Here’s a preview from a fun and quick shoot I had with Joey and Saphonia. Saphonia and I go way back, and her and Joey are also long time friends. They both made such terrific models! The goal was to get some energetic lifestyle shots in DUMBO with the bridges and city in the background.
This shoot was over a month ago, before Hurricane Sandy. My prayers go out to the victims of Sandy and wish for a continued recovery for all the impacted areas.
I always thought you needed to be a hundred stories up to get a great view of the NYC skyline—well, I was wrong. Last month the very awesome Sofia Samrad showed me her sick SoHo rooftop view of the NYC skyline.
Though the building is only a few stories high, it gave just the right vantage point to see the main iconic structures of the NYC skyline, mixed in with the surrounding rooftops of SoHo. It felt more like I was eye-to-eye with the city, rather than looking down on it.
The shot (above) was taken well after sunset. It took some time for the ambient colors of dusk to take effect. Meanwhile, someone started using a wood-oven or something, because a plume of smoke came up on the left to add some great texture to the skyline.
Here’s a shot of the street view to give you a sense of how far up the rooftop is—It’s also a cool shot of SoHo from on-high. I (very cautiously) laid on my stomach and leaned over the edge of the roof to get this shot.
Thanks again to Sofia for being such a gracious rooftop host! Follow her on twitter @SofiaSamrad or check out her clothing line Digitalebas.
Last month I did a catalog shoot for Jill Stuart in New York City, specifically for the Jill Jill Stuart dress line. The photos will be used for online catalogs as well as the look book that the sales team shows to buyers that come into purchase dresses for distribution. The shoot took place at Jill Stuart’s corporate offices in NYC and lasted about half a day.
The Setup: Since I was coming from out of town, I had to travel light and since this shoot was indoors in a controlled-lighting environment, speedlights and shoot-through umbrellas (to modify the light) were the most compact and travel-friendly way to go. Throw in a paper backdrop and we were ready! Speedlights are not a one-size fits all solution but given the nature of the shoot and the travel, it was a simple and effective setup.
To trigger the flashes from a distance, I used my trusted Cowboy Studio wireless triggers. Considering you get a pair of transceivers and one transmitter for $28 on Amazon, they’re a steal! Also, for the price they’re shockingly reliable and reportedly have a range of up to 100 feet—to-date I haven’t had a problem with them.
Post-Production: Basic corrections were made for exposure, color temperature, and restoring detail in lighter dresses. However, one major edit in each of these photos was the expansion of the gray backdrop to fill in the dimensions of the photo. This is a very cool trick that I picked up from Scott Kelby at Photoshop World 2012, and I highly advise this approach when you don’t have the space for a huge backdrop. We used was the Savage Widetone Slate Gray 53″ x 12 yards backdrop which is only $26 at B&H. This is a very affordable and easy to transport paper roll, but 53 inches is not nearly wide enough to fill in the camera frame when taking full length shots of a (tall) model. Solution: Use content-aware scale in Photoshop! To do this, simply use the marquee tool in Photoshop to select only the gray background (and as much of it as you can) on either side of the model, turn on content-aware scale, and stretch out the background until you’ve reached the end of the image canvas. Then do the same thing for the other side of the image and voila (!), you now have a 9 foot wide instead of a 5 foot wide backdrop.
Our model that day was Jennifer Daniel, who was exceptionally graceful in front of the camera (and not to mention patient with the dozens of wardrobe changes she had to cram in).
Here are the final products of two of the dresses:
I want to thank my friend Harriet Jung, a talented Assistant Designer at Jill Stuart, for making this connection and taking care of so many of the details. Along with her, I also want to thank Lana Rybak, Director of Sales, and the other folks involved with this shoot (including Jill Stuart interns Andrea and Ga) for making this happen, coordinating the wardrobe and looks, and making sure the shoot ran smoothly!
Last week I was in NYC photographing Alan, a photogenic twenty-something NYU graduate student living in Brooklyn. Alan’s main objective for the shoot was to capture photos with an “urban feel.” With his background in urban planning and given our surroundings, this wasn’t difficult to accomplish.
To be totally honest, the logistics of the shoot came together at the very last-minute. We knew only two things; 1) we wanted a view of Manhattan in the background and 2) we had only one morning to get it done. To shoot from Brooklyn with Manhattan in the background, and to avoid harsh lighting and shadows, we had to be out there at sunrise. The tough thing about photographing at sunrise in the summer is that sunrise is at about 5:20 am! By the time we got to the Brooklyn Promenade (late start) we had only around 10 minutes before the sun would be up so we scrambled to get into position, setup the lighting, and start shooting.
After we finished at the Promenade we knew we could get a few more shots from the awesome morning glow. We ventured to Washington Street and Brooklyn Bridge Park to get some shots with the Manhattan Bridge and city in the background.
All-in-all this was a fantastic, and exhausting, shoot. Once we saw the final result it was clear that the early morning hours and sleep deprivation were well worth it!