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Concept Creation…using your mind’s eye! | From where I stand...

Ok so I know I haven’t been as regular with my posts as I had hoped but it’s been a busy summer!

I won’t derail the post with the details but let’s just say I haven’t had a whole lot of time to write.

Thank you for your patience.

This week I want to talk about “Concept Creation”. In it’s essence it is a self assignment that requires you use your imagination to determine what you want your final image to look like, then reverse engineering that to create the image.

For this assignment I decided that I wanted to make an image of my Leatherman Super Tool-300.

I wanted the image to be representative of the features of the tool but display them in a somewhat unconventional manner.

My inspiration for the layout of the tool as it would appear in the image came from the user manual that was in the box. It showed the tool opened with each of the individual components showing.

I decided that I wanted the image to be dark with bright highlights along the many reflective surface of the tool.

Here is the final image:

Leatherman 300

This was shot using a black cloth backdrop and 2 lights set at almost 90 degrees to the subject (either side) just slightly behind.

I stopped down to f14 to keep the background nice and dark and settled on a shutter speed of 1/160 of a second.

A quick clean up in Photoshop and…VOILA!

I have made several images using this method so far and I find it particularly rewarding. Here are some of the things that I have learned:

  1. Spend as much time thinking about the final image as you can afford. This makes creating the image much easier.
  2. Don’t give up! This image took over 2 hours to produce (not including the time spent in Photoshop). The purpose of this exercise is to force you to work your way through the road blocks.
  3. Don’t be afraid to experiment! It may be that the one off the wall thing you try is what does it.

This shoot gave me an idea. A sort of “Concept Creation” challenge.

Here are the steps:

  1. Come up with an idea and email a written description of it. Be as detailed as you can.
  2. Shoot the image an upload it to flickr using the tag “FWISconceptcreation”. Deadline will be September 10, 2010.

The top images will be posted here on the FWIS blog.

There are no prizes for this challenge other than the rewarding experience, give it a try…it’s worth it.

I want to say a special THANK YOU to my colleague and fellow photog Nick Bicanic for his assistance with this shoot. Without Nick it would have taken twice as long! lol

As always you can send questions or comments to me at qanda@sjr-photo.com to tweet using the hashtag #sjrqa

Thanks for reading!

SJR

3 Responses to Concept Creation…using your mind’s eye!

  1. Nick Bicanic says:

    Lol, thanks bud but you are giving me way more credit than I deserve. It is all you bud! I was just there to assist.

    But, with your shoot, I have the concept, not I have to translate it to paper and shoot it this week coming.

    Talk soon!

  2. [...] motivation going to be? Now who would my subject be? How about my good friend Steve and his ‘Concept Creation‘ [...]

  3. Nick Bicanic says:

    Hey Steve!

    Okay so here is my write-up for Concept Creation. I thought if I post it here everyone else can see it and get ideas, hope you don’t mind :)

    Okay, so about a year ago I somehow stumbuled on this creative who was doing a 365 photo-a-day project. He was different then every other self assigned 365 project out there. Instead of taking a picture of the nearest thing just to do it for a day, he would add flash to almost every shot and model it after a theme of a movie, book, or whatever inspired him that day. It wasn’t always easy and sometimes he shot his shot with a minute left in that technical day.

    His name is Dustin Diaz. Google him, he is cool and works for Twitter.

    Anyways, I have wanted to do your portrait for some time now and interview you for my inspiration series, which by the way I know know the topic: Alignment. More on this to come.

    But after learning you had a motor cycle, I wanted to combine you with that with Dustin’s style.

    So the plan was night time, f2 at 135 mm, iso 1000, speed between 100 and 160th of a second. So, we chose to do Main Street Newmarket because of its calmness, elegance, and simple lighting. Also because it had the traditional and quaint feeling I was looking for instead of a busy city. Also because I didn’t want to have too much traffic as it was all a learning lesson.

    The shoot was you and your bike as a model. One back light gelled blue and one camera right soft box gelled orange (the white softbox would dull the orange enough to add the correct warmness).

    Um… other than that, not sure what else I am missing :)

    Check the above back-link. It was a success!

    Now, let’s do one in the rain, no bike, but another concept! maybe horror and rifle!

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