I’ve decided to start a new series of photographs that I hope will be an ongoing project that I can add to when I have the opportunity. It’s pretty much the opposite of my other recently started series of humorous shots.
As the title implies this new series is simply called ‘People on chairs’ – I know, I amaze even myself with my clever word play. I don’t really know where the idea came from but what I like about it is that it can serve as a way to experiment with a single light. Since every shot in this series will be of a person on a chair (I just blew your mind, didn’t I?), it should force me to be creative in order to come up with something fresh each time. I’ve also decided to limit myself to a single light and to keep it in black and white. What I’ll allow myself to do is to use different modifiers for the light in order to get different looks and feels for all the shots.
There isn’t really much to say about these shots since they’re so simple. The only two I’ve done so far were both taken with a LP160 with softbox. I’ll let you guess the direction of the light, shouldn’t exactly strain the old lump of grey matter too much. My idea for these shots was to keep the background completely black but for others I might try different approaches, I have some vague ideas floating around in my head. One of the things I would like to try is to do it outside so I won’t have any walls to worry about.
Actually keeping the background black turned out to be trickier than I thought it would. I shot these in my grandmother’s flat and had a decent empty space to work with. Of course the light bouncing around illuminated the background a bit but I thought it would be easy enough to take down in post, and it was – only it wasn’t. You see, I edit my pictures on our TV, since that’s the only screen I have for the computer, and I’ve noticed that it’s quite contrasty and have rather saturated colours compared to most computer monitors I’ve seen. As a result, while the pictures looked great on the tv, I noticed that they disappointed a lot when I check them from work; the background wasn’t anywhere near as black as I thought it was. I decided do redo them on my wife’s old laptop. It was painfully slow but I got it done and now they look a lot better. I even tweaked some other things to make them even better than the first edit. One thing I changed in the second shot you see here was the highlight on the floor – it was a lot brighter before and quite distracting. Her foot got a bit darker as a side effect but I can live with that. All in all I think the edits work fairly well now.
Speaking of my grandmother, she really is an impossible model to work with. The more I told her to not smile the more trouble she had keeping a straight face, all the while complaining how bad she looks in photos. Sigh. My wife grumbles too but at least she gets the job done in the end. I would have liked to direct my grandmother’s pose a bit more but I gave up pretty quickly – you can’t teach old people tricks, or what is it they say?
I’m pretty happy with them, at least the first one of my wife, and I think this series can provide some more creative shots in the future.
Join Rifqi’s photo on google+ to take part in more in depth discussion.