Fashion: Chance Urban & Casual Edition

On April 10, 2011, Posted by , In Fashion, With No Comments

Just got through with a fashion show for Chance: Where the Art of Fashion Innovates at Neighbors Nightclub by Seattle Central.  I’ve only attended a few local fashion shows in the past, but this was by far one of the best experiences that I’ve ever had.  The Seattle Fashion community is still finding its footing.  There is a bit of talent, but the infrastructure isn’t as developed as other areas.  Most of the venues I’ve attended take place in incredibly cramped clubs with awkward designs and colors.  You’re constantly struggling to find usable space, not just for your model, but for your lights.

At neighbors, it was the first time that I had more space than I knew what to do with, and I loved that.  That meant that I could pretty much position my lights where ever I wanted.  The walls were black, which suits my style really well.  Plus, there were lots of mirrors and colored ambient that I could play around with if I had more time.  I only got to shoot on my own for about an hour, but it was a fantastic experience.  I got to try the sort of photography that I enjoyed doing.  For this shoot, I decided to experiment with Rembrandt style lighting using a tip I got from John D. Williamson of F.J. Westcott.  It worked out really well.

The runway portion proved a little more difficult.  I pretty much missed the entire first set, because I wasn’t even aware that it was about to start, and my lights take a while to set up.  For the second set, I was struggling because I still didn’t have an some of the ambient lights were really orange, which really threw off my white balance.  The photos ended up looking either way too blue, or way too orange.  You can try drowning out the ambient, but that requires either a very fast sync speed (not really possible on today’s cameras) or a very powerful flash (not practical when shooting a large room in rapid fire).  On top of that, they also set up a large blue backdrop, the sheer size of which was fairly impressive. However, the blue backdrop only made the yellow lights seem that much stronger. Moreover, backdrops of this type are more suitable for prom photos where you have a fixed pose and a “fabricated” environment. The entire purpose of runway is that it’s live, it’s real, and the use of the backdrop doesn’t really fit with that. A runway has three dimensions, where as a backdrop only has two.

For the third set, I decided to stand on top of a support and shoot from the side.  It wasn’t the ideal location for poses, since the models weren’t told to pose for the front, rather than for the side.  But I figured that the front angles would be covered by the other photographers, so there was no harm in doing my own thing.  By shooting from the side, not only did I maximize the impact of my own lights, but I also managed to minimize the impact of the ambient orange lights.

All in all, it was a very enjoyable experience. I look forward to working with this company again in the future.

TITS (Two In The Shirt)
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