If you have never tried to recreate an iconic image from the past, then you’re probably missing out on a great way to push yourself out of your photographic comfort zone. The process of pulling apart a shot, working out how it was done and then dealing with the technical aspects of recreating it can often lead to nice little boost to your learning curve.
Here’s how one of our Photographing People Workshop students Tina Fiore tackled her flash phobia, by jumping straight in at the deep end on a paid gig.
We think she did a fabulous job!
FABBA - Tina Fiore
ABBA tribute band FABBA recently asked if I could recreate an iconic ABBA album cover for their promotional material. After reviewing the image, I thought “Oh just like the shoot we did at SPW. Sunset in the background, light on the face and…., Voila we will have it!!”
We even found an exact match for the helicopter used on the album cover at Sydney Helicopters in Paramatta, with the only catch being that we could only shoot between 11.30am – 1.30pm. I thought, “Great… the worst time for creating a dusk look.”.
On the day it was a clear blue sky and strong sun, not a cloud in the sky, so I set off with every piece of equipment I owned, which isn’t really that much. I thought of using an umbrella on each side of the set for 2 exposures with the camera locked off on a tripod, and then blending the two exposures together to get both sides balanced with my one flash. As we arrived, the band got dressed in their jumpsuits and the pilot flew the helicopter from the tarmac to the grass area I had previously selected. As a little sign, the blades stopped in the exact position as the album cover. So far everything was going well!
I set up my tripod and umbrella with flash on one side, getting ready for my first exposure when the pilot asked if he could watch. “Of course!!” I said, immediately deciding to put him to good use, holding the reflector on the second couple.
So we got it all set up. I took a bunch of practice shots with just one person to get the exposure the best I could. Constantly repeating to myself…., “Aperture = Flash Exposure.”. Finally when I got exposure and lighting as good as I could the cast moved into place. We did a series of shots and then swapped the umbrella and the pilot with the reflector and took another series of shots. We then reviewed the shots and changed composition a little and repeated. We did three series of shots and it was looking good. I knew however I had some work in photoshop to get it looking like dusk.
At home I masked in a red sunset that I had on file and went to work. In the end I did not need to use two photos for the people The reflector had done a good job reflecting some sun and some flash.
Here is the final image next to the original we were trying to recreate.
by Tina Fiore
Tina Fiore Photography
Image on FABBA site
FABBA - Tina Fiore