Chris Engles Photo

Photo Retouch Before and After: Print Ad Mock Up

Behind The Scenes, How To, Works

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Greetings,
I recently started going through the drives, looking for forgotten images. I posted this image on my Facebook page – an idea I had for a possible print ad – and it blew up.  Apparently the lovely model has many admirers : 0 ) So I thought I’d post here as well, illustrating the retouching effort. As you can see, I wasn’t in a studio and the wrinkled sheet was a MacGyver-esque attempt to give myself a fighting chance pulling the model out of the background, and it worked quite well.

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Photo Retouching Example – Before and After

Behind The Scenes, Dance, Works

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‘Morning,

Just a quick post illustrating some retouching technique. I recently shot a series of publicity stills for my fave local modern dance company Weberdance – this shot has turned out to be the most popular of the bunch.

I had a nice large space to deal with, with a lighting set up courtesy of Pete Sutton. The dance tells the story of Author/Explorer Jon Turk and his travels via kayak along the Siberian coast. Originally the choreographer just wanted decent images of the girls doing their thing in the typical environment, but why not incorprate them into something more interesting? So I put the dancers into one of the images they use during the performance of the piece (typically projected on a scrim behind them onstage). Incidentally that’s the author in the image, on a recent expedition.

Chris Engles, Weberdance

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It’s a Wonderful Life – Behind the Scenes for White Limbo

Behind The Scenes, How To, Works

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Here’s another how-to post regarding a simple lighting set up for white limbo.

A friend asked for pictures of her and her two children.  She didn’t have specific ideas, so I suggested a simple set up in her bedroom with her and the kiddies in white tops and khakis.

Here’s  a wide shot of the set up:

I borrowed an Alien Bees light kit from my good friend and fellow photographer Pete Sutton. I set up two AB’s B800′s firing into the back corner. To keep the strobes from blowing out the subjects I flagged them off with form core (white side in) clamped to the light stands.

As you can see it’s a pretty small room with low ceilings, but I used it to my advantage.  I relied on reflected light off the walls and ceiling to illuminate the subjects without any fill. But that means positioning of subject is key.

Here’s an example of what happens if the subject is to close to the wall:

 

We did a LOT of shooting, which I knew would be the case given her feisty 2 year old : )

 

 

 

And then hit 3 moments which I thought would work as a wonderful triptych:

 

 

 

The final series, after editing out the remainders of the window frames and some cropping.

Click through the image (x2) to see  a lager version.

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Behind the scenes: Shooting High Definition for Theatrical Screening

Behind The Scenes, How To

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Here’s another look behind the curtain – this time, for a video shoot for the Joslin Diabetes Center

Chris Engles

DP Brian Moriarty

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Tech Rehearsal

Behind The Scenes, Dance, Life

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Bear with me as I blog via my iPhone – not the best vehicle for extended writing.
The company landed at 1pm local time and went straight into rehearsal – long day considering we were up at 5AM east coast time.
The pics posted here are iPhone. I brought the adult camera of course (Canon 5D) but won’t be able to pull them down and process until we return to Somerville. More later.

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Working Girl – behind the scenes of a photo shoot

Behind The Scenes, How To, Works

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Greetings,
I thought I’d start my blog with a show and tell about a popular image I shot a few years back titled “Working Girl”.

I met Carissa while working as a rigger on a feature film in Boston. She was petite, delicate (looking) and feminine,
yet got just as filthy as the rest of us (moviemaking is a dirty business) and swung a 20lb sledge hammer as hard as
any guy on the crew. As if that wasn’t enough incongruity, she was also a welder, smelted her own metals and was
rebuilding a ’61 volvo sedan – when she wasn’t repairing Hammond B3 organs or inventing stomp boxes for electric
guitars. I found all of this intriguing and thus the idea for an image was born.

 

The default location for the shoot was her driveway. Not only was the ’61 Volvo – a key prop in the image – not going anywhere, but it was
also where she did all her metalwork – in a barn no less. I sat down at the computer later that night and roughed out a lighting plan on Google Sketch.

 

Carissa’s day job at the time was doing repair work at a local light rental company, so she was able to
score a Arri kit that contained all the key lights needed. I supplemented the kit with a few lights and gels
of my own, plus some stingers and some humble work lights from Home Depot.

 

Roughing in the plan while I still have daylight.

 

Here’s a detail shot of the lighting for the engine compartment. I knew the work light wouldn’t be able
to compete with the theatrical lighting, so I augmented it with an Arri 300 just out of frame.

 

A wide shot of all the working lights – both theatrical and practical. I lit the interior of the ’61 Volvo
with the Home Depot lights, firing up from the floor of the car. The strobe (tall stand, center/right)
isn’t firing in this shot.

 

Working Girl, Welder Girl

The final image.

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