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Formal wear


By November 10, 2011January 15th, 2018No Comments

Vintage Concept Shoot

I have had this idea bouncing around in my head for some time now, it is the type of image that I think would greatly benefit from a strong stylist, however this first shoot is simply to get the idea out and to start the evolution of the concept.

So here are  the final three images from the shoot…

Ok, and here’s how I did it…

The setup:

1. Camera tethered to lappy

2. Garment being held by a ladder suspended over the studio area, then with clips attached to fishing line. I wanted to use safety pins to hold the fabric in a better position however couldn’t find any at the time.

3. Speedlite with softbox, supported by a light stand that is wedged into another ladder (as I don’t have a boom type stand), the flash is connected to the camera via pocketwizards, (mini TT1 & flex TT5). I have the soft at such an angle so as to through a shadow of the garment onto the floor in view, which I find more realistically creates the sense of the clothing floating in space.

4. White 3 X 5m backdrop by Fotobestway. This backdrop is a good example of the need to try something before you buy. While it probably doesn’t come across in the above photo, the material of the backdrop is quite light and there are slight ripples throughout the entire surface, this is due to how is has been stored rolled up and also how it is sitting on the support. The problem is that because it is such a light material, such ripples cannot be pulled out and flattened. Now this wouldn’t be such a problem if using a full studio lighting setup and shooting high key style portraits or something similar with the background properly lit, however in this situation with a single light source, and the need to retain the shadow, a smoothly backdrop would have saved quite a bit of time in post. Oh well, we shall press on…

Here’s the first image, straight from camera…

1/20 @ f/11  57mm  ISO200

Originally I had the soft box at a lower angle, only slightly above parallel to the garment, however this didn’t create the shadow that I wanted, I then moved to light source higher to cast the objects shadow onto the floor slightly behind and to the right of frame.

And in post..

1. Cropped to 4×5 ratio, (I feel that this ratio ties in with the theme of the image), brightness levels altered in ACR to create more mood.

2. Clean up of fishing line & clips, smoothing of background.

3. Added black and white filter layer with coloured tint, some light D & B

4. Textured background added, masked dress so as not to be covered.

I sourced the textures for this shoot from here.

5. Final image- curves layer added for slight contrast enhancement as well as a vignette layer created by using a layer mask over a curves layer.

My processing for the other two images is very similar to this first so I wont worry with the individual steps for them.

I experimented with having a pair of shoes on the floor below the dress but couldn’t find a natural looking position for them,  perhaps with a stylist this concept could be stretched to a whole outfit and not just the one piece. I could also see movement being employed into the garment, rather than just a stationary pose such as this.

As I mentioned early in the post, this shoot really was to get the idea out of my head and onto the screen for it to develop further, and any critique would be appreciated.

About dylanlarkphotography

Melbourne born and based, freelance photographer. Having studied BA Photography at RMIT University, Dylan now shoots predominantly in fashion and product fields, dabbling in fine art landscape and wildlife. Past clients include Law Institute of Victoria, Pentair Water/Onga, Leiela Ladies Evening Wear, Trend Construction, Avanti at Witchmount, and more.