BTS

Getting Colorful with J Word & Yev Z

Starting with the awesome J Word, i’m going to be sharing pretty much all of my shoots over the last few years (and moving forward) on my blog here. The posts, will evolve based on what you want to see and your questions naturally.

This series was put together by my friend Yev Z Photography with Jewaun Word of TNG Models in Las Vegas with styling by Lisa Munns. Yev invited me to come help on the shoot and to create myself, and at the time I had been in a creative funk so welcomed the opportunity to help, shoot, and create something vibrant.

Between Lisa and J Word, and then the goofiness of Yev and Myself, we started doing some pretty crazy experimenting with looks, colors, and expressions getting some pretty incredible images as you can see below!

My only issue when working with Jewaun though….is he’s so freaking tall! Lemme tell you it can give a guy a complex hahaha. I actually…this is no joke…had to stand on an apple box (sometimes 2) to maintain eye level with this man for our shoot! later in the set you can see we talked him into sitting down so Yev and I could get eye to eye with him ;) hahaha. J is actually so much fun to work with. He’s so easy to create with and it’s VERY hard to actually get a bad shot of him!
As you can see we created 5 or 6 looks and got a boatload of images from them.

Here’s a complete list of the gear used:

And the Technical & Editing details

Here’s a BTS showing our light setup. 1 B2 above in a Photek Softlighter with the reflector propped directly below, a 2nd B2 camera left and in front of the model feathered in another Photek Softlighter. The Last light is behind the model in a 36” Octobox Camera Right for rim.

J Word BTS

So what do you think? I’d love to hear your thoughts and suggestions. Leave a comment below!

From the Shadows -- A New Fine Art Series by David J. Crewe (NSFW)

The Origin

I’m super excited to FINALLY share a series I’ve been working on now for nearly a year with a large variety of models, creatives, artists, and just expressive souls!

So….where to start? First things first, I’ve always been a fan of the cinematic and dramatic style of lighting you find in those classic noir films and shoots, and I’ve been especially a fan since creating a series back in San Diego years ago for a charity project. Being able to create something with that style of lighting and as a stand alone work of art….well…I am very excited.

This project started as an accident. I was working with a model creating some headshots and I had a lighting misfire which lead me back to my old school love of dramatic “film noir” style lighting. What happened? Well I had a multiple light setup going for some headshots and my “main” light, which would normally light up my subjects face and body, well it didn’t fire, and my rim/hair lights still did…This gave me the effect you see in the gallery above.

From there, it only took showing the image to my client (after we finished the headshots of course), to start playing with the shadows and creating some fun images. From there the shoot evolved into a fine art series of implied and nude shots after hours and hours of discussions and idea shaping and test shoots. The concept was open to everyone, male and female. There were no restrictions for this, other than confidence!

The Progression

It’s kind of funny how it was a VERY slow start to find that first model to shoot the concept. At first, I didn’t even consider the style a series. My intent was to shoot it and move on, but that changed after i did the first set and the model fell in love with the shots, I shared them with a bunch of colleagues and more people wanted to do the shoot! A few weeks after the first shoot I shot the second. From here, interest snowballed. I discussed the images with a fellow photographer while assisting him on a shoot, and his client asked to see the images. She also fell in love with them and asked to take part right on the spot! This is when I realized I was onto something. Over the next few months, I was introduced to new models, athletes, creatives, and artists who wanted to take part and I’ve tried to get them all in. Some, are still on a waitlist as we are hundreds, and for some, thousands of miles apart! OY!

They’ll make it in, just not in time for launch haha.

As I mentioned above, at first this wasn’t set to be a series so I didn’t give it much thought. As I progressed with the shoots, more of my subjects expressed so many different reasons for wanting to do the shoot. It really made me think about art and body positivity and I asked each person for their thoughts on the series and why (if they cared to share) they wanted to take part. Some felt they wanted to do it simply because it was a beautiful concept. Some did it to boost their own personal body confidence, (BIG props to you folks for that by the way! Hella proud of you). One of my subjects, a long time professional nude model, wanted to do the series simply because it was something she felt that for the first time she could print an image of hers and hang it in her home as a centerpiece for art and discussion. That right there was huge for me. Someone who is nude for a living, considered this image to be their first real “work of art.”

I’ve always wanted to have my images stop you in your tracks and cause a double take. The work we often do as working professionals doesn’t really get to be that way since we’re following our clients wants/needs, so as this shoot became a series, I became excited and proud at the fact that these images could line the walls of a gallery, hotel, night club, or more! (Well at least based on the feedback from my clients and our subsequent circle of colleagues and friends who’ve seen the set haha). So I hope that these images make you stop in your tracks and at the very least, open a discussion about confidence, body image, and fine art.

The Technical

So for those wondering, the setup was rather simple. A black backdrop (or dark) with some distance for our subject. 2 to 3 feet ideally. I used my Lastolite HiLite 5x7 on the dark side for mine. It was a lot easier to travel with versus a paper roll. The lighting was a simple setup of 2 lights (profoto B2), in 1x3 strip boxes and Grids behind and on the left and right of the subject with a Nikon SB-700 speedlight at low power on a boom directly above the subject for a subtle hair/fill light using a Rogue Flash Bender. The emphasis was to be backlit casting a lot of shadows to really highlight the shapes and curves of the human body in all its forms.

All of these images were shot on my Nikon D800 with Nikon 50mm f/1.4 G series glass.

For the selection and retouching process, I used several pieces of software. I basically used Capture One and/or Adobe Lightroom as a catalogue. We made initial selections on the day of the shoot, (excessively really). Those selections we converted to B&W and uploaded to an online gallery with Cloudspot for both myself and the subjects to help narrow down to just 2-4 images.


Once that was done I pulled those final few poses from each model directly into Adobe Photoshop and made my edits in there. I used a few tools like the Retouching Academy’s Panels, Infinite Color Panel, Nino Batista’s Frequency Separation Plugin (use code DAVIDCREWE5 for 5$ off), and Alien Skin Exposure to crop and ensure all the images were consistent across the board.

The Culmination

Please have a look at the collection. Like, share, comment, and message me directly for any inquiries, comments, print and gallery options.

Also, I’d like to extend my heartfelt and warmest thanks to each and every person who’s been involved with the project since it’s start. Every one of you have been amazing from day one. For each of the models…you, you folks are the biggest badassiest and awesome folks I’ve ever had the pleasure of working with. Every one of you had an amazing story and a reason for what you do and why you wanted to take part in this series. I love each and every one of you and am incredibly proud of you all!

If you’re interested in ordering a hard copy of this as a coffee table book, please click the link below. Currently available in Hardcover and Digital Download.

Just a few words...

So I've not been posting here lately as i've been on the road a TON and producing content for my sponsors and outlets that I write for, so instead of me re-hashing everything on my own site, I figured, why not just do a link dump for all the articles and you can click for yourselves! :D

Cosplay Photography 101 via Macphun - https://macphun.com/blog/comiccon2017

Review of the Ruggard Navigator 75 Bag on Photofocus - https://photofocus.com/2017/08/08/review-ruggard-navigator-75-dslr-shoulder-bag/

 

Review of the Cinetics Lynx Timelapse and Motion Control system on Photofocus - https://photofocus.com/2017/07/29/cinetics-lynx-motion-control-system-review/

 

Review of the Impact Compact Fluorescent Kit 2 on Photofocus - https://photofocus.com/2017/07/10/gear-review-impact-compact-fluorescent-kit-2/

Behind The Scenes of a Police K-9 Unit Photoshoot

It's finally live!  A few weeks back, we were asked to help with a Charitable project in conjunction with the Friends of Henderson Police Department.  They needed photographs of their Entire K-9 team for an article in Las Vegas Pet Scene Magazine, so we assembled our team and rolled out to the Henderson Police Department to setup.  

Pooling the gear and talent from our core team in Las Vegas, (Enrique Malfavon, Yevgeniy Zakharkin, Miguel Cortes, and myself), we got to the station early to scan the location for several options to shoot with.  What they wanted for the print & online versions would dictate where we setup shop. Since they only needed portraits and some shots of the state of the art K9 Vehicles, we setup the main portrait stage in their training room, and used the south parking lot to stage the vehicles. Using my Silverlake Ash-Gold 10x20 Muslin as the main portrait station, we setup the Profoto Lights and Modifiers and waited for our subjects to arrive.

Now....to say these dogs were bursting with energy, would have been an INSANE understatement! Check out the BTS video below to see some of the wrangling done by us and the awesome Handlers to see just how much effort it took to get them to stay still for their close up. We effectively had a handler and one of our team holding their "reward" toys directly under the lens and REPEATEDLY whistled/called/clicked to get them to focus. Given how excited how these pups were to all be in the same room, we knew it was going to be impossible to get the whole lot together for one big shot, so, compositing was going to have to happen. 

Knowing that, and since the handlers sometimes had 2 dogs, we posed them each in identical positions with the dogs places in front of them, center mass, and then to their left and started working down the list, finishing with Daisy, (The cover shot).

While Enrique and I worked on this, (and the subsequent station tear down), Yev and Miguel went out to help the officers who finished first position the cars to get the best of the gorgeous natural light for the SUV unit photos. Divide and conquer; We had limited time, and too many images to finish before the officers had to get back to active duty. When you know the strengths of your team, you can trust in them completely to get the images you need for the finished project! 

From start to finish, it only took a few hours to complete and be on our way home, and that was entirely due to having an awesome and cohesive team, with a game plan setup days in advance! The only thing left to do was retouch the photos, and create the composite for the magazine spread! Using a combination of Capture One Pro 10 and Adobe Photoshop CC, Enrique was able to splice the images together in no time at all. Especially since we had Decided on and nailed our lighting before the officers even arrived so every shot was precise and consistent. Once the retouch/edit was done on the first image, it was simply a matter of pasting to the rest of the shots and then cloning them into the pano!

Check out the rest of the BTS images and video below and let me know what you think! Do you guys want to see a follow up video/tutorial on the retouching and composite? 

Friends of the Henderson Police Department Foundation is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that is committed to supporting the mission of the Henderson Police Department through organized volunteering and fundraising efforts in the areas of: Training, Equipment Acquisition, Fallen or injured officers and their families, and Community Relations Programs.

For more information about the Friends of Henderson Police Department, please check out the website here; http://friendsofhpdfoundation.org/

Their store has detailed information on our programs and current fundraising campaigns: http://friendsofhpdfoundation.org/shop-and-donate/store

This page on their website details the article and the fundraising campaigns they've setup in relation to it: http://friendsofhpdfoundation.org/information/k9-program