September 24, 2018 Vintage shoot analysis (CSP NL November 2018)

Creative Director Garion visits the archives.

This shoot I made of model Ana 14 years ago has a lot of things wrong with it (especially when compared with our current assessment system!), but a few things that worked really well.

This was made before we had any kind of shoot assessment system, and was really when we were still defining what AW was all about. We shot at the model’s second-floor apartment in inner-city Melbourne (on the AW site, the stills-only shoot is split into two updates, as we used to do back then).

Looking through the shoot, perhaps the most obvious thing is the visiting window washer just as the model was getting nude. There was a confusing moment where she asked me if she should keep going and I was panicking. I was as alarmed as she was by the visitor, but she seemed down with proceeding, so we captured a few images with him in the background. It’s a memorable moment in the shoot, but not the best bit!

At the time, I was pushing myself with lighting and trying to master mixing two sources – flash and natural light. This shoot was an instrumental turning point for me, the first time I mixed sources to (I think) excellent effect. I used a bare flash head pointing into the corner of a room (where the ceiling and two walls met), making circle with a 5-foot /  150cm diameter, set to the lowest power (ideally, I wanted even lower power, but the flash head could not do it). This is coming from camera-left in the above images.

In this image (also above), the mix of natural light and flash works very well – her tummy and breast are perfectly highlighted, emphasising her feminine curves. Unfortunately, the background is blown out which is a terrible effect and the sign of an amateur (and in the first image above, we can see all sorts of ugly power cables on the poles outside).

Sure, the light on her looks good, but as a whole frame it’s a bit lame. Took me some time to realise that the same way you don’t want to have flash gear or stands in shot, it’s also better to not have overcast sky in shot either. Shoot Producer Misha illustrates this to great effect in Kenji’s outside shoot  – well, theresome hits and misses, here’s a great one.

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