Tuesday, 7 December 2010

Sisters.. Triplets.. I'm just watching

Sisters, Triplets, I'm just watching

Recently I was at Ingatestone Hall on a group shoot with the London Strobist Meetup Group. It was a fantastic venue with some wonderful features that I quite miserably failed to fully take advantage of. Early on in the day I found myself in the dining room with the beautiful Stef. But the room was so big it really needed a few more models. But all I had was Stef, so I decided to have a stab at doing a composite shot. All I had to do was set the camera on a tripod and get Stef to pose for me in three different positions and I could create a scene where I imagine that Steph had triplet sisters by layering the images and erasing parts of the image to get all three of her in the final flattened layer.

The light was fairy simple. Two white shoot-through umbrellas either side more or less at 45 degrees, both with SB28 flashguns. The right hand flash was a stop more powerful than the left just to get a little contrast going. I kept the lights a little way back so the the illumination across the scene would be more even than if I had them up close.

It all sounds pretty straight forward but I'm not 100% happy with the final result for a number of reasons. I think the first comes down to pre-visualisation. I didn't have a clear idea of what the final image should look like. Its good to leave some things to serendipity but really you have to have a good idea of what the composition will be. Of course one way around this is to shoot tethered and do the post processing on the fly. It doesn't have to be a lot of work. Just pop the image into a layer, lasso the girl invert the selection and delete. Its just a quick guide and you can do the real work later.

Shooting tethered would have helped me to resolve the second issue that I have with my image. Because I was shooting at 20mm on APS-C the perspective was a little stronger than I would like. This meant that the left hand Steph looks smaller than she should because she is further away, and the right hand Steph looks bigger because she is closer. Had I realised this at the time. I would have rearranged the furniture so that I could use a longer focal length, or I could have kept the models all on the same plane.

Lessons learned for next time.