Behind the scenes, reviews, and other commentary.

Finally used that coffin

One of the final images from the shoot.

    A while ago (ok so a long while ago..) I built a coffin that I was going to use for some shoots but I just never got around to doing them. Recently I figured I needed some more new artsy photos so I decided to use it with whatever I had/could scrounge together in a day or two. (The original idea involved a huge amount of rose petals, smoke, and other atmospherics that I just don't have right now.) Luckily, my cousin Brooke is always happy to have new photos taken so I was able to quickly schedule a little shoot while I felt motivated enough to make it happen.

    The coffin was built with essentially no planning using the cheapest fence wood I could find at the hardware store. Its actually pretty cool and I'm thinking of making it into a bookshelf or bench or something if I don't need it for more photos. 

Setting up the coffin.

    For this shoot I didn't want to have to carry everything out to a location so I just set up in my back yard. I had already been working on clearing out some weeds in the garden so there was a perfect spot near some flowers where I could dig in and lay the coffin down. 

Decorating the area. I was glad to have found those bags of moss at the craft store. 

Originally I wanted to have a bunch of butterflies in the shots but I couldn't find a bunch of cheap fake butterflies so I only ended up getting a few. 

I think they look decent enough from far away though it probably would've been much cooler if I had hundreds of them. 

I think they look decent enough from far away though it probably would've been much cooler if I had hundreds of them. 

It was a little tough at first to find a light setup that worked. I can plan in my head a lot but when it comes to the actual photography, sometimes I just try a bunch of different things until I find things I like. That can be both good and bad. Its great when I can keep moving things around and then finally settle on something that I think looks good. Especially if it isn't what I originally planned for like adding the red gel to one of the lights and turning all the flowers red. The downside is that until I find something I like it can be a little frustrating if my original plan doesn't seem to work and I have to keep changing things because I don't like the way its looking. Regardless, I'm pretty happy with how things turned out. The light is theatrical but I think it works. Here are a couple photos of the light setup. (Its unusual for me to use an umbrella like this, I almost always use my Softlighter with the black cover and the diffusion material but when I pulled the umbrella out of it's bag, it didn't have the black cover on and I didn't want to take the time to find it and then set up the diffusion while the model laid in the cold and the light faded. For my purposes here the light was fine coming through the umbrella like this though I would've liked the positioning control of using the Softlighter as I usual do.)

I had planned to have the burlap showing through in places but in the end I decided to clone in more moss over it. 

So yeah, fun little shoot that definitely inspires me to go back to doing more interesting things like this. It has been way too long since I have been doing these kinds of shoots. Its these kinds of things that make me really enjoy photography. 

A personal favorite from this shoot. I love how adding the sky made it seem like a totally different place. 

I have mixed feelings about this one. I like it but it isn't my favorite of them. I think the most successful ones are the one at the top of this post and the one with the cloudy sky.

Hopefully I'll have more cool photos like this to share before too long.