Tuesday Viewsday VI

Let me be honest with you; I’m writing this post on Monday and I am in some pain today. No, it wasn’t the Super Bowl that killed me, even though the lack of humor in the commercials almost did, but rather the 12 hours I spent sanding the hardwood floors in my living room and hallway. For anyone who is interested in undertaking this DIY project, I warn you – it isn’t for the faint of heart. After much cussing and a couple of packages of sanding pads for the floor sander, I prevailed; I have upgraded from a padowan to a full Jedi master when it comes to DIY home improvement.

Then we had the Super Bowl yesterday. As I said before, the commercials were a bit disappointing overall compared to previous years and Madonna… well… I’m just going to say that she isn’t my favorite performer to play the halftime show. The game wasn’t bad, but without one of my teams (Bears or Steelers) playing, I wasn’t all that invested. I shared the experience in good company; my buddies, Big Steve & Kenny, always invite me over to enjoy the big game on a large screen projection TV where I can not only watch it without drunk people stumbling into me, but I can actually hear the plays as they are called and the commercials.

So how was your weekend? Any good Super Bowl stories out there? Feel free to share them!

CTO Soldier

CTO Soldier

CTO Soldier

I love writing the Tuesday Viewsday segments every week because it forces me to look at my earlier work as well as remember where I was, what I was doing, and how I created an image. Some days, like today, I run across a gem of an image and I forget that I had ever shot something like it.

I snapped this shot, entitled “CTO Soldier,” during the meetup of the Peirao Group, a local photography group made up of mostly high school seniors and a few other local photographers. My good buddy, Dave Vernon, and I tagged along to this meetup which featured the talented David Price, of Black Olive Photography, and some awesome models, strobes, and a great location. Oh yeah… and it was Halloween. Not just the theme of the shoot, but it really was October 31st.

While I was standing inside one of the barns on the farm where we were and waiting for my turn to shoot a photo of the talented Hannah, I saw this “soldier” in full garb and makeup, holding a pistol (it’s a prop), watching everyone photograph Hannah. With the doorway behind him lighting up his face, I decided to try something I hadn’t before with strobes: blowing out the background and lighting the face separately with a strobe.

To be honest, I was very inspired by Joe McNally’s “Hot Shoe Diaries,” which I had read only days before. There is a beautiful shot that Joe did with soldiers with water up to their necks and a beautiful orange CTO glow to the scene.

I approached this young man and asked him if I could have him stand in the doorway, leaning to one side, with the gun up by his face. He, of course, participated. I snapped a few test images and made the decision that his face need a little more light and a little more warmth. Enter the full cut of CTO gel on my flash and BAM! The image you see here is the final version. Between the planning and the look on the face of the model, I don’t think I could have done much better.

Let me know what you think – good image or not? What do you like or not like about it?

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