***This week with your a7x/a9x/a1, July 10th - 16th, 2021***

Started 3 months ago | Discussions thread
verybiglebowski Veteran Member • Posts: 4,447
Story about shooting a photo of Kat and Wolf

First comes the idea.

(With my master drawing skills, I am always surprised that no one else understands what I want.)

Then I contacted two friends - Kat and Hana. Kat is my favorite model and Hana has two dogs -Czechoslovakian Wolfdog Breed

The next step was to choose the location. Not so easy in a city, because we only could meet together on Saturday and the parks are full of other dog owners and families. It took me a few days and over 100 km on my bike, just to find the best location some 500m from my home.

What I liked about it is a wild look, I didn't like its complexity but that's a challenge for the lighting ideas...

We agreed on wardrobe and makeup and finally met on the location.

The first thing we needed to do, was to clarify how we will shot it, who will stand where what is the best composition, and what commands are needed to be called, and in which order.

As usual, many problems arise. Starting from my light stands that were almost impossible to safely level on the ground, through the short space for the pre-jump run, and ending with the very little space for the camera itself.

We had two "wolves" - Andy and Ezra. Andy is a girl and Ezra boy and as it happens, Ezra was a bit lazy to jump on a high part. Lately, I decided to shot Ezra separately and if needed to compose him in the post, but I finally decided it's not necessary (for now).

Originally we thought that dogs will run faster than Kat, but as it shows it was another way around. We needed to adjust the distances and commands accordingly.

There were two crucial problems - timing and my week flashes which couldn't recharge fast enough for 5+ fps. Another lighting problem was shading between Kat and wolves (that one I didn't solve as it would need much more work and more lamps, reflection boards, and assistants).

Finally, I got the shot with Andy alone, which was close to my original idea. The lighting wasn't perfect (far from it in fact), but this is a no-budget project, so I knew that some compromises would have to be made.

To avoid the shading between Andy and Kat, I would need to put my main light much higher than I was able to. It would be better to create the contour light more from behind, but that would need a larger distance and thus much stronger lamps than my Godox AD200 Pro are.

Anyway, I was happy with the plate shot. We shoot Ezra a few times separately, but for now, I didn't find that jump appealing enough. Ezra is looking down and to the right, when I placed him in the layer, the image lost some of its energy)

The lighting on Ezra is very good IMHO, so maybe he will find his way to the final image.

The last thing I wanted to do is to add some fog in the background. I needed to shot that separately because of the lack of assistants.

I was running with the smoke, while my model was kind enough to press the shutter every 5 or so seconds.

In time, fog nicely diffuse, and the counter view, revealed famous forest light shafts. So if you are lazy like me to wake up early morning, this is the option, but be extremely cautious not to start the fire.

A few hours later on my slow PC and the first version, which looks fine to me, was ready to go public.

Sony A7R IV + Sony FE 16-35/2.8 GM (at 27mm)

After some sleep, I made also the version with both "wolves".

I hope this little story makes sense, it was a fun project, looking forward to new ideas.

 verybiglebowski's gear list:verybiglebowski's gear list
Sony a7R Sony a7R II Sony a7R III Sony a7R IV Zeiss Otus 55mm F1.4 +3 more
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