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Frank Wu's Westercon painting shoot

clock July 11, 2012 09:39 by author Amber

This last weekend was the 65th annual Westercon science fiction convention at the Seattle Tacoma International Airport Double Tree Hotel. While the programming department worked me hard with all of my panels I was on I still found time to meet new people, make friends, and have amazing things happen. Here's one such amazing thing.

During the course of my panels I referenced David Hobby's blog The Strobist. (It's a fantastic resource and a wondrous community for learning to light!) In particular, I talked about the idea of using a bed sheet to create a global-wrap-around light for minimizing glare on surfaces you're lighting during the panel "Reproducing Your Art". (David talks about using the sheet in a portrait to create on access light of huge proportions.)

After the panel Frank Wu, the artist guest of honor for the convention, asked if I wanted a fun challenge. And by "fun challenge" I mean to say, he asked if I would shoot his painting in the art show as he had just finished it that morning and didn't have any records of it. 

With the blessing of Westercon's art show staff, Sunday morning I setup my lights.

Copyright 2012, Stopped Motion Photography. www.stopped-motion.comWhenever you are shooting on location, your control over the situation is limited. In this case, the paintings I was shooting were hung on the walls of the show in the corner and surrounded by his other works and the works of his wife. In a perfect world, I would set up a sheet on the left and one on the right but with that right side panel, that wasn't going to happen.

I set up the bed sheet from my hotel room hung it camera left, using one light stand the left side panel, and used it as my giant light. My initial set ups were too close to the painting and I would get hot spot reflections. I moved the flash back as far as I could go and dialed down the power on it until that hot spot was gone.

I didn't have the same luxury on the other side because of that panel on the right so I had to use a SpeedLight and a white shoot through umbrella but I couldn't get the flash far enough away to light the right side of the paintings without a hot spot. What was the solution to this problem? I bounced the light off of the ceiling in the room.

Copyright 2012, Stopped Motion Photography.

If this picture isn't clear enough, here's a diagram.

Copyright 2012, Stopped Motion Photography.

The final piece of the puzzle was to open up the aperture to an f2.8 to let a lot of light in and reduce the power output of the flashes down. Both flashes were set to  1/64 power.

Here are the three finished images of the painting.

Copyright 2012, Stopped Motion Photography. Copyright 2012, Stopped Motion Photography. Copyright 2012, Stopped Motion Photography.

Gorgeous, aren't they?

These paintings are copyright 2012, Frank Wu and are used with permission.

Where to find me at WesterCon 65

clock June 29, 2012 09:52 by author Amber

Next week will be busy on many fronts with call backs for The Ghosts Talisman models, a couple of book cover shoots, and WesterCon 65 at the SeaTac Double Tree Hotel where I will be speaking on a variety of subjects, some art related, some horror, a little make up work, and more.

Gaming: Gender Issues In Tabletop & Video Games
in Cascade 3-4 at 7pm on Thurs
What are the gender issues currently portrayed in tabletop and video games? Come and discuss these with our panelists.
With: Brianna Wu, Gibbitt Rhys-Jones, Mickey Schultz, Miss Amber Clark

Speculative Photography
in Olympic 2 at 10pm on Fri
There are many kinds of photographic techniques being used today for surreal, fantasy, horror and just plain strange themes. Some work is digitally produced and manipulated, some is still being done completely on film either staged or with darkroom effects, and some combines more than one medium and technique. Our panelists will share examples of their own and their favorite work and discuss techniques and materials.
With: Gadget the Emperor, MaggieD, Miss Amber Clark

My Favorite Tool
Copyright null, Stopped Motion Photography. www.stopped-motion.comin Olympic 2 at 11pm on Fri
Our intrepid artists share about those one or two items that they couldn't live and create
With: Arlin Robins, Frank Wu, Jeff Sturgeon, Miss Amber Clark

E-Books, Cover Art and Illustration
in Cascade 3-4 at 1pm on Fri
Will publishers continue to invest in cover art if the art is only available in digital media? Will there still be a market for interior illustrations? What about children's literature and picture books? How can we get publishers to recognize that this is still important, or is it?
With: Anna Sheehan, Frank Wu, Jeff Sturgeon, Miss Amber Clark, Tod McCoy

The Horror of Things
in Cascade 7-8 at 3pm on Fri
Monsters are inherently scary. But what about everyday items? How can the horror author turn the mundane terrifying?
With: Gadget the Emperor, Gwen Perkins, Jennifer Brozek, M Todd Gallowglas, Miss Amber Clark

Photoshop and You!
in Evergreen 2 at 5pm on Fri
Whether you are a beginner and want to know what a pixel is or are an advanced user and want to plumb the depths of layers and clipping masks, this is the place to be to find out all about working with Photoshop.
With: Miss Amber Clark

Monster Archetypes
in Cascade 3-4 at 8pm on Fri
Vampires, zombies, werewolves and ghosts are just some of the monster archetypes. Why do they stick around in our subconscious? Let's see if we can figure that out.
With: Anna Sheehan, Gibbitt Rhys-Jones, Jessica K. Sklar, Kat Richardson, Miss Amber Clark

Special F/X Make Up on the Cheap
in Olympic 2 at 1pm on Sat
Whether you're making a Klingon, a demon spawn, scarred zombie hunter, or even a paranormal investigator who has lost an eye, there are inexpensive ways to do it. We'll offer tips and techniques we've learned through the years to help you come in under budget.
With: Gibbitt Rhys-Jones, Miss Amber Clark, Wolfcat

How to Reproduce Your Artwork
in Olympic 2 at 3pm on Sat
You have finished your masterpiece. Now how do you make the prints? What reproduction options are out there and what works the best for what?
With: Jeff Sturgeon, John R. Gray III, Margaret Organ-Kean, Miss Amber Clark

Thinking Outside the Art Box: Mixing Media
in Olympic 2 at 5pm on Sat
Don't be daunted by the high cost of conventional art supplies. There is a great deal of art to be made out of humble household products and inexpensive craft supplies. Even when you are working in conventional media, don't get hung up on sticking to one medium. Mix it up! This panel will discuss ideas about mixing different art media and using unconventional materials for the creation of art. Audience participation is encouraged!
With: Jeff Sturgeon, John R. Gray III, Margaret Organ-Kean, Miss Amber Clark

Collaborating With Artists
in Cascade 7-8 at 1pm on Sun
Authors frequently collaborate with artists from other media: Painters, photographers, and prop makers. Collaboration requires excellent communication between creators who speak different languages. It's not as easy as most people think, especially when both sides can be temperamental. Panelists will give their tips on effective communication for artistic collaborations.
With: David Brin, Jennifer Brozek, Michael Ehart, Miss Amber Clark, Solarbird, the Lightbringer

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