Saturday, October 30, 2010

Last Chance to win $35

Sorry I missed yesterday's post.  I had class from 8:30am to 7:30pm.  But saw a lot of cool stuff and learned a lot yesterday!  Learned more about how galleries and art centers work in general in my Market for Art and Design class, then spent 4 hours making my first film-color prints at a lab called Self Color (i.e. no digitizing.  It only cost me about 12 euros in printing paper, 21 euros for a few rolls of color negative film, and 25 euros to get the films developed with a contact sheet...), and finally I learned how to set up an Octabank light set-up.  It didn't do what I wanted it to do, but I'll figure it out.

Last call before I choose the winner for the $35 CNS giveaway!  No internet access on Sundays, so next post will be on Monday with the winner's picture.  Good luck, if you need it.

Thursday, October 28, 2010


I scanned in some B&W the other day.  Still a lot to catch up on...  Anyways, I went out and shot 3 rolls of color negative film and pushed a couple HP5 400 to 800 ISO.  In fact I'm developing it right now.  Fingers crossed :)

I spent the last few days on Photoshop and in the labs that I almost forgot how breathtaking Paris can be...

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Stairs of Paris

So here are a few staircases of Paris.  Pic one is in Malakoff where Isabel lives, 5th floor.  2nd pic is the Arc de Triumph.  And the third pic is my place, 6th floor.  There's also Kristian Kassi's place which is also in the 6th floor, but I keep forgetting to take a picture there...

Been spending a lot of time on photoshop editing pics from my last shoot, so I don't really have many new things to show you unfortunately...  Anyways, a couple days into the $35 giveaway and we already have a couple of contestants!  Keep submitting, I'mm loving them!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

In-class Studio Shoot

Just in time for Halloween.  We had an in-class studio shoot for my Contemporary Portraiture class last week.  We didn't know what the model looked like or anything.  I just came in with two light set ups in mind, but with my heart set on this one.  I was hoping for a guy to be honest (easier to avoid a glamor shot).  So I got there and then I had to pick out her outfit.  That's quite nice that we had options, but certainly something I did not expect.  Anyways, my interaction with the model was pretty ... amateur.  I was going for creepy, but I think there is just a tad little too much glamor in the shot?  Let me know what you think.  I've pulled the color from her face, but left some around her eyes in my attempt to create the look I'm was going for.  Oh, and all of this was within 20 mins.

On a completely different topic, we were talking about what everyone eats/cooks in the darkroom yesterday. Talk about food made me particularly hungry and so i went out and splurged.  I bought real meat.  Not eggs.  Not hot-dogs.  But 15% fat ground beef. :)

Monday, October 25, 2010

$35 Giveaway

Welcome to hai-lights' first giveaway, brought to you by CNS Stores!  CSN Stores has over 200 online stores where you can find everything from small office trinkets, to a stylish end table, or even pet furniture and accessories. The winner of this giveaway will receive a $35 gift card that can be used at any of the 200+ CSN Stores.

To enter, please email me ( a photograph of anything originally inspired by something you saw or read on hai-lights.  Please include a link or a copy of the hai-lights post that was the source of inspiration.  The winner will be decided based on creativity, technique, and correlation with attached hai-lights post or image.  All submissions due the 31st of October, 2010.

On a different note, I had my first fully self organized studio photoshoot last Saturday.  The timing of everything was completely off, but the results are in.  Take a look for yourself.  Besides the branding, these images are straight from the camera.  No crops, no post processing.  Special thanks to Kylie Guthrie (make-up artist) and Sasha (model).

Friday, October 22, 2010

Still Lifes

Here are three still lifes from lighting class.  I'm definitely shooting more for subtly now.

Yesterday we had an in-class shoot for Contemporary Portraiture.  It went okay.  Not perfect.  Which in a studio setting I feel like it should always be perfect... So some disappointment.  Spent a fair amount of time in post processing.  I'll wait two weeks to post the results though cause I don't want them online before I hand them in for class (the prof is on vacation next week).  I remade my hai-lights Glamfix action after I lost it when my computer crashed.  For a glam blur, it keeps a lot of detail.  I'm quite happy.  Of course its no replacement for pixel based editing, but its a difference of 20 seconds versus somewhere around an hour.  Two big things I learned from this shoot.  First, there's a difference between appearing self confident and actually being self confident, and it shows in your studio workflow.  Second, the way I interact with the model needs a lot of work...

As for the $35, I think I'll make it something a long the lines of email me a picture of the impression you get of who I am based on this blog.  Don't worry about offending me, I promise I won't take it personally.  Images will be evaluated on concept/creativity and technical execution.  It's $35 and I don't imagine there will be a whole lot of submissions.  So it might be worth your time to even just take a quick cell phone pic and email it to me at  I'll have an offical give-away blog post tomorrow :)  You'll have about a week for all submissions.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Want $35?

Sorry these pics are a little old.  I`ve been doing most my shooting on film...  (and there`s a big delay between shooting and digitizing...)

On a different note, apparently my blog picks up enough traffic to catch an online store promoter`s attention.  Long story short, I get to give away a $35 gift certificate to their store.  I just gotta figure out how I want to do this.  More details in upcoming posts :)

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

2 Shoots Later

Two more suggestive nudes done and returning the heavy lights today.  Right now its just my backpack with a couple Minoltas, a handful of lenses, and a few filters, compliments of Davey.  First two shots are film (not the biggest fan of the second one) and the last one is digital.  At the end of a still life shoot, I just asked Brian to stand in the middle of two soft boxes so I could see what it would look like on a human.  I kind of like it.  Needs work, but you'll see a portrait lit similarly sometime in the next week or so.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Double Eposures

Been having fun with double exposures as you can see (all the pics except pic 3; btw, all are on film).   They`re pretty just random and goofy.  Just experimenting.

So I finally started shooting for my next portraiture assignment.  Originally I wanted to do the relativity of sight amongst the blind, but ran into a lot of red flags there with french laws and whatnot.  So now I`m doing home studio artists. The message is that the artwork defines the artist.  They`ve all been suggestive nudes, but quite tame.  I don`t really have the credentials to get exactly what I want yet.  Anyways, been lugging around this giant heavy Bowens lighting kit up and down 6 flights of stairs and all around paris.  The lighting is really simple.  Just one giant softbox thats suppose to look pretty natural.  Most of the artists/models don`t want their pics online, so idk if i`ll be able to share them with you.  I suppose I can ask once I finish my project.

Lastly, I apologize for the lack of pics yesterday.  School resources here are limited and rough.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

From my first roll of color film

So you`ve already seen both these pics that I took with my Nikon D3000, but here are the film scans.  Quite different.  I bumped up the vibrance in photoshop (and reduced their resolution to post it online).

Learned how to gel lights the other day.  No idea how to pick out the right colors for the right environment, but I figure that will come with time.  Regardless, it opens up a whole new element to my photography..

Still working on setting up the shoots.  It`s going pretty slow.  Only fair though because my studio portfolio is pretty weak..  Once I get in the studio though, I`m planning on having a week with just raw pics so you can see where my technical skills are without the post processing :)

Friday, October 15, 2010

B&W Film, As Promised.

First pic is atop the Sacre Coeur, the rest are from Fountainbleu.  My favorite B&W shot I've taken so far is the 3rd one.  I'd print it with more contrast, just enough so only the eyes are not completely blacked out.

Lost my lenshood for my 16-85mm last week.  Was shooting on the roof again, then the hood fell off and landed... somewhere...  I just saw it roll off the roof as I stood there helplessly.  (It was raining and pretty slippery).

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Oh yeah, My Social Portraits

These are just some selections from the entire project.  Each one is part of a diptych, i.e. I would print two pics on one piece of paper, one on top of the other.  Pretty self explanatory.  They take a pic of themselves and I take a pic of them taking a pic of themselves.  Quite fun :)

What I realized from this project and that one day in the studio is that my composition isn`t as strong as I would like it.  I`m not great at posing my models if they don`t naturally know what to do and when I`m given control of everything, the result is often worse than when I just take the environment as it is.  That said, I am now determined to set up a shoot every other week (...we`ll see how that goes...) and just get in technical practice.

Anyways, B&W film uploads tomorrow!! :)

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

1-2) Marais
3) Fountainbleu

Quick note, yesterday's images were completely raw, i.e. unedited, uncropped.

As of last night, I've decided to work on my studio and studio lighting skills, specifically with portraiture.  I think I'm alright with landscapes and still lifes, but I'm pretty bad with humans.  So here we go.  Signing back on to Model Mayhem.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Studio Shots

Here are the digital hairstylist studio shots.  These are the RAW pics, no post, no crops.  Could be better, could be worse.  Starting to get better with black and white though :)  Some potentially portfolio worthy pictures are starting to appear!! :)