August 27, 2010

Burning Man 2010 - Here I Come!

Work on Tentura camp and vehicle is almost complete! Installation of the support wheels proved to be a tricky craft mastered only in painful iterations.  Now we need to disassemble the mutant vehicle and to transport the ATV, platform and the dome to Black Rock City.  Will I be really able to sleep next to a working generator and amps/speakers blasting the music all night?  Really?  Hopefully my pack list is complete.
I looked into a prior art of Burning Man photography and  was amazed how restrictive the choice of subjects is - camp environment is very cluttered and therefore there are very few photos taken there.  I hope that a canopy with walls will offer a workaround for me.  Lauren Randolph is the most exciting photog I ran into while researching the subject of Burning Man photography.  I am fascinated with her discipline of using an extremely restricted pallet of tools to such an awesome effect.
After debating with myself for ages what equipment to take I arrived at this plan:  I am taking an aging Rebel XT body with a Sigma 30mm 1.4.  I will totally cover it with gaffer tape in hope to protect it from elements.  In the past efforts like these were not particularly successful.  On the downside this plan limits me to a single normal lens and a body with a poor low light auto-focus performance - rather none at all.  On the upside, I will be using a custom-built wearable rig for remotely triggered SB-24 flashes!  I do intend to take my main camera with a full set of lenses but most likely will limit its use to few hours when the air is clean - late nights from what I hear.

August 16, 2010

Shoot with Gavin

The shoot was somewhat hectic. But, hey, professionalism is all about consistency of the results! So this was an awesome opportunity to drive this message!
What worked:
  • Use of even a bare flash against bright sun.
  • Use powder on model to mask sweat.
  • Try yet another pose and/or location, even when it looks like all the possibilities are exhausted.
  • Camera in manual mode with flash in TTL. This forces me to make explicit choices of aperture and exposure. I then monitor the results using histogram.
What did not work:
  • clothes with bold horizontal stripes - surprise!
  • bare flash in other circumstances - way too harsh even for a male model.
If anything, the shoot emphasized importance of having a makeup artist on set and model's ability to pose.