Up in Smoke

I was hanging out with some of my friends about a month or so ago, and my friend blew the biggest cloud of smoke from a vape pen i had ever seen! I got the idea/desire to shoot it and get some cool photos. Thankfully I had just come back from a shoot and had my camera with me. The lighting setup for this was a bare speed light behind my subject, as a hair light, (at varying angles and heights) and a silver somewhat small reflector bouncing the light on to his face, as my main light. I was going for more shadowy silhouettes and I got some really cool results that I am stoked on. The last shot being my favorite. Enjoy!

Creating Drama with Light: A Cabin in the Woods

I recently took an online photography course on portrait photography. The course ended with asking us to do an assignment, creating drama with light while using different compositions. Here are my photos and essay that went along with it.

*I had to lessen the quality to submit, so these are not the best quality


(This was my assignment cover photo)

About the shoot:

After watching the lecture, I knew the perfect place and person to shoot. I took my model/friend to a place in near me in Florida, called Koreshan State Park. Koreshan is an old historic settlement, and is today used as a tourist attraction. The place has some really neat buildings, some of which have amazing windows for soft diffused light. I took a verity of shots, never getting comfortable with a specific pose or locaiton, but shooting there long enough to make sure I got the shot I had in mind.

Unfortunatley, I forgot about putting the poorly exposed photos with the project, and didn’t transfer them from my memory card, so the photos I am showing are some of my favorites from the shoot.

I wanted a dramatic and dark mood in my photos so I had my friend wear dark clothing. I told her the mood I was trying to achieve and gave her creative liberity in her outfit and makup choices. We started out shooting in a few different spots. I really liked the wood on one of the buildings so did a few different shots on it. I used contrasting compostions as well throughout the shoot, so I could make myself look differently at a scene and see something I hadn’t before.


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For this next one I really liked the way I set her up. I decided to put on a wider angle lens and shoot a full body shot from up close. I positioned her so that her leg acted as a leading line drawing the focus up to her body.


I shot around more, looking for good light to create drama.


I really like these next ones in front of the white building because of the stark contrast between her and it. Her in black, and the building in white. I feel it really adds to the mood of the shot. I also really liked the texture when I got up in close and used the buidling to add something to the foreground.

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After walking around for a little bit longer, I found the window I was looking for. I absolutly love the outcome of the window shots on this overcast day. Here are a few with contrasting compositions. I love the drama in the shot that the soft light coming in through the window creates. It really gave me an opportunity to underexpose to darken the image, yet still have the important parts of her face light well.

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The next photo is my absolute favorite from the shoot. I did nothing to her eyes, yet they came out stunning, and make the image in my opinion. From the drama the darkness behind her makes, to the color in her eyes. This image makes me feel emotion, and I hope that it can give someone else the same feeling.20150224-IMG_6498-2

I really enjoyed myself with this assignment, and had a blast shooting it. I look forward to seeing more peoples work. Once again thanks! I hope you liked them!