Easter has arrived once again and I have seen some great shots over on flickr marking the occasion. I have been trying to think of the perfect Easter themed strobist shot when I noticed the Easter Raffle being held at my work. It was a massive basket full of chocolate. I had an idea for a shot but I had to win the basket first. So I bought my 3 tickets and on the day of the draw told everyone to come along to morning tea and see me win. I was rather cocky about it all. Sure enough the winning ticket was mine. I double fisted the sky like an F1 driver who had just won the championship. Just goes to show that as long as you believe in something enough you can make it happen.
So I went about drawing up my idea that had developing in my head over the previous week. I wanted to do a not so pleasant family shot. More of a chocolate lover treating the basket like Gollum and his precious ring. It would need some harsh lighting on my face and a deep red gel behind on a wall giving some separation and mood. As you can see in the setup shot below it deviated a little from my initial sketch.
I used my reflective umbrella with a Cactus KF36 @ 1/16 but pointed up so that just feathered light fromthe edges of the umbrella would fall in the basket. Then I positioned a Cactus KF36 with a red gel @ 1/4 on a seat behind the basket. I would straddle this seat for the final shot. After a few test shots things were looking good. I was time to introduce another KF36 @ 1/2 power with my short snooted grid positioned directly above the camera and pointed towards my face. It was secured with a Nasty Clamp which took a few attempts to get positioned correctly as the gridded snoot gives a very narrow light beam. Any wider and it would have ruined my red gel from behind.
So other than the lighting I melted 2 small eggs in a cup and went about pouring it on my face and napkin. Then drank the rest and quickly went about bursting off 30 or so shots before the chocolate had set on my face. I had hidden my remote shutter release behind the basket and set a 2 sec timer. Camera was set at f20 for a dark environment and shutter speed on 200th of a sec for syncing with my remotes. ISO was at 400.
Post Processing was rather light on. I boosted the contrast with a basic curves adjustment and added a little more darkening to the edges of the frame. Little bit of dodging and burning to the chocolates.
Anna wasn’t so keen on the final image, actually she had seen all 30 shots and was disturbed by my eyes in each of them She said I looked like Gollum or a Zombie which was exactly the look I was going for so I guess its a winner.