MMA/Boxer Photoshoot with Justin

I am so glad I made it to MMA/Boxer photoshoot. It so worth it, like totally worth every bit of it. The photos come up awesome, especially displaying them in the horizontal scrolling format (like the format on my portfolio or my smugmug gallery). I am very pleased with the results.

Here are some images:

MMA/Boxer Photoshoot with Justin. November 2013. © William Ye

MMA/Boxer Photoshoot with Justin. November 2013. © William Ye

MMA/Boxer Photoshoot with Justin. November 2013. © William Ye

Let me talk about lighting. First of all, I didn’t light the subject, so it’s probably a bit inappropriate for me to talk about the lighting… but since the lighting here is so simple and decipher-able, I may as well just write about it.

The first picture is lit by two strip boxes on each side of the model. Gridded. Do be cautious when you use this style of lighting. Strip box has very little wrapping effect along its abscissa axis, and it grid made the beam even tighter. If used effectively, this modifier could get very interesting shadow and help you fully express your artistry, but if used not effectively, this modifier will cast ugly shadow that makes the model look very weird and totally destroy your picture. In this particular setup here, the model could move a bit forward or a bit background, and the shadow falling on his body would look completely different, which would not give me the result I want.

The second and third pictures are done with a beauty dish as main light, and a gridded 7 inch reflector as the background light. No fill. Beauty dish is pretty specular, but since it has a pretty decent coverage, I found it a lot easier to work with. In the third photo here, I asked the model to actually punch towards (not at :P) me, and he was moving back and forth a bit in every photo. I could do that because the beauty dish would give me enough coverage that allows the model to stay within the light.

That’s lighting…

Let me talk a little bit about BTS story.

First of all, this photoshoot was hosted by, and six photographers, including me, were present on the set.

I got a bit nervous and frustrated at first. There were a couple of reasons. First, I didn’t do my homework. I had in my mind one picture, and nothing else. I came into the set with almost no vision and wasn’t expecting what to get out of the photoshoot. Second, I never met Justin, our model, before. Neither did I met the other five photographers. In the past I either photographed my friend, or photographed a model who was my friend. Now I am photographing a new face with five other photographers who have been in the industry for (let me guess) at least 10 years. I felt quite a bit pressure. In conclusion, I found myself unable to maintain a certain flow in the photoshoot. I ran out of ideas very quickly, and when I ran out of ideas, I simply didn’t know what to do.

I expressed my frustration to one of the photographers, Andrea. Andrea was actually a very nice lady. She started film photography when she was 14 and she appeared to be in her thirties or forties now. Similar to me she had a background in product photography. We chatted quite a bit, and she told me the most important thing was to have fun. I didn’t know how much fun I had, but now that I started to chat with other people on the set, I felt less intense. I observed that Andrea was working at a very slow pace. She did not try to make the model energetic, but simply told the model “let’s try this let’s try that”, and she when she ran out of idea, she simply told the model she needed to think. If she could do that, I could do that as well. I could totally ask the model to try on his own when I didn’t know what to do, especially given that the model, Justin his name is, is so professional at what he is doing.

I guess It was me putting too much pressure on myself during the whole time, but I started to feel the shoot later and got some great photos.

That’s BTW story…

Last but certainly not the least:

Big thanks to Toronto based photographer Rhommel Bernardino for hosting the photoshoot:

A round of applause to our model awesome Justin: He is just so professional. Like he could do everything, all kinds of kicks, all kinds of jumps, all kinds of kicks while jumping, literally everything… on a hard cement floor! (OMG!)

It was great to see everyone, all the photographers on set!


EngSci Club Execs Photoshoot

I did this photoshoot in early October in a little corner in EngSci common room. I always wanted to blog about it, but I never had the time to have set up a blog… Now I finally could.

Here is one of the final products (after a little bit retouching in photoshop):

EngSci Execs Photoshoot. October 2013. © William Ye

As you can see the photo itself is not that interesting. What is so interesting about it is the BTS story.

Basically during the middle of the photoshoot, one of the execs asked me if I could take a group photo for her and her friends. I was surprised since I was never told to take group pictures. I had an 85mm prime lens only, and I only brought those 7 inch reflector as my light modifier. As we could all imagine, if I were to use this standard reflector to evenly light a group, even if it’s only a group of four, I would have to move the light pretty far away from the group, and the light would be really harsh. Therefore, the first thing I did was I went all the way back to the other end of the room, and I was lucky since I found that 85mm was wide enough to cover the whole group. The second thing I had in my mind was to aim the light at the ceiling and bounce. Obviously I need to adjust the strobe power. What made it worse was I left my light meter at home. It took me quite a bit effort to have chimped the exposure right for the headshots previously, and I needed to chimp again. However, I got really lucky since I got the exposure right (or the way I liked it to be) in the first try!

All in all, it took me only 2 minutes to have configured my headshot lighting set up to a group shot set up, and I was really happy with the result.

Below are some group photos. I didn’t retouch these photos other than a bit tweak in color and contrast in Lightroom:

EngSci Group Photo. October 2013. © William Ye

EngSci Group Photo. October 2013. © William Ye

EngSci Group Photo. October 2013. © William Ye

EngSci Group Photo. October 2013. © William Ye