Tuesday, May 27, 2008

New assistant on the team

My previous assistant decided to abandon the assisting life for a more stable life of retail. I can't blame him, the unsureness of freelancing is not for everyone. And people don't stay assistants forever either. They learn from working with you & then move on the bigger & greater things.

In anycase, I put a small word out that I was looking for another assistant. I was overwhelmed with emails. I had people asking if they could quit their 9-5 rat race jobs to come work with me. It was absolutely crazy. I had to disappoint alot of people. I needed a student. Ideally someone who was in for the experience & love for photography.

I finally found a guy who fitted the profile. Mr Carlo. I've met with him & glad to have him as my new assistant. He is a photography student who is doing his 2nd year studies. He has a great passion for photography & a keen desire to learn.

So a big welcome to the latest addition to the team. :)

JHB Trip Events - Manual High Key Shooting DIY

So last week, I ventured forth to JHB once again, where the hub of all business seems to take place. Going for a mix of time-out & also a few business meetings, I couldn't go without doing a bit of photo taking.

I did one shoot with a model called Adele, who endulged some time with me on a Friday morning.
I did something different with this shoot which I want to talk about. Non-post processing high key shooting. Here, let me show you:

Would you believe me if I said this image was a straight RAW file conversion, with zero PP? Not even some RAW file tweeking was used here. You want to know how? Of course you do.
Ok, here is the straight stats:
iso 100
You going to have to get that camera off its Auto feature for this one...
Now you might try this & say, whats going on here? Its not giving me high key. This is true. But what is high key? Its having high highlights, but without losing all image data in those highlights. You too often see badly mangled super-high contrasted images which are m
eant to be pass-offs for highkey. Unfortunately this isn't what we going for here...
The next thing we need to do is introduce a light source. This was done on a rather 'light' package. I used a strobist technique here. I wasn't going to cart all my lights up with me, so I just brought some speedlights instead. Putting them behind me, pointing upwards
(NOT directed at the model) I had them flood the room (bounced off the roof & walls) with ambient light.

Here you can have some fun controlling your 'degree' of high key. Much like your normal studio heads, you can set the power setting on your strobist gear too. Playing around with 1/1 all the way down to 1/64 power settings, you can vary your degree of high key-ness. For the above image, I can't remember exactly what power setting I used, but it was a smallish room which didn't need much.

I hope that this little technique helps someone who has wanted to try high-key photography. And the beauty of this technique is that there is zero post processing. Just make sure you have a good makeup artist & you don't even need to touch up the models skin.

Here are a couple more using this technique.

Wiel Tear Sheets: 4x2 Steed Shoot

So its always the case of waiting for things to be published before you can show it off to the world.
I'm glad to finally present a new style of automotive photography which I have begun doing.

In a previous post, I mentioned that I ultimately would like to end up in the advertising market. Where instead of having a range of images for selection in a editorial magazine, you strive to create that one perfect image for an advert or campaign. This new style heralds the beginning of my goal to reach the advertising look & feel. I know it won't happen overnight, nor do I expect it to. For now, practice, practice, practice & a bit more practice is whats going to pay off in the end.

Without further delay, here it is:

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Oh Eleanor! '67 Shelby GT500

There is something that I absolutely love about doing personal shoots. It's oddly more satisfying than doing any magazine shoot, or editorial. There is the almost uncountable amount of planning & effort that builds up to this crescendo climax of orchestrated photography beauty that falls into place.

For myself personally, I allow myself to slip into a zone of experimentation that I would normally not do so freely on a commissioned shoot. It's amazing to experience. It's rewarding. It knows no limits, no boundaries, no rules, no objections. It happens.

Months went into planning this shoot. What did change however, is the day I laid eyes on Eleanor. Originally intended to do a Lamborghini shoot (which I STILL haven't done yet!), things changed when 41 years of rock solid motoring history stood before me. Lines that draw your eye into a near perfect shape.

Another facet which I added rather soon before shooting was a human element. Immediately there is the cliche that jumps out which is "car & girl". I wasn't going to do cliche. The '67 Shelby GT500 Mustang has a raw power which can overwhelm the senses. Yet, it also carries a very deep sensuality in its form and flow. The human element had to convey the same sensuality I saw in Eleanor.

I'll leave you with these 3 shots from the shoot. I think they convey the absolute essence of one of my favourite pieces of automotive machinery ever masterly crafted.


Photographer: Seagram Pearce (myself)
1st Assistant: Drystan Hallas
2nd Assistant: Daniel Atkinson
Car: 1967 Shelby GT500 Mustang "Eleanor"
Model: Robyn Hobson
MUA: Ellie Du Toit
Driver: Mac Gotyana

Special Thanks:

Tim from FutureExotics - Supplying the car
Jo-Anne from GCS - Top Secret Location

Donovan the Pianist

You get talent. Then you get real talent. Talent driven by passion. Passion for music. Passion for perfection. Passion.

I was fortunate to do a quick shoot with Donovan the Pianist. Thats not his official title of course, but I'm not actually sure if he has a website up and running to link to. The shots I did for him was for promotional use, so it might get used for any concert posters he might do.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

It's Been Busy...

I really have no excuse. Wait, I do. My internet has been up & down for the past few weeks.

Ok, I'll admit, I've been a little slack on the blogging frontier. You have me. Send me to the corner.

Onto some other things, there has been one more shoot for WIEL that I've done since the last post. A 3 car shoot-out. It had a very "beautiful nature" aspect to it. The location choice was definitely top notch, a good choice by the team of WIEL. I would actually love to go use it again, especially now with autumn right on our doorstep.

But let me do a bit of catching up & post some of my latest work...