Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Vancouver Zombie Walk

A highlight of the summer is the annual Vancouver Zombie Walk, which has grown from evening event to an entire week of parties. As part of the Urban Pie coverage, we did a photo shoot with professional burlesque dancer Tristan Risk.

For the main shot, I wanted something that was going to look really dark and moody. Since it's been bright, hot, and sunny in Vancouver for the last couple of months, this posed a real problem. I've seen some cool shots where the camera white balance was set to tungsten, which gives the image a dark blue cast, and the flash had been gelled with a double CTO (colour temperature orange) to bring the subject up to a normal colour tone. Unfortunately, the only CTO I had was a 1/4 CTO, and it was only big enough to go over the front of my Nikon speedlight, hardly big enough to go over the 22" dish reflector I used for this photo. My plan was to stop at Beau Photo and pick up a few sheets of gel on my way to the shoot, but I got hung up in Lions Gate traffic, and didn't make it before they closed. I had a few scraps of warm gel that I was able to stick on the light, so the effect was a lot less than I would have liked, but I think it worked out pretty well.

We shot in front of Tristan's Vancouver apartment, and ended leaving a nasty looking pool of prop blood. I'm sure she's going to get a letter from the strata.

This was shot int he hallway of the character building Tristan lives in. I thought it had a great old building look that went well with the zombie theme. I lit it with a Nikon SB-900 flash in a small 22x16" softbox, and held by Urban Pie editor Alan Forsythe. It came out looking kind of flat and overly bright (lower photo), so I burned down the edges, and then ran a high pass filter over the file to pump up the contrast.

The building had a really post industrial looking meter room that we decided to use as a location. I noticed a huge switch in the back of the room, which I thought might work really well for the zombie theme.

Tech Stuff:
Camera: Nikon D700
Lens: Nikon AF-S 28-70mm f/2.8
Lighting: Alien Bee B1600 w/ 22" beauty dish (top two), Nikon SB-900 with 22x16" Photoflex Whitedome softbox, controlled with a Nikon SU-800 (lower three shots).

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