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There is a reason why Home Depot here in the US gets referred to as “Dom Depot.”
I’m spoiled, at my location. I’ve got two or three hardware stores within a couple of miles of my home. Extend that a few more miles, and there are two or three more. And they’re also good for certain kinds of DIY photography-studio gear.
“Custom photoshoot” OK, somehow I missed that part. It does put a completely different complexion on things: I can’t bring myself to blame anyone when a custom photoshoot is done the way the customer wants.
Any “entry level” DSLR is going to be a good camera these days. My advice is to visit camera shops, hold the various models, and pick the one that feels good in your hands. Also be sure to budget for accessories. In particular, get a cheap & cheerful 35mm or 50mm prime lens as a second lens, rather than the telephoto zoom they try to sell you as part of a two-lens kit.
Beyond that, what lenses, lighting gear, and other stuff you want to get depends on precisely just what kind of photos & video you want to make.
My own starting kit was Nikon D90 with 18-105mm kit lens, 35mm f/1.8 DX prime lens, SB600 speedlight (which I quickly realized was a mistake and traded in for an SB700), extra battery, extra memory cards, camera bag, and a few minor bits & pieces. I also quickly picked up some studio strobes. I knew I wanted to do whole-body stills (no video) indoors with off-camera flash or in not-so-bright ambient light.
I do much the same thing: Stand on a chair, or stool, or on the hotel-room bed. But I suspect that there are differences in the details. Shooting with a 24-xx zoom lens on a crop sensor D90 makes it easy to avoid going below 35mm 🙂
Hywel, do you mostly switch to one of the Canon bodies when shooting downward angles? Or have you picked up a wider lens for the Hasselblad?
Pling does have nice hair 🙂
Last year I did a shoot with her hair loose; this year with it in that long braid. I like both and I’m glad to have photos of both now.
My suggested modification to Never118’s idea:
One model stars as a kidnapper who has been given a photograph of her target with a key to her house. She lets herself in and finds the girl in the photograph. The target is a foreign princess, ready to go to a formal reception in her satin ballgown. The kidnapper grabs her, straps her to a stretcher with duct tape for transport (with the victim losing her shoes in the process), and gags her (the scarf cleave gag can be kept, here). A second girl turns up, also wearing a satin ballgown, and she can’t be allowed to leave. (She might be bodyguard, sister, lady-in-waiting, whatever.) So she’s also taped down on a stretcher and gagged. The kidnapper then calls for transport, and a male character shows up (Hywel, or some other male member of the RE crew, to cut the “all girl, all the time” aspect of these shoots that just bug me.) Together, the kidnapper-model and the guy carry off the two stretcher-bound models, one at a time.
The motive might be “kidnap for ransom” or “kidnap for Honest Omar’s slave market.”
If having two models bound is too elaborate and too much trouble, the second victim can be left out: Just have the foreign princess tape-strapped to the stretcher, gagged, and rendered barefoot, and then have the guy-kidnapper show up to help the model-kidnapper carry the stretcher out.
The guy-kidnapper’s clothing should match the model-kidnapper’s. They might both be in ambulance-attendants uniforms, or they might both be in evening dress.
I don’t think tumblr is a good site to park photos; I tried a while back, uploading photos there and then attempting to display them here. Tumblr has a fancy, “kewl” web interface that (deliberately?) makes linking photos difficult, especially if they’re rated as “mature content.” In any case I was never able to get my photos on tumblr to display here, so I’ve resorted to linking to them from sablesword.comNovember 13, 2015 at 02:50 in reply to: New round of tutorials – what would you like to see? #26504
I use a zoom lens, and I shuffle around, but I suspect that if I shot in a regular studio with lots of room (or outdoors with lots of room) I’d do the opposite: I’d tend to move away, zooming in to compensate, until I was standing well back and bumping up against my zoom’s maximum focal length.
When I do get close, it’s to take shots from above. I’ll stand on a chair or something, and take photos of the model sitting or lying on the floor. The distance will be 8-9 feet, because I’m not shooting straight down, and the perspective distortion will be “could be better, could be worse.”November 12, 2015 at 14:52 in reply to: New round of tutorials – what would you like to see? #26497
1. Post-processing work flow: What you typically do to get a RE set ready to post.
2. F-stops/apertures: How you choose them and why. (My “technique” currently is “stick to f/8” on a crop-sensor body.) Or perhaps it can be “subject isolation – how to do it, when to use it, and when not to use it.”
3. Lighting: Multiple lights, lighting ratios, and how to deal with spaces that are a pig to light.
Much of Ariel’s advice is stuff I’ve already figured out independently and/or blundered through in a non-standard way. I got my start at Fetishcon, contacting models who had advertised an interest in doing photoshoots, and then shooting in my hotel room. What broke the ice for me for doing shoots in my living room was a couple of traveling models who contacted me.
The first shoot in my living room was after I had a decent photo portfolio posted on the Internet. Before I had a photo portfolio, I think what helped is that I had a portfolio of drawings on-line where I had used other people’s photos as artistic reference. The drawings were evidence that I was interested in creating images, rather than wanting to book a shoot merely for the chance to tie the model up.
I’ve never booked a ‘proper’ studio, and I’d feel newbie-uncertainty about doing so. It also strikes me as a counsel of luxury. Ariel describes them as “inexpensive” but that was not my impression when I looked into the possibility. On the other hand, studio rental includes lighting, which would make it a better deal if you don’t have your own lights already. And on the gripping hand, I suppose “shoot in my hotel room at Fetishcon” counts as a non-standard form of booking a studio.
- This reply was modified 2 years, 1 month ago by Sablesword.
Money! Money money money. That’s all my new roommates ever talk about. I’m tired of it. I think I’ll put a call in to Honest Omar, and then, as the saying goes, ‘money will have them.’
But how to set the trap? Hmm, this issue of Forbes actually looks interesting. I’ll try using it. All I have to do is leave it lying on the staircase as casual bait. Then I’ll go fetch the ropes and gags, and place a quick phone call.
Looks like we’re getting some nice sets in November.
Spreader-bars are a point where we differ, then. I think they’re fine, as part of a mix. I wouldn’t want to see them all the time, but I do like seeing them fairly often. I do find a close-tied package attractive (especially if it also includes toe-ties, and as long as it doesn’t look too stressful). But I also find spreader bars attractive – where you see clunkiness, I see a cute-awkward helplessness.
There was an old thread in the old forum on “Bondage turn-offs” (spelunking) Yep.
I agree with you about torture (not liking it). However that’s one of the very few points where Hywel’s tastes differ from mine.
I also very much prefer bare feet. (“If the model isn’t barefoot, she isn’t in bondage, she’s just… tied up.”) In my case, however, it’s not because I dislike the distortion, but because I want the feet to be naked.
Please read the folder descriptions.
“Showcase your work” is for posting your own photos, fully-written stories, and artwork. Critiques and commentary go in the “General chat” folder. Story ideas (as opposed to fully fleshed out stories) go into the “Suggestion box” folder if they’re ideas you want Hywel and the Restrained Elegance crew to run with, and otherwise go in the “General Chat” folder. More generally, when in doubt, put it in the “General chat” folder.
Just a note: Comments like these are better posted in “General Chat” rather than here.
Although I hadn’t thought of Pling’s costuming here as “Indian maiden” – and it’s generic enough that “Indian” here might be taken as either American Indian or Asian Indian.
The actual costume, as with most of my sets, is a sarong. They’re colorful, versatile, exotic-looking, and cheap enough that I can provide a box of 20 or so to choose from.
It’s harder to make nonconsensual scenarios fun and lighthearted, but it’s not impossible.
I’ll second the idea of “having fun in bondage” sets. I can’t think of any specific suggestions at the moment, but I like the general idea.
Lots to look forward to!
I… see 😀
I keep thinking I ought to try the shallow depth-of-field thing, except that not only do I have a small space, but I have a small sensor, too (Nikon crop-sensor). Another thing I keep thinking I ought to try is a stripbox or striplight in the back corner. Then I think of how it’s likely to be an expensive and unlikely-to-succeed experiment.
The home studio has a home-made pvc-pipe background stand. If I decide to try the speedlight-above-the-model technique, I could get a clamp to hold the speedlight on the top of the background stand, rather than trying to boom it from the side.
If by backlight you mean a rim or side light on the model, well, I was trying, but that’s where “pig to light” came in. I had a gridded light in the back corner, camera right. You can see the light from it in the hair and shoulder of Tori in photo 1, and on the upper arm of Bharati in photo 3. I did arrange to keep that light off the background, but I just did not have enough room to allow much space between the background and the model.
Or did you mean deliberately lighting the background to create a sort of aura behind the model?
As for these being more consistent than my earlier efforts, well, thanks! I think part of that is the flash meter I got off of ebay, and part is that I am actually slowly learning.
Thanks for commenting! And if I won’t be seeing you at Fetishcon this year, then maybe some other time.
The regular pics in that set are 960 x 1280. The big pic is 4872×6496, which is ~25 times as many pixels. So the filesize will be ~25 times a large given the same degree of compression.
If you’re asking why the big pics are 4872 x 6496, I belive that’s the full resolution of RE’s big Hasselblad camera.
It’s a legacy of how photo resolutions have increased over the years. At first, all the photos in new sets were of “regular” size. Later, the new sets had all the photos in the set at “regular” size, with a few of them in both “regular” and “large” size. Still later, new sets were offered in two sizes, “regular” and “large,” as with the current updates. Which type an archive set is depends on what era the set is from.
I know it’s your view. But it’s not my view. That’s OK; we disagree.
It’s just that it’s one of my pet peeves when someone “agrees” with me about something I don’t agree with.
@doug340: Actually we don’t agree about the need for full nudity. “Bound and Displayed” is a set where I liked the nudity in spite of my general preference for RE to have fewer full-nude sets and more sets with skimpy and partial clothing, instead.
FWIW, I’ve got three “hammerlock” sets downloaded from RE: One is “misseychinesehammerlock1” (Missey in a chinese dress), one is “videoarielhammerlock1” (Ariel on a bed), and the third is “ariellexiconhammerlock1” (the most recent of the three; Ariel against the white cyc background).
And on further checking, you did put a couple of the lexicon hammerlock photos up in the set “lexicon3”
I’ll note that I like the hammerlock tie: It may be just as strict & stressful as the reverse-prayer, but it doesn’t bother me nearly as much. So let me put in my nudge for RE making more use of them.
I agree that hands-cuffed-behind is great for making the model look helpless and vulnerable – normally. But if the point is to show the model actually doing things despite her restraints, then hands-cuffed-behind, well, backfires.
Showing the model being able to do stuff (in a cutely limited way) despite her hands being cuffed behind her takes away from the idea that hands-cuffed-behind is such a great way to make the model helpless, in addition to the other factors that annoy me.
Maybe if those other factors didn’t bother me, I’d see the limitations imposed by hands-behind here as cute and sexy, rather than jarring. Maybe if things were slightly different it wouldn’t bother me so. If the models wore miniskirts rather than being 100% bare-ass nude. Or if the models were manipulating keys, or wrenches, or other tools rather than food and food-prep and party things.
But as a matter of personal taste, there’s a negative synergy going here that does cause it to bother me.
Pling says her hair is very popular. I can understand why. 🙂
I am slowly learning about lighting. The light meter really did help, in this case.
The tech details are: Main light camera right – 64 inch white PLM at midlevel and pointed slightly down. Fill light camera left, gridded reflector bounced off the white ceiling (grid for cutting down the power and trying to control spill). Rim light in the back right corner, low and aimed slightly up, also gridded.
Exactly *where* the fill light was aimed at the ceiling turned out to be important. I had it too far forward for the first two or three sets, but at the right position for Pling’s set and the ones following.
You can see the catchlight from the PLM in Pling’s eyes. I really like that modifier. It looks like just a big umbrella, but it really does have that parabolic secret sauce going for it. And it is big. And here in the US, Paul Buff’s stuff is cheap.
Oh, and I rented a fancy lens for the shoot: Nikon 24-120mm f/4. It’s a big, full-frame lens, that’s 36-180mm equivalent on my DX camera. But I don’t have to worry about vignetting, and my temptation to buy my own copy survived my experience with the rental. (I also had my 35mm and 50mm primes, but I didn’t use them. I needed the zoom flexibility due to the cramped space.)