Kicking like it's 1966 - The story behind the image

2/24/2018 ISO 1200 Magazine 0 Comments

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You have probably seen my photo all over the steemit photography and art community in this last week, so I think it's time for me to explain how it was made. But first I want to thank @photofeed and to all the of you who featured and resteemed my work.

Background story

I was hanging out with a friend in a local coffee shop when he showed me this awesome album art he saw online. And asked me how was it done and if its possible to do it in real life or its just photoshop. It had this magical vibe with a mysterious orange light striking through a guys head.

I studied the image for a while and my concussion was that is 100% created in post, but at the same time, I took it as a challenge to recreate that setup in real life, just because I am passionate about studio work. And I invited my friend over to try and recreate that picture in my DIY studio.

I must say at that point in time I was totally obsessed by Portugal. The Man - Feel It Still a track that I would suggest you listen to, on repeat, while you read the rest of my post since this is the music that inspired the look I went after while creating the photo.


The idea

We started, as most of my projects do, with a sketch. This silly stickman figure.

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Problem solving

But I still had one problem > How do I light this image?!<

I needed some form of a tube of light. The solution was an old neon fixture I had in my basement that I brought in my studio and had to redo the wiring to make it work again. Strapped this to a boom-stand and problem nr 1 was solved.

The second thing is that in my DIY studio I only have a white wall, no fancy blue background. But this one I knew how to deal with. Just add some gels to my speedlights to make the whole room blue. A white wall is the best background you can have in a studio, of course, only if you know how to manipulate light. That white wall can be grey, black or any other color you can dream off.

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Here you can still see the zipties on the neon fixture.


The light setup

We started shooting and experimenting with different angles, moving the lights around every few shots as I normally do on my photoshoots. I quickly realized that the light diffraction in my vintage lenses created hazy looking images and that my subject will only be represented as a silhouette so I added a bounce board on the left side and moved the neon light slightly so it won't hit my lens directly. 31January-3423-Edit.jpg


Camera setting and post-processing

While I work in the studio I always start at 1/250 since that is the maximum sync speed of my flashes, closed down the aperture a bit so I can have my subjects face sharp and then bumped up the ISO to compensate for this.
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Lastly, I imported the image in Lightroom and started out with one of my presets and started adjusting from there on so I would get those 80's glossy paper from a magazine look I wanted and then sent it to Photoshop to fix a few skin blemishes and to add a border. Something was still missing so I looked online for an 80's font and added my signature in the bottom right corner.

Final image

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Hope you enjoyed my story and this post was not too boring. But if you like my stories and photography you should also check out my last post Madness - The white rabbit.

About Vlad Moldovean:


I am a young photographer based in Brasov, Romania. I’ve learned photography, compositing, and retouching mostly from the internet, watching videos, participating in online communities and reading articles. After experimenting for a while with different types of photography I have found the style that I enjoy the most, which is a mixture of fashion photography and digital composition. Although this is what I mostly use throughout my work, my experimentation phase is not over and I always am open to new techniques and styles. Let's Get Connected: www.vmphotoart.tk | Facebook | Instagram


This article and all the images were originally published by Vlad Moldovean  and shared with his permission


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