You never know what other people see

Discussion in 'Lighting Equipment' started by stevesint, Apr 27, 2013.

  1. Hi All,

    I was reorganizing some old files and folders on my Big Mac and came across this image that I created a long time ago. In 1973 I was taking a college course on basic photography and the class’ first assignment was to make a self-portrait using “naturally occurring light”. I figured the instructor added the “naturally occurring light” caveat to eliminate the possibility of the students shooting an image of themselves in the bathroom mirror and calling it a day. This was no problem for me because I considered myself a “serious” student who was already pushing his way into the world of professional photography.

    Since I already had a part-time job sweeping up at a commercial studio, I decided to try to use some of the photographic tools I saw being used almost everyday when I was at work. At that time, my Dad had a favorite pair of cufflinks that I liked. Each one had two small mime masks on it that represented the Greek faces of comedy and tragedy. I decided to incorporate a similar theme into my self-portrait. With a mental image of what I wanted to create firmly in my mind’s eye, I set the footage scale and exposure settings on my camera (there was no AF and AE in those days), held it at arm’s length, and shot a bunch of pictures of me smiling. I printed the resulting best frame life sized on Agfa 6 because I wanted the smiling face part of the image to look cartoonish, and placed it in an ornate, gilded frame I found in my parent’s basement. Finally, I put the framed smiley face in the back of my VW bug and went searching for a suitable location for my self-portrait shoot.

    That weekend, I visited a friend in Connecticut and while sitting in his backyard I saw the rear porch of his house and knew I had found the location for my self-portrait shoot! I was excited because the sun was floating in a bare sky that day but the white siding of his house would be a perfect fill card as I sat on the porch’s steps and that would fulfill my final requirement about using a studio technique for my self-portrait shot under “naturally occurring light”.

    I really liked the final photograph, and showed it to my girlfriend before I handed it in. I was especially happy when she said: “It’s perfect!” I, fishing for more compliments, said: “Do you really think so?” She said: “Yes, because you are a Gemini!” With all the thought and effort I had put into the image, that fact had never crossed my mind.

    Thought I'd share, it's from when I had more hair.. [​IMG]
    S
    steve@stevesint.com
    00bawb-534441584.jpg
     
  2. Steve, I like the reversal of the lighting direction/shadows between studio and "natural" light- opposite light direction and opposite type of light, natural vs. artificial- but consistency of the shadows in the eye sockets. Of course, I haven't seen a single shot in your books with dark eye sockets. Was it based on the Godfather lighting of the prior year?
     
  3. Hi Bob,
    I assume you meant you don't like the dark eye sockets in the framed portrait. The truth is I actually thought of making a Litho copy negative of the bottom shot which would have made the framed shot's eye sockets even blacker because I wanted that image to be a caricature but I didn't have the time to do and still make the assignment deadline...so that's why I used Agfa 6 paper for the framed print. More importantly, the image was made 40 years ago and I'm not sure if I did it today I wouldn't have changed the contrast on the framed print. As for the lighting being opposite...that was just a happy accident.
     
  4. Amazing you had allot of hair back then. Any idea when your new book on product lighting is going to come out ?
     
  5. Harry-Where have you been?!? The new book, Digital Still Life Photography: Art, Business, & Style, came out on January 7, 2013. The June issue of Shutterbug will have a excerpt from it and Pop Photo will have a review up on their website soon. You can get it at Amazon or B&N, here's the Amazon link for it (or just search for Steve Sint):
    http://www.amazon.com/Digital-Still-Life-Photography-Business/dp/145470327X/ref=pd_rhf_gw_p_t_4_R6Z0
    Regardless, thanks fo giving me the opportunity to plug it here...;)
    S
     
  6. "The new book, Digital Still Life Photography: Art, Business, & Style, came out on January 7, 2013"
    Got it thanks . I wasn't sure of the name so once in a while I would do a search on "Steve Sint Product photography" and come up empty.
     
  7. "The new book, Digital Still Life Photography: Art, Business, & Style, came out on January 7, 2013"
    Got it thanks . I wasn't sure of the name so once in a while I would do a search on "Steve Sint Product photography" and come up empty.
     
  8. Steve, I love the Godfather I that came out in 1972 and the lighting in it including the dark eye sockets so prevalent in the movie. I agree with McNally, there aren't "rules" to photography, just "guidelines" as in Pirates of the Caribbean. I like your dark eye sockets because they fit with the deeper shadows and eliminate the eyes, often the place we tend to look and let us go to the dark shadows. I sometimes add a point source eye light to place a catch light in that dark orb. I really like the concept and the execution and the execution here. I hope you got a good grade because it is more than just a "pretty picture."
     
  9. "Digital Still Life Photography: Art, Business, & Style, came out on January 7, 2013"
    As usual this is a great book, I got it yesterday and can't stop reading it !
     
  10. :) Well, that made my evening! Thanks Harry.
     

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