The Making of “Miguel”

Hey Guys!

I know I didn’t blog anything since my last post, too many things were going on in the past couple of weeks which I can’t wait to share with you.

Like every year I was lucky to be at Joe McNally’s workshop this year among many fantastic workshops organized by GPP, the workshop was titled “Fast Flash; Bodies in Flight”, the goal from attending this workshop is to take you to the next level in terms of controlling your flash(s) either to capture sharp exposures or “freeze” your subjects in flight such as dancers and athletes or you can also control flash joined by constant sources of light to create light trails of the subject’s movement.

In this workshop Joe divided us the students into groups and each group was joined by a model or athlete, each member of the group has 20 min to work on an image that would emphasize the subject movement using what Joe taught in the workshop and lucky enough I had the pleasure of working with Rui Miguel as one of the models that day. At first I did not see any image I could make for Miguel so I let my classmates start first working with him so I a) scout the area and b) come up with an idea of an image that would emphasize Miguel’s physical features but from a different and unusual perspective. I arrived to a spot which was on the second first floor and away from the crowd then I remembered I had a small cut of black fabric I bought while ago from IKEA but in another bag in my hotel room which happen to be nearby, so I ran to the hotel and returned with the fabric while my colleagues continued to shoot with Miguel, then it was my turn to shoot and by the time we reached the spot I picked, I had like 10 min to setup my lights and make a picture!

With the help of my classmates I quickly put 3 lights (1 key and 2 hand held kicker lights) but ended up using the key light only, an SB800 with Lumiquest LTp 10×14″ Softbox on a stick positioned just above and front of Miguel and hand held by one of Joe’s assistants, Jon Cospito who originally came to rush us back to the classroom. The left kicker light was natural sunlight. And here are the resulting images:

Initial pictures

I did not get the image I want. I wanted him to look up while jumping under the arch. The actual shooting time was just 4 minutes! I was not happy at all with the results but at the same time did not want to waste the files, so enter the “Photoshop”.

Something you should know about me that I’m not an avid user of Photoshop because I believe in getting everything right as much as possible in camera and because when I use Photoshop I usually end up sitting for hours instead of minutes which is not fun.

Here is a screen recording showing most of the layers of the final image. You will notice that some of the updated layers are missing because when I duplicate the .psd file for backup, I delete the older one to save computer space.

Mind that this is NOT a “How to” Video:

UNT :)

The link to the final image: