Friday, August 12, 2016

Photo Friday: Product Placement

I know: I showed this photo on Wednesday. But I'm pretty impressed with it. You see, it was my first real attempt at a levitation special effect photo.

It's actually 10 shots, blended into one. Each of the photographers in the workshop were to come up with an idea for the levitation effect, and I came up with this one.

I started by taking a photo of the room, a corner of an abandoned factory in Carleton Place. It really is a great setting for all kinds of photography, and I'm glad that my photo meetup group has started renting a space in it.

In the initial photo, there's nothing but the space itself.

I then set up a table and had our model, Kristina Bromley, strike a few poses, doing ab crunches while holding a hardcover copy of my novel, Songsaengnim: A Korea Diary. I wanted her to appear as though she was lounging on an invisible sofa. I asked her to wear a dress with a colourful and flowing skirt, but we had to be careful that the skirt didn't lie flat on the table and give away the illusion of nothing underneath her.

In the end, I had to cut out a small portion of the dress from the shot.

For the floating books, I would throw a paperback version of my book in the air, or toss it back and forth with Kristina, or simply hold it in place.

Once I had placed the book in enough places, it was time for post-processing. For this shot, it took more time to assemble the final photo than it took to shoot the entire two-and-a-half-hour session, plus travel time to and from Carleton Place. It's done with layers, and required me to paint in the images that I wanted to stay (the model and the books) and to paint out what I wanted to remove (the table, myself, and Kristina, as she played catch with the book). I had to also make sure that our shadows didn't appear in the final photo.

The challenge was to take all of the extra shots quickly, so that the setting sun didn't dramatically alter the lighting from the base shot of the room.

The end result turned out better than I had imagined.

I'm now inspired to do more of these photos, using my kids, DW, and maybe even our cat. Stay tuned.

Oh, and by the way, I still have a few signed copies of my book left, for sale. Want one? Let me know. (I sell it for far less than Amazon or Chapters.)

Happy Friday!

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