Go figure, despite being a crazy 'stay up until all hours of the night' intense creative, I'm very much a creature of habit and routine. Sunday has now become the day I shoot my weekly challenge and this weekend I had fresh talent in the house to draw on. I had been wanting to shoot with texture on the face for a long time, so this week's Light and Texture challenge opened the door to explore and play with this concept. Throughout the week I did some research to see what I could use for texture on the face. Talcum powder was my fall back but I wanted something with more granular texture. In my travels I came across this website homemade coloured powder and I was sold on the idea of using coloured powder with a dramatic lighting setup. Sadly, all great plans of mice and women inevitably come undone and my Friday powder making afternoon didn't eventuate.
Yup, life happens but come Sunday I knew I would shoot come hell or high water. I fell back to the idea of using just plain ol' white corn starch powder and by Saturday night I was convinced it was going to be available light against black vflats. Of course the moment I showed my intended model my concept there was an emotional 'what the?!'.
I prepped the setup with Ted, my trusty lighting assistant who is more than happy to stand, sit or lie for however long whilst I fiddle with light and exposure. You can check out Ted in the iPhone pic below, he's a cutie right? ;-) Once I had the set ready to go I prepared my lovely curly haired model. I whitened his face with face paint and sifted the corn flour strategically and gently across his face and hair.
So lessons learned from this one, there were a few:
- Don't be a slack-o, use a tripod - I'm one of these photographers that just doesn't like the restriction of shooting on a tripod. In this instance, a 100mm macro lens focal length left me with a safe hand holding depth of field of f/4. That's with an 800 ISO. I really wanted to try and keep a clean file. I would of liked to hit f/9 - f/11 to grab more detail across the nose and cheeks and that would of meant a tripod. Slap across the wrist.
- Face paint is not as effective >8yrs down the track - I used a face painting kit that I bought for the 2006 football world cup. Needless to say it was a little dry and very difficult to apply.
- Be precise in your instructions to your model - Having carefully sifted flour all over Chris's shoulders and chest I wanted him to gently shake off the excess. I failed to use the words 'gentle' and 'shake off' and he instinctively used his hands to wipe it off ARGH! It destroyed the beautiful pattern and texture created from the sifting process. Oh well, the show had to go on.
In the spirit of weekly Sunday challenge shooting, I kept it short and sweet. It was all done and dusted (hee..hee...I couldn't resist ) in about half an hour. Chris even said 'that was fun!', as always it sure was.
Live and learn, bring on Week 7.