How To: Wings

How to: wings

Backscape retake

Project 365: Day 57, Wings take 3

So one of my more popular images seems to have been my ‘wings’ shot, of my back and the question I’ve been receiving more and more is simply “how did you take that?”. Well its actually a very simple shot to make for your self, so here’s a step-by-step to enable you to give it a go!

What you will need:
– camera with full manual (M) control
– some form of off camera lighting (strobe preferred, but other forms can be used)
– darkened room or garden
– Photoshop or similar

Step one, select your model:
Well this was an easy step for me as i intended to use the shots as a timeline for both my photographic and physical progression, so my model was myself.

Step. Two, location, location, location:
The next step is to select your shooting location. Im going to guess most of you aren’t blessed, like myself, with a studio, but don’t despair! Believe it or not you can create this shot without a studio! For the second in the series i simply got my SB600, hung it from my washing line at night, placed my camera on a tripod, set my timer an kneeled beneath the light.
I now use my Interfit studio strobes with a soft box for these shots, all in my studio on a black cloth background, shot tethered so i can nail my shot first time and save time in front of a screen.

Step three, Settings and such:
I used all TTL metering with my camera on M set to underexpose my surroundings by around 4 stops. The camera and speedlight did the rest! I had the flash undiffused and unfiltered, so a very simple yet effective setup that yielded great results.
(for studio strobes either strobe meter or just shoot and adjust till its right!)

Step four, posing:
This is something that would be a lot easier if you had a model that wasn’t also the photographer, as, being able to look at your subject through the viewfinder and direct them as you desired is a lot easier than shooting, checking, correcting, shooting, etc. Get the ‘safety’ shot, the shot that you or your client needed and will be happy with, but once you have that, don’t stop, start working, this is your chance to push your, or your artistic directors creative boundaries, so try different poses, different models, move the light, move yourself, go crazy!

Step five, Post processing
This is a crucial stage in any image, but none more-so than with this shot. I usually make a layer mask of my body outline, black out the rest and lay a new layer on top and experiment with a black feathered brush to see what looks best

Step six, Publishing
Now you’ve got the shot, upload a copy to flickr and post me a link in the comments or via email! I’m serious, i really am interested in seeing what i inspire people to create, a few have done vie Twitter and have had some amazing results that I’m proud to have inspired.

Have fun and don’t hesitate to contact me with any questions


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