The assignment for Biocommunications Object Lighting was to create a high-technoidish image of a cell phone. It should have colored light and a specular (shiny) background. I tried that on Tuesday but I just wasn’t feeling it. And by “wasn’t feeling it” I mean “having a quiet meltdown alone in the studio then refusing to look at the pictures”. I knew I needed another go, and driving to school on Wednesday my idea hit me. I would need rubber bands and willing models.
There is a graduate of RCC, Wes Naman, who has created some amazing portraits of people with faces distorted by rubber bands. There is also a weird picture of a guy with a rubber band holding a cell phone to his head. Those were my seeds. I mentioned my idea to a handful of people, seeking approval and gauging their reaction. It really sounded like a dumb idea when I said it out loud. But my teacher, whose instructions for the assignment I would be ignoring, said go for it.
I shot these pictures using a Sinar large format camera with a Phase One digital back, tethered using Capture One, and it was my first time using this set up. I wrangled three classmates who didn’t know what they were getting into and asked them to 1) remove the cases from their very expensive iPhones 2) take an extreme close up of themselves using their phone 3) strap the phone to their heads with rubber bands and 4) please be very still while I try to focus.
There was minor retouching of the screens of the cell phones, to make them match as best I could. I won’t tick off a list of about a thousand things I would do differently to improve these images, because I really like how they came out and I’m glad I tried my cray cray idea. Here’s how I presented the final three images for my assignment.
(click this one for bigness)
Thanks to Aleece White, Abbi O’Leary and Bekah McClure, who all participated willingly. I think they would want you to know that rubber bands around your head are, um, uncomfortable to say the least. As much as you try to not let them snap…they snap. Sorry girls.
I could not be more obsessed with catch lights in the eyes. I’m also sort of obsessed with making good pictures with my camera phone. Getting something with the eyes sharp-ish like this takes some doing, and takes the cooperation of my young subject. The camera phone I have is not an iPhone, nor anything close to it, but I’ve been trying to have fun with it.
I took this next camera phone picture at a football game a few weeks ago. I’d have used it at the time as my photo of the day but it took me a few days to realize how much I liked it, and by then it was too late!
Jerry started reading music this week. From today’s practice session I could tell he wasn’t exactly getting it, but he sure was having a ball thinking he was reading music. Usually he practices in his room (with the door closed) but he had a mini-concert to play the song for us.
While he practiced his trumpet I pulled out my flash to practice, too. You can see I wasn’t exactly getting it, but I sure had a ball playing around without an assignment to think about (for the moment). I usually use natural light for pictures around the house but I had a mini photo session with off-camera flash to use for today’s photo of the day.
This is in the same room a few weeks ago with a more elaborate light setup. Jerry doesn’t love being my model but he smiles when I ask him to smile and broods when I ask for that. He is amazing at it, really.
Earlier that day I was in a parking garage and created this HDR image using 7 or 8 different exposures.
Later I merged both images to create a composite portrait. I’m loving the result, mostly because it reminds me that this photo shoot resulted in the mouthpiece getting stuck on the trumpet which I’ll have you know is a $10 repair!
Brooding Jerry in a Parking Garage Holding a Trumpet