at the site - so my advice is more general to that kind of photography.
It didn't need me to register...have a look at these links instead:
http://www.gobritney.com/albums/0403.../ONYXTOUR2.jpg
http://www.gobritney.com/albums/0403.../ONYXTOUR1.jpg
http://www.gobritney.com/albums/0403.../ONYXTOUR3.jpg

Quote:
That is the diagonal of the chip size, in your case (APS-C chip) would be around 27mm.
How do I find out exactly what mine is? I'm a bit clueless here.

And yep I'll start shooting in RAW.

The before picture: http://img359.imageshack.us/img359/2...yxoriginal.jpg
As I said it was a completely spontaneous photo so that's why so much editing had to take place...
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