Apr 062011

Monday night, our photography class was fortunate to have a belly dancer as our model. We first shot her in street clothes, but I didn’t get any that I was terribly happy with. They were okay, I guess, but I didn’t like them enough to bother processing them. After everyone had a turn with her in street clothes, she changed into her new costume. This was also challenging because a lot of her poses and moves require her arms to be quite outstretched and I frequently was getting the edge of the backdrop in the frame. Sure, I could have used Photoshop to fix that, but that’s not my first choice. Anyway, time to get to the pictures.

All of these frames were processed similarly. For instance, I pretty seriously darkened the background in all of the frames. To me, the brightness of the background was almost identical to the brightness of the model and I wanted to deemphasize the background to keep attention on the model. I also didn’t bother with the portrait filter for skin smoothing since you can’t really see the skin texture unless you zoom way in or if you made a really large print.

In the image below, I adjusted my exposure settings and put my camera in rear-curtain sync to try and capture a little motion blur before the strobes fired. I wasn’t even sure if the radio triggers would work with rear-curtain sync, and in retrospect, i STILL don’t know if they were actually respecting rear-curtain sync, but there is a hint of motion blur in her hand. Not as much as I’d hoped for, but considering there was a line of students behind me waiting their turn, I didn’t want to spend a lot of time working on it.

I was in Nashville last Sunday for The Flash Bus Tour with Joe McNally and David (Strobist) Hobby. It was an awesome workshop and definitely worth both the time/gas and the registration fee. I would definitely consider going if they ever do it again.


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