in this edition of dapper, we wanted to do a product shoot but with a difference. instead of going the straightforward route and shooting the bags and shoes against a plain seamless, we wanted to shoot in an environment and in a style that would reveal and enhance their “character”. this would be like the conceptual environmental portrait – albeit of shoes and bags.
for the location we wanted a place with a really gritty and urban flavour. it just so happened that i was on the 179 heaaded to school when i spotted the skate park (with glorious graffiti) just right outside ntu. beats going all the way to the skate park in town where we would in all probability be harassed. besides, shooting near school meant that we would not have to lug gear and the products around.
we started setting up and shooting just before sunset. wanted to see if we could use the dying ambient light but then decided to kill the ambient light as it revealed too much unwanted details in the background (hdb blocks, cars, etc.) so we waited till dark before actually shooting.
the lighting setup was similar for both pictures. a flash against a bounce umbrella to fill the foreground, 3 grip-spotted/snooted falshes to light each of the shoes/bag combo. wanted to retain the hardness of the light give the photos a harsh, edgy look so no diffusers were used.
note that the bmx bike and the ramps in the background were lit with a flashed zoomed out to 105mm and shot on a separate frame, which was then composited with the shot of the foreground to form the above image. i had my camera locked down on a tripod to maintain the same field/angle of view.
likewise, the skater in this shot was lit separately as above. many thanks to him. he was enjoying a sandwich or something when i approached him to ask him to “model”. thankfully, i got him in the right place on the first attempt. otherwise i might be recovering from a skateboard-inflicted head injury now.
other than to form the composites, the photos also had their contrast and colours adjsuted in photoshop to bring out the grittiness and the textures of the graffiti. i also overlaid some additional texture to complete the grunge look.
as usual, many thanks to my dear stylists carina and audrey. couldn’t have done this without you girls. special thanks to ahmad and yudi for assisting and supplying some of the gear. thanks a lot guys.
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