The Boy who could Fly (Steve Greer)
Adding a Model to my Photography Concepts is the best way to challenge my creativity. And juxtaposing the ordinary with the surreal can often make conceptual images have a strong visual impact.
Recently, ferocious storm clouds raced over my house, offering an exciting heart pounding opportunity to make some dynamic cloudscape background photos. And later, while I was looking at the new images on the monitor, my young son came over and said he wished he could fly. Eureka! My next concept photo shoot was born!
Finding feathers, a trampoline, and a child who loves jumping, was easy. Determining the diameter of the feather shaft to match the model’s hand was more challenging. To solve this, the model held a piece of PVC pipe in each hand while jumping on a trampoline. This meant his fingers would be in the right position, and scale, to match the feathers, that would be later added in PhotoShop.
To complete the illusion, I photographed at a low angle to dramatize the height of the model in the air. For the jumping photos, the camera settings were ISO 100, 35mm, f8, 1/1000sec. The main light was a bright overcast sky. Two Elinchrom strobes in strip boxes rimmed the model to replicate the direction of the light from the clouds. And thanks to Icarus, no wax was required.
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I have recently been featured in an interview on ForegroundWeb about my experience running a photography business. I’ve been lucky to be in the industry long enough to have a chance to reflect back at my career. And now I look forward to the opportunity to produce many more creative projects. To read the entire article, you can simply go to Alex Vita’s blog http://www.foregroundweb.com
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Bicycle Rider pedaling on a Country Highway (Steve Greer)
As a Sports Commercial Photographer in New Jersey, I had an opportunity to create a Composite Photo of a road racing cyclist.
A full service sports specialist in Philadelphia was interested in showcasing the new racing jerseys for their competitive title-sponsored Masters Team. Together with the clothing designer, the concept was to create a high-energy environmental portrait of a competitive cyclist. It had to look fast, dynamic, and exciting!
In the studio, a fitness resister stand was attached to the back wheel of the bike. This helped the rider balance and stay on his pedals. After the images were made in a certain spot, the bike was carefully removed from the stand, and just the bike was photographed, in the same spot. This made cloning out the stand a lot easier in PhotoShop.
To make the composite believable, the angle, height, and focal length of the camera had to match the created background plate. Full studio lights and modifiers were used to sculpt and color the light to match the background. And the invented flares were then added using a PhotoShop plugin from the Knoll Light Factory.
For more variations on a theme, visit SteveGreerPhotography.com
Cyclist supported by a resister stand in a studio setting
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Active Female Jumping in Mid-Air (Steve Greer)
Being a Commercial Photographer in New Jersey, this assignment led me to a professional athletic trainer looking to expand her clientele.
With a new industrial looking cross fit gym, she wanted to appeal to the workout buffs who like the challenge of jumping, balancing, crawling, climbing, and lifting. The branding concept was developed to match this more aggressive style workout in an alternative edgy setting. Sorry folks, no yoga here.
For a composite, you need a great looking background. Combing through Philadelphia’s back alleys proved to be an adventure in itself. Not wanting to draw a lot of attention, we only carried small speedlights and reflectors. We finally found a great location, that simply needed some bounce light to add contrast.
For the jump shot made in the studio, the camera settings were ISO 200, 55m, f7.1, 1/1600sec. Four Elinchrom strobes were synced using wireless slaves. Two lights were placed in off-camara sidelight strip boxes, one in a large octobox for the main light, and one overhead bare strobe for the rim light.
The images were later brought into PhotoShop to add contrast, desaturation, and add a little HDR to communicate this new gym will appeal to the warrior in all of us.
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Looking for some personal space, a little boy reads a book, using his headlamp, inside his snowy igloo (Steve Greer)
As a Lifestyle Photographer in New Jersey, my clients often ask me to create images that are unique and reveal the personality of their family.
This portrait concept was conceived months before the first snowfall. In the planning stages, special attention to where the igloo was going to be, the proportions of it, the lens selection, and camera angles were all taken into account.
Photographing at dusk offers a distinctive lighting effect. With the right timing, the ambient light of the day fades, and starts to compete with the artificial light being emitted by the street and house lights.
Balancing the light values of the child’s headlamp, including the other lamp inside the igloo – which provided depth, and the lights in the house, with the ambient light in the sky that reflected off the house, required some technical practice. A dry run a day before to select the proper light bulb wattages for the house lights was a good idea.
Once I had a great image, we all went back inside to warm up and photograph the family drinking hot chocolate with marshmallows – yum!
My setting were ISO 100, 35m, f7.1, 2.5sec
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