Monday, January 9, 2017

Sticky Reminder for a Good Idea

I'm writing this out as a sort of personal reminder of an awesome idea that I really don't want to lose sight of in the next couple months.

Every year for the last 3 years I've worked the photo studio and/or video for the Fur the More convention in the DMV. It's always a blast, barring my bias as a lover of the furry fandom in general (as a friend this weekend phrased it, I "orbit" the furry-verse). The last couple years my setup for the photo suite has been super simple, a plain white backdrop with a pair of YN-560s fired into it (to clip it out to full white), and a combo of YN-560s fired either into umbrellas or softboxes to expose the subject. It works out great, and is arguably the "easy" way to do it, but I want to do something special this year because... well, reasons? I dunno, why the hell not?

I tend to run the photo suite like a party room, so the first little thing would be to pick up a nice speaker with built-in party light (I've seen a few). The lights in the suite would be dim to allow the patterns projected by the party light to catch attention (if a litany of chiptunes and speedcore don't achieve that alone). The point of the fun multicolored light show is to set the scene for what the shots from the studio would be like. A black 10' x 20' muslin would be sufficient for the backdrop, all I'd need is a one-stop focus of the subject. I'd keep the lens stopped down hard to f/8 or maybe even f/11, something to ensure the dimness of the backdrop in case the ambient light tries to illuminate it. I'd trigger the shutter on bulb with my phone so as to have control over the exposure time for the next step. Using a Pixel Stick (those nifty programmable light wands that first spiked in popularity a year or two back) run behind the subject and draw some fun color patterns, maybe even do a couple programmable pictures for funzies. Once done with the background light play, the last step would be to trigger a couple YN-560s acting as subject main and key lights, probably a naked flash firing down behind the subject for rim lighting and a softbox to the front and slightly to the side of the subject for contrasty main lighting. The end result should be a solid freeze frame of the subject with some wild light jazz going on in an otherwise black background.

I'm not sure how the concept would fare in actual practice, the party atmosphere of my studio suites historically has typically lead to a machine gun beat of poses and fun frames. But I want to try something more considered and deliberate this year, and definitely something that stands out from the typical marbled muslin backdrops I frequently see deployed for other furry convention photo studios. It's an expensive venture by comparison, and a bit more time consuming, but I think it would work out well. Assuming I'll have access to a printer this year, I'd love to print these frames out and offer them as gifts to those who donate to the charity fund. With such unique art pieces, it should be pretty awesome, and I'm hella excited to try it out!