GAGA OBSESSION

Tiina Rubber

You know sometimes you just want to shoot a model because they have a distinctive style, look, or persona. Tiina was one of those people…

Tiina Rubber

An ad hoc shoot was arranged at short notice and we agreed to meet in the premises of our favourite purveyor of all things nylon.

Tiina Rubber

In the rush to put everything together, I forgot to pack the radio triggers to fire of my lighting system.

Tiina Rubber

The net result was to shoot or not to shoot…Well luckily I always carry a couple of speed lights, better known as flash guns, in my bag. I didn’t have any triggers so had to go with the flash on top of the camera, which is 99% percent of the time an absolute ‘No-No’. However, needs must.

Tiina Rubber

Tiina made hr best efforts to quickly don the Rubber and Nylon combination that I had provided and made a sterling effort to run through elements of her posing routine.

Tiina Rubber

At the time she appeared to be one of the hardest working and most regularly shot models on the local scene. Now having moved to America I still follow her activities on FaceBook etc where we are friends. (Yes, for the record, I am not a stalker).

Tiina Rubber

All told despite the harsh shadows, not a bad coupe of hours shoot and some interesting shots developed along the way…

 

BUILDERS LIGHTS

Esperanza

Whilst we can extol the virtues of having now invested in more than £2,000 worth of professional lighting, we would like to say that is was not always like this…

Our early foray into shooting Pin Up and Burlesque styles had us utilise a set of double Builders lights, on a tripod, from a Hardware outlet that cost us around £25.

The Lights ran very hot and so gave little scope for modification or control. We did, however, manage to rig a sort of diffuser in front of them to avoid really harsh shadows.

Needless to say this was one of the few shoots we have done where the model, clearly used to more professional set ups, was clearly not impressed. Despite her initial ice cool reception she did dig deep to work and produce some fine poses.

The video below does much more justice to the shoot and just shows how with a little ingenuity one can ‘beef up’ the whole output to represent something cool and worthwhile.

All we say to budding creatives. Go with the flow, work within the means of what you can afford, but above all get out there and Just Do It! You will be amazed at what you can create.

 

FILTERS AND POST PROCESSING

SarahLH Burlesque

So a young lady approached us to assist her with entering a competition in the USA. The first phase involved shooting her front side and back in fashion and bikini styles to gain entry.

SarahLH Burlesque

Off the back of this we decided to also shoot a little Burlesque/Lingerie set to add another dimension to her fledgling portfolio.

SarahLH Burlesque

She provided the shoes and basque, we put together the rest of the package, and as you can see the shots turned out nicely.

SarahLH Burlesque

We must admit, we prefer the floppy wide brimmed hat to the traditional Bowler on her, but that is part of the flow…Sometimes you have to try different things to get the look that really works.

Also we are talking today about filters and post processing. But it is also worth mentioning white balance. It is important to firstly set the white balance on the camera to match the sale of light you are using. So in this case we would select flash as we were working in the studio.

Even on that setting you can see that all the pictures above came out of the Canon camera, we were using at the time, a little on the warm side, which translates as a little towards the yellow side of the lighting spectrum. This tinge can be taken out by moving the white balance slider in Lightroom towards the blue end of the spectrum.

Some people get the model to hold up a colour balance card at the start of a shoot that has a neutral set of greys on it. This can then be chosen with the colour picker in the white balance adjuster to set the overall tone for the picture. The setting then saved and stamped on all the proceeding images to get a unified colour scheme. We hasten to add that this all only works if you shoot in manual mode. If you shoot in automatic, the colour balance etc will vary from shot to shot an make it a nightmare to colour balance the whole sequence.

Below we show an alternative style called cross processing that allies an algorithm to the shadows and highlights to achieve a totally different effect.

SarahLH Burlesque

The skin tone looks more natural, the blacks a little sharper and the edges/highlights have a slight bluish tinge to them.

Experimentation is the key and learning to use your kit to get maximum results. We also hope you like the fiddly stockings she wore which were reversed to the normal sense, with seams and fancy lacing don the front for a different look.

BURLESQUE BEAUTY

Garter7

Some models were simply made for retro Burlesque/Pin Up style shoots.

Stockings and Legs on a wet Saturday

And this was one of our first attempts at going full tilt with the style.

Stockings and Legs on a wet Saturday

It is worth noting that whilst we had a reasonable Canon consumer camera at the time…

Stockings and Legs on a wet Saturday

We were actually shooting with a set of Builders Lights purchased from a hardware store.

Stockings and Legs on a wet Saturday

Hence the odd assortment of shadows that have manifest on the images.

Stockings and Legs on a wet Saturday

Its funny when you look back at old work. One has a sense of knowing and wishing that we could travel back in time and re do the shoot again with all our current kit, knowledge and experience. Alas, models come and go and this retro beauty, as far as we know, retired from shooting not long after working with us on this set. Its a sad loss as you can see she was good at striking  pose or two…

We hope by showing our flaws and development that this encourages you to have a go at chasing your dreams. Everybody has a starting point and after eight years we are still learning something new every day. So get out there, find a good model, have fun and shoot something cool that pushes your boundaries to become a better creative.

IT’S ALL ABOUT THE LIGHT…

GothicPink1

The first thing one encounters when shooting nylon is a conundrum. Do we employ light that gives an overall balance to the composition?

GothicPink2

Here, we can see two pictures from an early Gothic inspired shoot that just use natural light on a dull day. The combination of Pink and Purple does add a splash of colour to a Wintery backdrop, but there could be more…

GothicPink3

However, as soon as we punch some additional light into the mix the nylon almost appears to take on a life of its own. Bold, and enticing this is the start of what inspires us to reveal the true nature and allure of nylon. The shine and shimmer bring something magical to the table for you to contemplate.

Over time we have continued to improve how we achieve this effect with all kinds of fancy studio lighting, but you cannot take away the immediate effect of hard light produced by a hand held flash. Just do all you can to avoid harsh shadows around the edge of the subject, as this is a true sign of an amateur. But, then again we all have to start somewhere, so we add that it is better to get out there and start experimenting than remain inert in contemplation…