Thursday, December 15, 2011

4.5' Seamless Redux

About three weeks ago, I wrote about shooting models on a 4.5' seamless. At that time, I hadn't shot the models yet so my thoughts were more anticipatory. HERE is that post if you didn't read it and/or might want to.

Anyway, that was then and this is now and now that I've shot about a half-dozen models on the 4.5' seamless I can honestly say it's a pain in the ass. I definitely prefer more "elbow room," as Daniel Boone used to say.

My goal throughout has been to keep all the models' body parts in front of the seamless. Since there isn't much room in the space my clients have had me shooting this stuff in, that's mostly meant shooting 3/4 body shots or images framed even closer with the models remaining near-perfectly centered on the seamless. It's also kept me in one spot to shoot from. I don't much care for being inhibited that way and neither have the models.

It's also caused me to have to pay way too much special attention to what's going on in my viewfinder regarding keeping the models in front of the seamless. That's not that big of a deal but I found myself constantly giving directions like, "Can you scoot your feet about six inches to the right?" Again, not that big of a deal but, often enough, I had to say those sort of things after the model was already posed in one pose or another. Having to do move her spot on the seamless a few inches this or that sometimes seemed to ruin the natural flow of things. I hate when flows are ruined!

The next time I'm called on to shoot on a seamless in a fairly confined space where a 9' seamless is too wide for the room to handle it, plus my lights and stands, I'm going to use one anyway. I'll simply make use of a fine-tooth saw and lop off two or three feet from the width of the seamless roll.

The pretty young thing at the top is Alexis. (Click it to enlarge it.) For the most part, it's an out-of-the-camera image. I left my framing intact and just shrunk the entire image so you could see how little "elbow room," either side of her, there was on that 4.5' seamless. If you're wondering, the things around her wrists are little bungee cords. Some of the photos were intended to have a semi-bondagey feel to them and, for this model, the photography brain trust (my clients) thought they'd shake things up a little and use bungee cords instead of the handcuffs or shackles we used for some of the pics of the other models. I tried to tell them I didn't think the bungees visually (or practically) worked so well but hey! What do I know? Maybe there's lots of people out there with a bungee fetish?


Bill Giles said...

It probably would have worked better with ball bungees.

jimmyd said...

You're probly right, Bill. Course, we didn't have any ball bungees. All we had were handcuffs, shackles, rope, chain, gaffer's tape, various pieces of fabric, and those silly bungee things.

Bill Giles said...

I know that you follow Strobist occasionally and don't understand how you could possibly be without your ball bungees at a time of need.

You wouldn't have had all those little hooks flying around.

Thanks for straightening me out:-)

jimmyd said...

well, it's true i recognize the value of ball bungees. Believe it or not, I even knew about their value before Strobist was a gleam in David Hobby's eye. Had I gone outside and tore thru all the photo crap in the back of my SUV, I'm sure there's a few of them lying there. At the time, that seemed like way too much work, more so since my clients were way too impressed with their own spontaneous creativity in using the non-ball-type mini bungee cords. :-)

Rick Horowitz said...

There is one flow in particular that, at my age, I would not like to ruin.Well, okay: I might not mind if the likely outcome wasn't divorce. ;)

I actually went through the same problem tonight, but with food photography (specifically, cake pops) in a very small lightbox.

I did not, unfortunately, have to worry about my model's body parts moving out of frame.

On the other hand, I was actually allowed to eat them after the shoot without fear of being considered a dirty old man.

Or did I just (ahem) screw that up?