© COPYRIGHT 2008-2018 ROB CORPUZ, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.
BATH, INTERRUPTED - Moscow, Russia
To see how I made this photo, please check out Part I of a two-part "behind-the-scenes" article describing, step-by-step, how this shot was created, all the way from conception to post-production, or just check out my blog.
FAKE BLOOD - Moscow, Russia
Although I'd bought some fake blood a couple of weeks before this shoot, it had somehow vanished when the time came, so I had to resort to a couple of blots of ketchup on Olga's face and Liza's neck, and strawberry soda for the broken glass (which was far too light and had to be darkened later).
For some strange reason the girls didn't want to have copious amounts of ketchup smeared all over their dresses:) so I had to resort to painting pretty much all of the blood you see in with photoshop (including the top half of the glass).
To simulate moonlight, I used strobes placed in the window just outside the frame with a couple of blue gel filters. Bounced another blue-gelled monobloc off the camera-left wall and had one monobloc gelled slightly warm in a softbox pointed at the girls (although I decided, in the end to cool down the skin tones in photoshop), as well as a ring flash on-axis.
It took a lot of takes and food bribery to get my cat anywhere near the general vicinity of the frame. Ideally I would've wanted her perched on top of the sofa at another rule-of-thirds point, but for all of the shots she was there, either the lighting, exposure or expressions of the girls wasn't quite what I wanted.
I did some dodging and burning in post along with a couple of contrast masks, but on the whole this final version isn't dramatically different from the original (well, aside from all the fake blood... and darkening a few white patches of my cat's fur... and changing the cat's eyes from greenish-yellow to orange-red... okay, I guess some things are different:)
I'd also like to mention that I took this photo back in mid-May 2010, before I'd heard about that True Blood show, or seen any of the promotional photos for it, so any similarities are purely coincidental.
(Update: I was recently adjusting my combination sofa/bed and suddenly found my hands covered in "blood." Turns out the fake blood had somehow rolled under the bed and didn't appear until I had shifted things around and squashed it, unleashing a huge puddle of dark red liquid which would have been far more convincing than the ketchup.)
BREAK-UP TO MAKE-UP
After knocking over a glass table and breaking it, I decided it might be useful for a photo someday, so I kept most of the big pieces (but stupidly, only two of the three legs). I thought of a rough concept pretty soon after that, but as I tend to do every now and then, chose to put it aside just for a short, little while...
So... after about six months of having heavy, jagged shards of broken glass sitting around my apartment (and a couple of incidents requiring bandages), I finally did something with them. In the time that had past I'd also broken three drinking glasses and, naturally, saved them as well (Yes, actually I AM a klutz). So here is the result:
It took a while to arrange a time with Stacia (the model), and twice we had it scheduled but plans fell through (once because of a friend's pregnancy). When the schedule was finally worked out, I had to move several pieces of furniture out into my hallway to get the setting I wanted, as the room is small (a LOT smaller than in looks). Unfortunately the hallway isn't exactly giant, and the furniture basically barricaded the front door, trapping Stacia inside my apartment with me, surrounded by sharp slabs of glass and a hammer. Of course, she had brought her own gun to our previous photoshoot, so I suspect she wasn't too worried:)
The lighting set-up included one monobloc in a softbox high and about 45 degrees camera-right, pointing down at her face. I had another monobloc in a softbox right next to me camera-left a bit lower, bouncing light off the wall (both for fill light on Stacia and to try and get some depth in the objects on the floor). I put two speedlites in the window (one clamped to the handle) with CTO gels, using the curtain as a partial diffuser, to get the shadow pattern on the wall and ceiling. I also had on-axis fill coming from a speedlight stuck in an Orbis ring flash. The flashes were all triggered with Radiopoppers.
I did a lot of post-work to get the look of this shot the way I wanted (surreal), which, on its own, is already quite an involved, time-consuming process, involving two or more RAW file conversions, and lots of contrast masking with filters. There's no automatic action for this, as far as I know.
You've got to get the lighting right first, of course. No amount of editing can make good light when it wasn't already in the original photo; and anyone who thinks it's easy to just photoshop something any way you want and have it look good, please pass on your secrets to me:)
Since I had only kept two of the (table) legs, I used a tripod and moved them around in a couple of different frames and merge them together later to make it look like there were four. Unfortunately, I didn't realize during the shoot (but should've suspected) that I was repeatedly nudging the lens with the ring flash, which slightly shifted each frame. Not really enough to see it on the camera's LCD, but definitely enough to make merging the separate layers a gigantic pain in the... well, you know. Particularly since the six-year-old computer I was using at the time was so terminally ill that it sometimes took 10-15 minutes JUST TO SAVE A FILE. Grrrrr...
At least I can finally throw out those glass shards. Well, wait... hold on. Hmmm... maybe there's another photo concept that I can use them for... I think I'll just hold off throwing them out for a short little while...
P.S. I realize that technically there should be little pieces of glass all over the floor as well, but even I have my limits. Particularly since I'm already running low on glasses...
P.S.S. This photo looks best at larger sizes!