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Sunday, July 26, 2009

Concept: DJ Zita "DJ HD"

These series of conceptual drawings are for DJ Zita as we've been trying to work on a concept over the summer and hopefully will execute it at the end of this summer.

The photoshoot I have in mind is inspired by the high end fashion ads/photos in magazines that I subscribe to [Interview, Vanity Fair, Elle, to name some..] and hopefully I will be able to work together with other creatives on executing the makeup, hair, and ward robe.

I envision this photoshoot to be an interpretation of a female DJ set in fashion. Currently this project is entitled "DJ HD"--high definition--for every part of these images will be of great detail.

After seeing an ad for perfume [I believe], it was a simple head-on shot of a model with her hand over her head. For DJ Zita, the twist is to implement DJ elements and for this case I see a vinyl being used.

This one is the one I'm already envisioning to be a real good photo. It will be a profile shot of DJ Zita and covering her eyes is her pair of headphones.

Plays in with the whole "seeing the music" aspect of DJ-ing.

Inspired by ads that showcase beautiful models and handbags, this will simply be her holding her headphones.

I have a lot of ideas for this, involving the turntables, speakers, and even cassette tapes! haha

In short, I definitely want to answer "What if DJing was implemented in fashion?"

All images were concetualized and drawn by JJ Casas.

My cat is on a leash

Edit: This is the first time I'm uploading a pic from an iPhone on the T-Mobile network without internet--so this is from a wifi upload.

But this is a pic of my and my cat Iso in which I've placed him on a leash so we can someday stroll in the park. So far I have to coax him to the backyard with some food so it does defeat the purpose of "exercising" if I'm feeding him.

Hopefully, he'll like to go outside since he doesn't try to escape or struggle or bite the leash [or me for putting it on him].

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Photoshoot: Cher [07/16/09] @ "Sunset Studio" [Edited Images]

Photoshoot Details:
Photographer: JJ Casas
Model: Cherrymae
Make Up: Karen Wan

Smile! This shoot was for my girlfriend whom I asked if I can photograph her in order to improve my folio. I had my friend Karen do the make up and she did a terrific job on interpreting on the look I wanted it.

This is one my of favorite stills because throughout the shoot, Cher was getting into the groove of modeling and I was requesting a lot of "smirks" or "half-smiles" aka seriouso poses. So when this shot broke out, it was definitely out of the mold.

If you didn't see the previous post, I posted up my set up but in general, it's 2 lights--one for the main and one for the background.

As for the poses, Cher took some cues form my [favorite] magazine Interview. We looked through some of the ads and found a few that we liked and tried.

This is image is about... 99% complete... because I could place her on a full white background but thought including the background grounded the image that it isn't some ad or high end stuff.

Beauty shot to show Karen's make up work.

Another beauty shot.

One of my favorite aspects of portraiture isn't taking pictures of people against solid backgrounds but instead including the background that is familiar to them. This was taken in her kitchen if you haven't guessed already.

Another shot in the kitch.

Her dog Skippy wanted to be in the picture too and this made it more fun to shoot a mini series on her dining table.

As usual, saving my personal best image of the day, is this one right here. I love how there's so many elements [or distractions] in the image but Cher totally killed the shot. Even the cuteness of Skippy with his bone doesn't detract from the image.

Note to self: Use hair moving more often.

Thank you again to Karen for the make up and my girlfriend Cher for posing [and spending the 10:30am - 2:20pm time for the shoot]. =)

Photoshoot: Cher [07/16/09] @ "Sunset Studio"*

Had a photoshoot for my girlfriend for fun [and to also expand my folio. tee hee]. Set up was at her garage and I brought enough to set up this photo below:

A roll of white seamless paper supported by stands [and clamped by my Home Depot A-grips]. Main light was Alien Bees ABR800 with the 56" Moon Unit attached on a boom powered by Vagabond II. Background light was a single Alien Bees 400 set to f/16 since I didn't have room for another light to cross light. And for sure I had my iPod Touch hooked to my JBL portable speakers to keep us all company.

I had my friend Karen help me out with makeup [Check out her blog as linked]. She was also in front of lens not too far back [if you remember this shoot].

We took about 30 minutes or so taking pics with this white background set up but I actually enjoy taking pics more in "natural settings."

Single Alien Bees 400 with umbrella triggered with CyberSync transmiter/receiver. All metered with my Minolta Auto Meter IV [on dining table].

As usual, I take pictures with the people who I work with although Karen refused to take a picture. =P

The edited pics will be posted soon. Stay tuned!

*Sunset Studio aka Garage outfitted with equipment.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Photoshoot: Steph [07/01/2009]

I usually save my [personal] best for last but I guess this is an exception since this is one of the photos I took at the beginning of the session and loved it once it came up on the screen. Told Steph while walking to the spot to think "fashionista" and that she "gotta pound that floor like a runway" haha. :shrug: A few laughs here and there but it worked.

We were originally suppose to shoot at Legion of Honor but good think my friend Anthony [who helped me today] and I checked it since it was closed! So quick call to Steph and we decided to shoot at Golden Gate Park.

For some reason [maybe I do know..], this has become my liner to make someone laugh. I saw it on TV [Next Top Model?.. something of that like] in which the photographer requests the model to breathe through her mouth to make it agape slightly. Once I tell that to my subject, for a quick sec she'll do it and soon burst into laughter. So not bad to get a few laughing shots in.

My other favorite shot: reminds me purely of Summer.

This shoot is for a guestbook she'd like to get made and have people sign for her cotillion upon entering. I am also shooting her cotillion at the end of this month so I'll be seeing her and her entourage.

Using the Rule of Thirds wasn't just a general rule for today, I made sure I implemented it since it would leave space for people to write on the opposite side of her.

We made our way from De Young, to the Music Concourse Level, to the benches...

And finally onto what I deemed The Dome.

Definitely a good day to shoot by mixing in ambient and external flash.

This is my friend anthony whom I've known since grade school and upon hearing he'd like to learn more of flash/studio photography, thought this shoot would be of good experience for him. I taught him a bit prior to the shoot and he definitely was a help in obtaining these shots.

If you read my previous post [below], this is my set up I plan to use. Very helpful in putting in fill flash [although it is not powerful enough to overtake the sun..that'll be another project soon...]. But the rig itself is wonderful since it's wireless and I can trigger it flawlessly. The shoot-thru umbrella is definitely icing on the cake.

Anthony, Steph, and I pose on the steps finally taking a break we all deserved.

My point and shoot set on timer. I did run back and apparently only Anthony was aware.

As usual, I take a pic of who I work with on a shoot and I'll be seeing Steph for her big party.

Thank you again Anthony for the help and providing us an impromptu photoshoot at the end. This photo was taken by Anthony himself.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

How To Trigger Minolta/Sony Flashes Wirelessly via Paul Buff's CyberSyncs

Despite my Google searches, I found nothing on how to trigger the Sony Alpha flashes without having to use the [great but limited] built in infrared system. I did some thought and figured theoretically this set up I conjured up will work and gladly it DOES! Read on for full instructions!

All you need to shoot wirelessly without Sony's built in infrared system: (Left to Right): Minolta 5600 flash strobe, Paul Buff's CyberSync Transmitter, Seagull SC-6 Flash Hotshoe Adapter, Industrial Strength Velcro, Paul Buff's CyberSync Receiver [CSRB+], eBay Sony Hotshoe adapter, Mini-plug to PC Sync cord [included with Cybersync receiver].

Paul Buff's CyberSync Transmitter ($59.95)

eBay Sony Hotshoe adapter ($10+). They're cheap so I bought two which the spare is in my bag just in case.

Seagull SC-6 Flash Hotshoe Adapter ($10+). Just like above, I bought two for a spare.

Shot of the Sony flash to standard hotshoe adapter.

Paul Buff's CyberSync Receiver [CSRB+] ($89.95)

Mini plug to PC Sync cord [included with CSRB+]

Industrial Strength Velcro ($6)

Minolta 5600(d) Flash [aka Sony's 56] ($350+)

First, attach the flash hotshoe to standard hotshoe adapter to flash unit.

Attach the transmitter to the sony hotshoe adapter and then finally on top of the camera. Looks monstrous I know but hey it works!

Rear view of its epic proportions.

Cybersync receiver attached to side of Minolta 5600 with the velcro. Sync cord attached.

Forgot to add in the picture of "All You Need": a hotshoe swivel with umbrella attachment adapter ($15). Here is the unit pictured with the hotshoe mount tightened and almost ready to go!

Attached to my Manfrotto monopod and will be handled by my assistant to use reliable wireless photos with the Sony Alpha flash system.

Rear view. Note: the PC sync cord going into the adapter [to the flash] is very loose so I attach a a piece of Gaffer's tape to secure it. May look a bit tacky but it does its job very well].

Frontal view: You can see that I can put an umbrella if I'd like to diffuse the light when shooting wireless portraits. Totally flexible as you can now you attach any light modifiers [I have a Stofen Omnibounce that I plan to use if doing "bare bulb"].

The latest shots using this set up: DJ Zita [San Francico] at Poleng Lounge. Flash set up held by my girlfriend on camera right.

Another shot done with intentional flare using the set up.

  • More reliable than using the built in infrared system [using the pop up flash as trigger]
  • Distance of flash to camera is only limited by the CyberSync [can easily get a loooong range]
  • No hiccups: fires at will without any misfires
  • Still cheaper than a Pocket Wizard set up [you still have to add a custom wire to be made to fit the Sony flash which costs roughly $60!+!]
  • Entire set up: roughly $170 [still less than the price of ONE Pocket Wizard!]
  • No TTL so you're gonna have to [learn how to] shoot manually!
  • That's all I can think of for now =)
Hope this helps to all you Sony Alpha users and let us all join the strobist gang! Enjoy!