How To Wednesday with Gourdough’s Public House Beverage Shoot
This was a very interesting and straightforward shoot we did with Gourdough’s Public House last week. The color scheme was requested by the owners and they specifically did not want the typical glassware/cocktail shot. Typical being on a white background or foreground with uniform highlights.
This was a 3-light setup although the diagram only shows two. The 3rd light was directly above the set shining through a 3’x3’ silk. It provided a nice ambient presence. The strip box was 135 degrees camera left and a small v-flat was used to bounce light back to the right side of the subject. To learn how to build a v-flat see previous post. The background light had a background reflector and 3/4 CTO gel as a modifiers.
Meet Giulio Sciorio, a Panasonic Lumix Luminary and Photogroup Member. His insights into today’s photographic market are not only inspirational but educational. Please share.
First, I would like to thank everyone that has shared the original blog post about Heather, the link to donate and everyone that has donated money towards Heather’s heart surgery. Thanks to everyon…
Our Ask box is now open :-)
In a Creative Slump?
Once a colleague of mine told me that there are only two types of photography. One being a problem assigned to you by a client and the other being a problem you assign to yourself. I thought that was very intuitive. I know most of us don’t consider photographs problems, but in a way they are. Your vision sees an image and it is your job to use the tools around you to solve the problem. This hopefully results in taking the photograph that you saw in your mind.
We’ve all been in a creative drought before and an old teacher of mine put me through this exercise long ago (see below). It helped me out and maybe it will you. This is a unique way to assign yourself a problem :) and hopefully break back into your creative mode. Use this one or make your own. One way to really twist it is to predetermine whether or not you are going to use people/props, etc. Doing so might get you out of your comfort zone.
Feel free to share the resulting images should you participate. More importantly:
What do you do to break out of a creative slump?
Fun day shooting specialty drinks for #gourdoughs. #studiophotography #photogroupatx (at photogroup)
The V-Flat and the Barn Door Hinge
The v-flat is a very useful tool to have as a photographer. They vary in size depending on what you intend to photograph. Large 4’x8’ v-flats can be very helpful as either a fil card or to bounce light into when shooting people. They an also act as a gobo blocking light from hitting a background, subject, etc.
There are a lot of cool tips and tricks on how to use a v-flat, however we will cover that later down the road. If you are curious just give us a call.
Barn Door Hinge
The barn door hinge was something we found a while back after doing a little research. It is basically a hinge that allows the v-flat to swing both ways. After building our fist white on black v-flat using traditional taping methods (down the seam) we noticed significant stress on the foam core itself. After all, it needs to open and close in both directions. The barn door hinge relieves that.
How to Build a V-Flat using a Barn Door Hinge
Basic Supplies. For demonstration purposes we used two smaller pieces of foam core. We were building a white on white v-flat here so we chose to use white tape. If you were building a white on black v-flat (see last picture) you could use white and black gaffer tape.
Take one piece of tape and flip it over. You are going to overlap a small section of the two pieces of tape so that they become one piece together.
Next you will adhere one piece of foam core to the other by taping them together. The above photograph shows where the two boards meet being free of adhesion because the tape overlaps. Tape one side and then the other. It’s an over/under at the seam.
We are doing two barn door hinges at the bottom and two at the top for this v-flat.
The back side of the foam core.
If you are putting together a larger v-flat, you might want to add a third hinge on the top and bottom.
Here it is. It now will swing freely and allow you to set it at any angle very easily. This method saves tape and lasts much longer than just running tape down the seam on both sides.
You now have a very affordable and effective light modifier and shaper.
This is a 4’x8’ v-flat and is one of our most used items here at the studio. However, they are very effective on location or out in the field. Just keep an eye on the wind.
Should your v-flat begin to warp/bend, you can adhere a 1”x2”x8’ board to the black side of it. Use construction grade adhesive, as hot-glue is not strong enough. You can also spray paint the board black if you wish.
Hope this helps and happy shooting.
PS: Don’t forget to register for a FREE month’s membership at: http://www.photogroupaustin.com/
The multiple-talented @gsciorio sitting for our first #whiteroominterviews session. Thanks guys for all the help! Can’t wait to see the edit!#smallcamerabigpicture #photogroupatx #kinoflo (at photogroup)
This was shot using a device called the HoseMaster. If you like light painting this device will blow you away. Check out our FB page to see the technique. @raubyn @lazilla you guys made some great images today! (at photogroup)
Never been to photogroup? Come by for a tour sometime!
Photogroup Goodies now available. These shirts are American Made and every graphic artist is paid for each and every usage. That’s the right way to do it! Visit www.photogroupaustin.com to learn more. (at photogroup)
An Interview with Erica Nix: Queer Wedding Photographer, Workout Queen and Photogroup Member
Photogroup recently talked with offbeat photographer and workout diva Erica Nix.
Hey Erica, let’s start with the “Workout! with Erica Nix” videos. Was this a childhood dream?
There’s so much to answer in just this one! My childhood dream was to be on Broadway. I was in children’s theater and have a real talent for hamming it up. I never really cultivated a talent for serious roles though, and I spent my high school career as the best EXTRA you have ever seen. I liked smoking cigarettes, taking photos of my friends smoking cigarettes, and hanging out in the dark room. That’s all pretty boring high school weirdness. But I do think a lot about my journey and how it has changed over time.
How was meeting Richard Simmons?
Richard Simmons is a god to me. I love a Drag Queen and I love aerobics and he’s the two combined! He’s a super star AND he’s attainable. You can just walk into his class twice a week! My “workout character” is really just me with leg warmers and 80’s music.
This will be a fun one! Aside from being a photographer, what are your three most unique jobs?
My photography jobs are pretty unique. I worked as a volunteer for Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep taking baby bereavement photos. It’s such a delicate time in someone’s life. I had to stop because it started to affect me more than I realized. I’ve worked a lot of crappy retail. But Toy Joy, Wheatsville, and Royal Blue Grocery were all really fun. I really believed in those places being successful and I loved working there everyday. Oh yea! I was a crossing guard for elementary schools! I thought it would be a good way to wake up in the morning. It wasn’t a bad idea, but I didn’t last the whole school year. You’re just out there in the elements. Once an old art teacher friend of mine walked by me and was surprised to see me. She yelled across the street “What happened to your art?” like I had decided to throw it all away to be a crossing guard.
I know you are working with ‘I am equality.” Austin Queer Weddings is a great statement of support for Austin and the State of Texas. How has Austin Queer Weddings been received in the public?
Most people seem to love Austin Queer Weddings. We just got written up in L style G style and The Agenda. I’ve been told by gay and straight people NOT to advertise my sexuality because it narrows my business. I just don’t agree. Wedding photography is so intimate. Every first meeting is like a first date. We are seeing if we fit as a business relationship, and I personally don’t have time to worry about my sexuality getting in the way of my job.
What do you shoot with? Favorite equipment and why?
Oh man! Photo stuff. I use a Nikon D3. I love it. I love using my 70-200 for pretty much everything, but my 24-70 is more predictable and I rely on it for the “must have” action shots. I graduated by St. Edwards University and loved the small classes and hands-on training. As a lab monitor we had keys and I practically slept in that dark room. I love my cheap, efficient alien bees and power pack, but lately I’ve been using less and less of it, and relying more on natural light.
What part of Photogroup’s facilities help your business the most?
I love Photogroup! I really do. I don’t really have time right now for the social events, but the space is amazing and it just feels good. The lighting choices are endless and clients feel special when you bring them there. I love it!
What are some breakthroughs and challenges you have faced in your creative process?
Initially, I fell in love with Robert Frank and Diane Arbus. And I love how silly Duane Michals can be. My greatest influence was probably Ann Jastrab. She runs a gallery in San Francisco now. http://raykophotocenter.com. I had my first “break through” with her guidance at the Maine Photographic Workshop. This program was super intensive. All we did was work, breathe, and eat photography. Before then, I was mostly painting anti-war slogans on people’s naked bodies.
Whose photographic work are you inspired by?
I really love Bill McCullough http://www.billmcculloughphotography.com, Leon Alesi http://www.leonalesi.com, and Leah Devun http://leahdevun.com. I love how Devun combines her gender studies background and her work.
What are you currently working on and where can we see it?
I recently started a piece about transitions. It combines my workout personality and my queer work. It started with documenting a friend and his transition from female to male. I want to find more subjects interested in documenting their progress. Because it’s so intimate, I feel shy about reaching out for these subjects. I have a couple of ways I want to affect change in this work. First, I’d like to serve people who want documentation of these changes. Second, I’m interested in playing with the idea of transitions and what’s acceptable in our culture. This is a work in progress so I don’t have a timetable yet.
Tell us more about the videos. Do people workout with them or do they enjoy the entertainment value more?
Aargh!! The videos!!! They are both!! They are art and should be interpreted as such but you can obviously interact with them. I try to get as many viewers involved with them by bringing people into the videos, holding classes, and choreographing for a float at the Pride Parade. It’s performance art gone physical or workout gone performance art. It’s all about community. Jessica Gardner is the videographer and editor of all those gems.
Last, but not least, what color workout leotards are you wearing right now?
I have no color preference of leotard. I like the ones that combine stripes and are clearly from the 80’s.