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10/366 – Stop | by Jonathan Sippel
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10/366 – Stop

Be careful whom you mess with. Today’s picture is starring my good friend Robert.


Robert’s had a life long passion for martial arts and movement, and has practiced a lot of sword fighting techniques over the years. Robert and I grew up together, living just two doors apart, with his house at an intersection.


The other day I was walking downtown to grab a coffee, and I imagined someone swinging street signs around. I decided if I were to shoot this, I’d ask Robert to pose, and even better, since he lives at an intersection, we could use the stop sign and street names from where he lives. Once I arrived at the café, I drew a quick doodle in my sketchbook so I wouldn’t forget my idea.


As you can see above the idea evolved into a scene. I asked for a couple volunteers late last night on Facebook for today’s shoot. Ryan volunteered promptly, and Jes was happy to help as well when I asked her. I just got the two of them to stand to the sides of the frame and look ABAAP (As Bad Ass As Possible), and threaten Robert with their body language.


While shooting, we had a couple factors that we struggled with. One is the sun! Photo’s like this are extremely hard to Photoshop while the sun is out, because then you have to Photoshop shadows, as well as the subjects, when if it were overcast, shadows wouldn’t be directional or obvious. As you can see I made a fake shadow for the stop sign to Robert’s right (Our left). When we started setting up it was completely overcast, but when we started shooting it got blue-sky-sunny. To give Robert some extra punch (pun somewhat intended) I shined my AB800 with a honey comb toward Robert from just above my camera. It didn’t have as much impact as I hoped with the bright sunny background. The other problem we had was traffic, and getting back into position quickly to shoot. I had wished we had chalk to mark where everyone’s feet and my light were, and within seconds, Ryan whipped out some chalk. Shout out to Ryan!


To get Robert to look like he was holding the stop sign, I had him hold up a massive lead pipe that he always practices with, then just used Photoshop after to switch it with the stop sign. Shooting the stop sign was a bit of a challenge too; I had to take note of the angle Robert was holding it, to figure out how to shoot it afterward.


I hope people understand what’s happening. This is supposed to show the, “Oh Shi-“ moment where the ‘Bad Guys’ see that innocent little Robert just ripped out a stop sign from the ground to fight back with. Did you understand before reading?


ALSO! To anyone wondering who won this battle:


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Taken on January 10, 2012