Hey guys! Well, this past week has definitely been busy. As I mentioned, I'm enrolled in an Architecture Photography course this semester. I've been working on assignments for the course, including taking a field trip to the Texas Capitol. I got some interesting interior detail shots, but I'm wondering what my prof and classmates will say when they're presented on Saturday. Yeah, critiquing is always an interesting prospect in each of the photography classes I've taken, but it should be good.
On top of that, I've been trying to figure out how to best approach my recreation assignment. I'm supposed to recreate this image of the Bass Concert Hall on the University of Texas campus. I've got the angle down and the time of day; however, I was unlucky on the day that I went (Sunday) because only some of the lights came on instead of each floor being lit up. On top of that, I figured out that I need to take multiple shots with different points of focus if I want to get a nice sharp building. So yeah, I'm planning on going back on tomorrow evening or possible Friday in order to get a final image to submit for my Saturday course. Either that or I submit the image that I have, explain what I learn, and do a resubmission. Either way, I've learned quite a bit during this first assignment and will apply those learnings to future assignments. So that's definitely cool. You can see my first attempts (plus some other shots) at the recreation at http://reyjphotography.com/p647371739.
As I've mentioned in the past, Kai is definitely one of my favorite models to work with. His boy next door looks and attitude just puts me at ease and creates a friendly atmosphere. The first time that I've worked with him, he was excited about the shoot and the ideas that I've wanted to work on with him. The October 2013 photo shoot was the first time that I was going to work with Nathan without the photography meet-up group. I was definitely excited about the prospect and the ideas that I wanted to work on with him. I was even more excited about the fact that Kai was excited to work with me. So yeah, I think that we built on each other's excitement to create a fun photo shoot and create some fun images.
I had originally wanted to do some burlesque shoots with Kai. For me, that meant that I wanted to photograph him wearing some slacks, a white wife beater, a vest, a hat, and posing with a cane. Of course, there would be different combinations as we worked throughout that portion of the shoot. However, as I started thinking about it, I'm not really sure that I was prepared to do a burlesque photo shoot and probably wasn't as prepared as I should have been or my ideas fully formulated. Still, I went into the shoot knowing that I wanted to photograph Kai modeling what I envisioned to be a burlesque - I totally blame the movie Burlesque for that. However, even knowing that my ideas were not truly burlesque in nature, I was still happy with the images that I was able to get during that portion of the shoot. Of course, I did learn that I hated working with crappy kit muslin because the creases were a pain to take out. Nonetheless, I was able to salvage two of my favorite images from that portion of the shoot.
As you guys know, I'm a fan of black and white images and will quickly move to convert color images into black and white if it looks like it would turn awesome. For my two favorite images from this portion of the shoot, I definitely knew that I was going to convert them into black and white based on the dramatic lighting that I was using. In the image below, I loved the way that the shadows are playing across his face, particularly around his eye and the left side of his face. More importantly, I love how the light was captured in his eye and the single highlight there. Couple the lighting with the slightly amused expression on his face, and I knew that I had an awesome image. I will say that his is definitely one of my favorite images from my catalog as a whole.
In addition to the image above, I was happy that I was able to salvage this image as well. Again, I love how the light is playing across his body before tapering off into the shadows. As I mentioned before, this is one of my ideas of a burlesque performer. I love how the wife beater brings attention to his shoulder blades and how the suspenders help to drive the focus up to Kai's silhouetted face. Furthermore, I love how the light is playing across his face. There's just enough light to see some of the details of his eye and eyebrow and his somber expression. Again, I was definitely happy that I was able to create this image with him and highlight here.
From what I had termed burlesque, we moved into some lifestyle shots. For me, these become more lifestyle time of images because he's not photographed against a plain background, such as seamless paper or some fabric background. They capture Kai lounging on a couch, reclining on a bed, or standing in front of window. However, they all have Kai posing in various styles of underwear that highlight his body well. Nonetheless, there's a sense of casualness in the images that this could occur at any given moment.
I absolutely love the image below. I can easily see Kai doing this in his own home while he's watching sports on TV. I love how the pose showcases his arms extremely well and draws attention to his chest and stomach. However, it's the overall feeling of casualness that really captures my attention.
In addition to the image above, I also liked how the image below turned out. While I like how the white boxers fit Kai, for the image below, I wanted to have him lounging in a pair of white briefs. I like how they contrast nicely against his skin and how they fit him overall. Furthermore, I love how I was able to create a sense that the image was taken later in the day than it actually was. It definitely feels like Kai was turning in for the night. Like I said, it definitely feels like the image below is something that could actually occur in his everyday life.
And of course, I definitely love the way the image below turned out. There's definitely a sense of casualness emanating from Kai's pose with his arm resting behind his head while the other one is resting on his stomach. And, yes, while the briefs add a sexual element to the image. In addition to the pose and the briefs, I love how the light is hitting his body. This is definitely one of my favorite images of Kai.
However, it's the image below that is my absolute favorite image from the shoot. In addition to black and white images, I love black and white images with a pop of color. Some may hate it, but I love how it turns out. I definitely knew that I was eventually going to use that effect when I saw how brilliant the pink of the briefs was. And, of course, the opportunity arose when I was working with Kai. When I saw how well Kai looked in the briefs, I knew that would be looking for the perfect image to use the effect on. I like how the color contrasts with the grays throughout the image and how it seems to act as a weight to anchor the bottom half of the image without being overwhelming. However, the color effect is just one element of the overall image that I love.
I don't usually work with natural light, especially in outdoor situations. I like being able to control the lighting situation and moving strobes around as needed. It's definitely easier for me to create the lighting effects I want if I have control over the light itself. However, there are times when I can work with a model in front of a large window and get some natural light images that way. The hotel that I was shooting Kai in had a window that let in a lot of natural light. It was definitely too good of an opportunity not to capitalize on. I absolutely love how the light highlights his chest, abs, and body overall. It's just some beautiful light to work with and I'm glad that I had the opportunity with Kai.
Finally, I love the pose and the expression on his face. With all three of those elements coming together, it was definitely easy to work on the image and highlight it. It's also my overall favorite images of Kai to date!
I absolutely love working with Kai. In addition to his boy next door looks and amazing body, he has an awesome personality that makes it easy to work with him. I'm definitely looking forward to working with him on another photo shoot and hope to do so soon.