Vixens + Photoshop

I remember this shot from the Vixen photoshoot of May 2010.  I hadn’t held a camera in 2 years, and the circumstances during that night were this:

– 6 non-models who had no experience being in front of the camera
– no make-up artist, all the girls did their own make-up
– 2 assistants who helped me with the lights and directing
– cramped venue with very dim lighting
– improvised lighting gear (i.e. lamps, white cloth and whatever we could find)
– a borrowed Nikon D40 and borrowed lenses
– a second hand, non-professional tripod
– 4 hours to shoot

You could say, times were difficult for me as an amateur photographer, but we managed to pull it off one way or another. Everything improvised. I hadn’t held a camera for 2 years, and studio experience was very few so the night before the shoot, I had to take a crash course in photography lighting from a good friend of mine in the Philippines.

When the originals came out, I knew I had to put my photoshop skills to the test. A lot of post production work had to be done to compensate for the lack of equipment and experience. I had once shot with some professional models before, and in comparison non-models are so much tougher to direct. They’re of course, naturally self conscious (I would be!) especially if they’re not the type who like being in front of the camera, so you would have to be friendlier, more understanding, and guide them on how to conduct a good pose. Time pressure was another thing. During my advertising agency years in the Philippines, photoshoots would last hours on just one model, and days for more models. Also, make-up artists were always around to help with the retouching and if the models got sweaty or uncomfortable. Quickly assessing the balance between what I could do in the photoshoot and what I could do in photoshop was tricky. Ideally, I would have wanted the original photo to be retouched just here and there, not much major changes, but given the circumstances, I had to be practical. Although these photos were heavily retouched, I’m quite happy with the outcome. This is my favorite of the batch.

Original Photo:

Edited In Colour:

Final Sepia Output:

The rest of the photos could be found here.

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