Friday, 23 March 2012

Whenever I fall at your feet

Okay... so this week I decided to have a good look at some feet... I'll be moving soon and will no longer have this nice looking wooden floor so I had to get around to this sooner, rather than later. I've had the thought in my head for many weeks/months now - so it was nice to finally get it out and see if I can make something that compares well to the image in my mind.

I thought a good starting point would be to practice with lighting on some inanimate object, such as these shoes. I was limited to an extent as the only room long enough to use a long focal length and shallow depth of field happens to have the main window behind where the subject would be placed - so my main starting thought was just to expose for the front of the shoes, and use my giant silver reflector camera left to get some light back onto them... and this is what I got:
However, in my ever so humble opinion, I still thought there was too much shadow on there... so time to get the flash out. The next one was never intended to work, but I thought I'd take it for the purposes of this blog post to show just how bad it was. This one just uses a bare speedlite (at 1/64) to the right with the reflector on the left. Not nice, not nice at all...

 So the next step, was to strip the silver side of the reflector off, to uncover the 50% transparent diffuser inside. The flash was bumped up a wee bit and shot through the diffuser, almost like a 1m^2 softbox a few feet to the left - finally I was getting somewhere, so time to bring in the real human - Keri.
 This next shot was using the same setup as before, but a new problem emerged. The glare from the window behind is quite off putting on her left foot. I probably should have guessed, as it has been apparent on the floorboards in all of the earlier pictures too, so time to close the curtains...
 So, curtains closed, flash all set up, feet in place... I finally had the lighting I was happy with... look at the lack of shine on her right foot here!... I used a longer shutter speed than was required just by the flash so as to let in some of the ambient light too, which is not too much of a problem when the camera is rested on the floor - no (or not much) camera shake here.
 It was now just a case of playing with the composition and clothing, I thought it would look more interesting with the jeans than without, but I still wasn't sure just how it was going to be framed.
For these next two shots, I liked the angle but didn't think the tattoos were on show enough, so unfortunately a change would need to be made. The first is the basic shot, the second is with it straightened and having had that pesky curtain removed...
 Now finally we were there! This last shot is the end product, I'm not sure if it looks like what I had my mind - as once I got doing this it kinda blurred - but it feels as though this is what I was wanting. So all in all, I think I'm quite happy with it - and I certainly learned a lot in that half hour.
I'm not sure how a photo of feet will go down with you, my adoring fans, but I hope you like it!

Oh, and as a little addition - I thought I should point out that the tattoos have names... Felix on the left (right foot) and Betty on the right.


  1. I like the final result, but enjoyed more the process at how you arrived there...
    All to often initial ideas do not work out, so it's great to see some creative re thinking in action

    1. Thank you! I'm glad you liked that, I'm still experimenting with what is good to write about on here so when I get good feedback on a post then it will certainly mean more of that type of post in the future...