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Do you ever get to the point of exhaustion that you think you could fall asleep while walking? That is how I was at 6:45 this morning. I had just finished posting the blog for yesterday and made sure everything was in order for today. I set the alarm for 11:30am knowing full well that it would be hell getting up! Of course, I was right and I barley could role myself out of bed. I even set my phone on the desk so I would be forced to get up to turn it off. Obviously the idea was to force myself out of bed in hopes that I would just stay up. Well, 11:30 comes around and the alarm goes off. Guess what? I get up, casually walk over to the phone, shut the alarm off and instinctively get back into bed. So much for that plan! I ended up going through 3 snooze alarms before rolling out of my warm and comfy bed.
I didn't have much time to get ready as I had slept through most of my prep time. I had just enough time to organize my gear, shower, try to tame the crazy bed head I had and clear some space on my computer HDD.
Of course the weather was not in the slightest bit on our side. Torrential downpours followed us from the house to the studio. We arrived shortly after 3pm and quickly got down to business. I had brought my whole setup today including my 22inch monitor, keyboard, mouse and tablet. This would give me the ability to really see what I was getting as I was capturing each shot. It also served as a great place for people to gather behind my back to see what I was doing. It's ok, I'm used to it by now and it doesn't even phase me anymore.
I setup three lights in no particular order and within 30 minutes we were ready to shoot. Stevie B's pizza donated 10 pizzas for the shoot. Another reason I love charity shoots. People are always willing to give things away! Well, maybe not everybody. Lowes flat out said they "don't have enough money to support local events" correct me if I'm wrong but does lowes not have stores across the country? We were asking for a donation of less than 50.00 worth of material. Wow, can you say cheap! Yes, lowes, I am outright calling you cheap! Home Depot handed us a giant packet of paper to fill out in order to get a donation. You know what I call that… A deterrent! Its like having 200 question tests when applying for a minimum wage jobs!
So in the end we got pizza donated by Stevie B's Pizza buffet, Studio time from Miksta Media, Participant rewards from SouthFloridaDines.com and of course Photography by me!
The shoot had a very loose theme. We knew we were going to have a giant man laying on the Big Red Bus while vampire/zombie nurses were taking his blood. I really had no idea how to light it so I just figured I'd wing it and hope for the best. I just hope I can pull it off! I won't be in town to get the background shot of the bus, So I'll have to have someone else grab the HDR shot of it and send it to me. This will be the first time I won't be taking all the elements of a composite. It's going to be slightly weird!
Since we don't have a real giant, I figured we'd find a really tall guy. Pierce Wilfong heard of my search for a giant from another 365 follower and acquaintance, Chris Millazo. Thanks, Chris! So Pierce, answered the call and at 6'5" tall he was by far the tallest person in the studio. He would do just fine as our giant! We put him in clothes 5 sizes too small and had him lay on a small table to act as the bus. I can only hope that the shots line up and he looks "grounded"
All together we will end up having 5 vampire/zombie nurses, one "foreman" or boss and one giant. When scaled appropriately they should all fit together to make one pretty cool looking composite.
So I estimated 3 hours and at just 5 minutes past 6 we were packed up and out the door. Now, hows that for timing? Editing will be a chore as I've never shot on green screen before and knew that full body shots and shots close to the floor would have a green cast. Boy was I right. I suppose I've hit an area where I'm not up to speed with the practices. How do you avoid the green spill? I know if video we keyed it out and I suppose i'll just color correct it out in post. My question to any of you green screeners out there is… "how do you reduce or avoid color cast on your subject?"
The shot I went with was chosen for a few reasons, one being that its simple yet effective. It's not realistic to attempt to get the main shot done for day 243 so instead of killing myself by editing all night, I opted for a close up of one of the nurses. Karen or Karens Closet was kind enough to donate some of her time to the event. She doesn't look nearly as rough as I made her look. Obviously I'm keeping the theme by processing it that way. Everyone loved the photos as I was shooting them but Karen looked more taken back than anything.
Its always interesting to see someones reaction to my photography when they have no prior experience with it. Most of the time I get "wow, thats like…. Really fricken good," or "wow, thats a really nice camera", "what kind of camera is that?" or "that must be an expensive camera" I've had comments in the past like "I always thought photography was just point and shoot, that is until I met you and watched you work. There is definitely a whole lot more going on when you work" The difference with me is that when I shoot, I see past what is in front of me. I see what will be and what can be. I may shoot a solid blue sky but I see white fluffy clouds as far as the eye sees. When the shuttered snaps the camera may capture a colorful and crisp image of a smiling family. However, what I see is a dark, desaturated, gloomy portrait of a zombie family! I most definitely am a "shoot for the edit" kind of photographer.
So, as my brain slowly enters into emergency reserve power, I leave you with this small wedge of wisdom. It is said that the human body can survive no more than 11 days without sleep. I can only imagine what that might feel like. The most I've ever stayed up is 48 hours and that was so bad that in the middle of working I fell asleep with my eyes open. Literally while working and with no warning. My brother comes up to check on me while we were editing a film for the 48 hour film festival and he said I was snoring and unresponsive yet wide eyed! Freaky!
So, with 15 people we only at 3 pizzas. We gave away as much as we can but are still left with enough for at least a week! We even gave on to the neighbors in which they seemed confused at first. "do you like pizza" "yes" "here" "WHY?" Just take the pizza, it's not poison! No, their good people, I'm just playing… So, Pizza anyone?
Single AB800 Beauty Dish boomed overhead. 1/4 power. Triggered via Cyber Sync.