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Experiments in Lighting

clock September 12, 2010 11:28 by author Amber

On the evening of Labor Day, Caylean Jewett, a senior at Cornish College of the Arts, stopped by the studio so I could play with lighting and try things I wouldn’t normally do in paid shoot. I mean, if they’re paying you to do their portrait, experimenting with lighting is probably not the best idea.


This shot is interesting as it's based off of an article appearing in the blog of David Hobby, also known as the Strobist. Sadly, I can't find that article, but the idea was pretty simple. Use two lights, the first being camera left and behind the subject and dial down the light so it creates a subtle high light off the hair and expose for this light so you can just make out the details of the hair. Camera right was the fill light on a 7' stand with a silver fill umbrella.

I tried to tell her this was a serious shoot and that we're not allowed to have fun here. For some reason, she didn't believe me.

I really like this shot. Let me be up front about that right now, but it doesn't work for some people. Camera right is a pretty standard light with a silver fill umbrella. Directly behind Caylean is another flash, pointed up into her hair. The reason it doesn't work for some people is the tension created by the eyes, which we're naturally drawn to, and the halo of light that originates to the left of her chin. That tension is what I like about it.

For someonw who was experimenting, I sure did like having that camera right fill light. However, what makes this picture for me is the bare bulb flash just to the right of the camera and below it. Casting the shadow of the monster onto the wall behind her.

As a thank you, I told Caylean to bring any kind of outfit she wanted and I'd shoot it for her. She went with went with an adventuress and aviator feel from dime pulp of a past that never was. As a side benefit, I did learn a new pick up line for steampunks. "Hey baby, do you wanna use my respirator?" Okay, maybe not,

"How big was it? The rotter's leg was..."

Color and Contrast

clock June 16, 2010 23:11 by author Amber

Mmmmm. Color. Okay, I'll admit it. I have a deep love of color. Especially the more vibrant colors. Take this shoot from this evening with Miss Vixen Valentine. The colors here work, nice and vibrant.

Sometimes, I am not interested in the color, but more of the contrast. [more]

Isn't that picture of a classy lady even classier? Yep, I think so too. 


The Girl Whose Face Wasn't There

clock June 13, 2010 20:32 by author Amber

Let me be honest for a moment, I love horror movies and horror stories. Sometimes my imagination gets the better of me. To paraphrase my model today, "You are one messed up person." I don't know that I'm that messed up, am I? I've worked with Lillian Wilde before, she was a pleasure then and a pleasure this time as well.

One thing that's awesome is that she lets me build out some photos that can be quite elaborate in terms of set up. Today she let me explore the Girl Whose Face Wasn't There and here's an image or two from that shoot. [more]


Grants Pass - Epilogue: The Journey Begins

clock May 21, 2010 11:48 by author Amber

Sometimes my muse pokes other people in the loop too and, frankly speaking, that tickles me something fierce. I've always felt that photography is a collaborative process between the photographer and the subject. There's even more collaboration that can happen when there are other creative types in involved. You know, like writers and editors. When Jennifer Brozek, an award winning editor, author, all around amazing person, and the creator of Grants Pass, saw my original piece, she loved it. And then she got this look on her face. If you've ever worked with an author, painter, filmmaker, or someone other creative individual, you know what looking I'm talking about. I get that look, who am I kidding? But Jennifer came back to me and said, "What about this idea? Could you produce something like that?"

What idea was that, you ask?


Copyright 2010, Stopped Motion Photography

 Did I mention I love my work?

Grants Pass - Epilogue

clock May 16, 2010 21:56 by author Amber

As a photographer who works with editors and authors, sometimes I find that we don't necessarily share the same vision for an image. That happens and it's not the end of the world when it does. Sometimes, I just nail it and a smile creeps over their face as they nod, taking it all in. Often, I'll shoot many more photos than needed and many of those won't see the light of day ever.

Yesterday, my muse hit me at while I was walking out the door, an idea about telling a portion of the story in a more non-traditional way; the comic book panel. Very specifically, using a number of photos I took for Grants Pass (Morrigan Books, Amazon). Some of these photos saw use in trailer and again here.

Here's the result of my muse grabbing me by the hair and saying, "Listen up!" It was inspired by the epilogue of the book, "Journal Entry" by Kaylee Allard.

Copyright 2010, Stopped Motion Photography


There are a couple of other stories from the anthology that I want to give this treatment to include "An Unkindness of Ravens" by Stephanie Gunn and "Remembrance" by James M. Sullivan. Maybe one or two more beyond those.

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