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Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Halloween: The big production

This Halloween themed shoot was probably one of my biggest productions to date. Between the planning, story boards, people and scheduling it was an all encompassing shoot. Not only that, the final image was composited, almost every component of it was shot separately and combined in the final image.

This was shot with the intent of having text on the right hand side, so a relatively clear background was required. Here is an example of how it may have been used.

We started this concept with a meeting and a white board. Jotting down the ideas really helped as we worked our way through the shoot. This is essential to having all participants on board and moving in the same direction. With a bigger shoot like this, it saves a lot of time.

Having an idea of the directionality of the light helped with the talent and the assistants with placement and posing. 

The first major component we shot was the ghost behind the headstone. Even this component ended up being a combined image to get the lit lantern. Here is the main character component that was used. Note that almost all of the components were flipped from their original orientation.

 We went through several poses that embodied the concept so we would have plenty to choose from to fit the context of the scene. Small differences can make or break a large composite. This one is with the back light only.

Here is what the setup looks like for this shot. The huge 7 foot parabolic gives the soft, linear look to the light as if it was moon light. 

And a reverse angle of the setup.

This was one of the other final images considered, but ended up being the contribution for the lantern illumination.

The second major component to this shoot was for the witch by the tree. Here is the original photo. You can see part of the lighting stand that was edited out later and combined with another angle to give more body to the dress. 

The other image that was used to extend her dress.

Our setup for this shot was during the day. Later this will be edited to appear like night time. As thanks for the talent help, we also did some other scenes (our talent had costumes for the show Once Upon a Time). 

The individual pieces need to be cut out in order to be combined together. Here is what it looks like when the unused portions are removed. Some touch up was done after this stage, as you can see the bricks still. The quick select tool in Photoshop often does a good, but not great job on it's first attempt.

It takes several layers and adjustments to get everything to blend. I also applied several lighting effects to reinforce the directionality of the moon light. 

Throughout the shooting time, I grabbed some smaller components that would be used in the final image such as the moon and the headstone.


The clouds and sky were taken from some of my stock imagery.

In the end a very involved, but smooth and well produced shoot!

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