Runners : S01

I rejoined art walk in my neighborhood with a small piece of work from recent photo shoots with Glynis.

Both of us really have loved telling stories with Bladerunner themes.

This will become part of a zine show (coming soon).

Two.

This has been a slow ongoing personal project for me. I've slowly been finding interesting interactions between two people on the street. 

I've been taking these pictures on my phone and doing fairly similar color grading to keep the look super familiar. 

Here is the most recent. I've strung them together with the hashtage of #justtwo ... which in hindsight ... probably could have been rethought. This will eventually become a small gallery.

Two #justtwo

A photo posted by Matthew Bodaly (@matthewbodaly) on

2016....2017

Been hanging a bunch with these guys exploring the peninsula. We went to Palo Alto the other day ... and got hot chocolate.

Blurs

I've been occasionally taking very purposefully out of focus photos because the macOS login screen applies a blur filter making the background even blurrier. 

Here's a few of the recent ones. Enjoy. Feel free to download and use on your computer.

Sunset blur.

Bokeh. Double exposure. Star filter. In Portland.

Train blur.

Sunset blur

Double exposure. Long exposure. 

More Faces of Friends

I still have a show up at Broadcast Coffee until the end of the month. Check the installation out. I've gotten a lot of feedback from people recognizing others and loving the look. I also met a guy that was going to take this idea and use it at a coworking space in Argentina that he works in. 

I'm going to upload the full set after the show comes down, but it's really best to look at all in one space.

Amanda

I made a new friend and we made some portraits. I was travelling and only had a single flash and a ring light. We had a super small space but figured out how to get several looks. The first two were just on a white wall. Is that a Wang piece? Yes. Yes it is.The black and white portrait is using the window covers which were basically wood curtains. Instead of covering the window, we opened them and used it as a background. The blue picture was made with the flash in front of Amanda and the ring light behind Amanda. Oh hey, check out that vintage shirt. Each light was set to a different power setting. That's what created the double shadow look. The last picture is just with the ring light and the aperture stopped down. 

Faces of Friends

I have a new show up at Broadcast Coffee (1623 Bellevue in Seattle). It's called "Faces of Friends".

These are my friends. I think they are pretty, don’t you?
— a friend

These are some of the many friends I’ve met and taken pictures of over the last four years. Some of these pictures were taken as a quick snapshot and some of these were taken as part of a photoshoot for fashion lines or a portrait session. I cropped these images very similarly and used a very similar color scheme to bring all of these images together. I’ve loved taking pictures of people because, no matter what, everyone has an interesting story. I hope you can spot at least one person you recognize.

FAQ

Are these pictures for sale? No, but you can contact me to collude / collaborate / hire. I love new ideas.

Why isn’t everyone smiling? You know that scene in Zoolander where Mugatu accuses Derek of ONE LOOK? Same thing here. People have … many faces. Smiling is one of them.

I spotted a pigeon and a dog? Yes.

I'll be posting more details as I figure out art walk details. 

Glynis. Back to Bladerunner.

I teamed up with Glynis and we made a few pictures with a Bladerunner theme. We took these in the middle of the day with the sun coming in the window on the right. I added a couple lights with gels and stopped the aperture down to give it a darker feel for the second two pictures. I added gels to make it look like there were neons on the other side of the window. 

 Jacket

Jacket

Show Your Work

Impossible Project has been really upping their game of late. Their Yellow and Black Duochrome is probably my new favorite film. The next round is supposed to be green and black. I love the high contrast.

Chastity Svelte and I collaborated on a shoot where we used both packs of film in entirety and show the work. Many shoots show maybe one... or two shots that are great but here's everything. We wanted to show the good with the clunkers. Each pack of film has 8 prints in it.

Here's the full set:

You can start to see the progression here. 

From pack 1, there's a couple test shots to see what we were working with. Each one we had a different lighting idea... but they looked the same on the film. The ones labeled "the shot" were the ones that we thought were the best. Then into pack 2 I had a lighting idea to change things up, that kinda failed. The last two shots of pack 2 were the best. 

For the wardrobe, Chastity picked a bunch of really high contrast looks to highlight the black and yellow in the film. I ended up pairing the camera with my ring light instead of the onboard flash.

We had this as part of a local artwalk ... and took the entire wall.

 

Looking back, I could have done the show with a couple of the good ones, but I wanted to show what a full photoshoot looked like instead of just one Instagram photo. There's definitely a self-doubting side of me that only likes showing my best... but this wasn't the point of this show.

Here's to showing your work and trying new film straight out of the box.

Headshots

Recently I did headshots for the company I currently work for. You can see the full page here.
In many cases, I've just been the photographer providing images based on an existing style or requirements. For this shoot, which is a going to part of a full site redesign, I was able to do both the styling and shooting. Here's more of the story and background.

Testing

I knew that wrangling the schedules of multiple remote employees would likely be a huge challenge in itself so I grabbed our coordinator and tested some of the ideas in my head so there would be less testing in production.


We went to the coffee shop near the office and grabbed a few shots around the office. We also took a few b-roll style pictures that could be used on the site as our own stock art. Once that was done, we scheduled everyone for an office day and we still missed a couple people.

Location

74bit doesn't have a physical office for everyone. While we have a space that we use for occasional office days and meetings, most work is done onsite at clients and virtually.  Having the photo shoot offsite made sense both because it was consistent with our style and because the conference space we had booked, was being used for something else. 

On the shoot day, we did most of the shooting at Slate Coffee near our office.

Styling

I knew this was going to be a production style shoot were I'd only have a few minutes with each team member so I had a few different poses for each to work through that I knew would work.

Pose 1 and 2 were at slight angles to the camera. Pose 3 was a squared off look at the camera. I picked these angles to break up the bio page on the website.  Big idea here was to make the pictures all have a similar look and feel without being the exact same picture. Additionally, I took a few additional pictures around the coffee shop and of the team working to make our own "stock art."

Post Processing

The quick version of this is ... not a lot.

I shot the entire set in color and converted to black and white in post. Here's what the process looked like. I started with some "film look" presets and did a bit of color grading from that, but not very much.

Gear

These photos were taken on a Fuji XE1 with the 18-55mm lens. The blurry shots that you see were taken with a vintage Pentax 50mm lens. Portraits were lit with an LED ring light inside of a small softbox. I also used a couple vintage cross hair and soft focus filters on the 50mm lens. 

 

Should I get a ring light?

I was hanging out with a friend who is in charge of social media for a local shoe store. In addition to figuring out inventory, stock, she takes the pictures for this store's Instagram and Facebook pages. Most of these are taken on a mobile device. So I got asked "do I need a ring light".

 

I don't do product photography that much so I figured this would be a good chance to practice. 

 

I started with this link for building a small set in my living room. One reason I don't do a lot of product photography in my  house... is... small children and shiny things. 

So here's the setup:

 

 ISO 3200 f6.4 1/30 18mm

ISO 3200 f6.4 1/30 18mm

Crate with a box on it. I used a sheet of parchment paper on top of the diapers box. I also setup foil a couple feet from the lens. For these pictures, no adjustments and only cropping on the last few to show the final look. This is with natural light.

 ISO 3200 f5 1/30 55mm

ISO 3200 f5 1/30 55mm

No flash. Zoomed in. Naturally cropped. This ... isn't terrible. It gets the background out of focus, has the lens in focus, has the parchment paper blurred out. I could likely boost exposure / levels a bit and make it look decent. I could also add a flash.

 ISO 3200 f5.6 1/30 55mm flash 1/128 power

ISO 3200 f5.6 1/30 55mm flash 1/128 power

This has the flash behind the lens pointed at the foil. In all of these, the flash was at its lowest power. I could have set the flash somewhere else, but I could also just add another flash.

 ISO 800 f6.4 1/125 46.3mm flash 1/128 power

ISO 800 f6.4 1/125 46.3mm flash 1/128 power

Both flashes are zoomed to 105mm. In this one, the flash is on the the foil and one to the right a few feet away. Changes I would have made to this would be to put a reflector on the left side and maybe mounting the flash on the right a little higher to wash out the parchment paper a bit more.

 ISO 800 f5 1/125 46.3mm ring: max power

ISO 800 f5 1/125 46.3mm ring: max power

Here, I put the ring over the lens and to the right. I really like this look because the foreground is bright and there is a quick falloff to the background. You can spot the LEDs thought, so there's that. Also note that the background still has a good amount of bokeh.

 ISO 800 f5 1/125 55mm flash 1/128 power ring in front of lens

ISO 800 f5 1/125 55mm flash 1/128 power ring in front of lens

Here, I used a combo of both the ring and flash. The flash made the background pop a bit more and I put the ring light in front of the lens (you can spot the shadow)..

 ISO 800 f8 1/125 55mm flash 1/128 power

ISO 800 f8 1/125 55mm flash 1/128 power

Here's the final of the lens. I used both the ring and the flash. I could have put a reflector in or fired the second flash (on the right). I then figured I'd take some pictures of a shoe to see what some of the differences would be in the type of product. 

For the shoe shots, they are all ISO 800 f9 1/125 flash 1/128 power and the ring light is generaly overhead. I changed crop a little bit and zoom as well. You can see my arm in one to get an idea of how far away I was putting the ring light.


Yes, I totally realized I could have done more either on editing... like making that foil a bit bigger, but that isn't really the point... getting to see the difference with the camera mostly set the same is.

Here's a version of the last one, edited:

So... back to the question 

Should I get a ring light?

If you are shooting with just your phone, absolutely. If not a ring light, an LED panel will make all the difference. If you are shooting with a dedicated camera, results will vary depending on what you are shooting. I generally take pictures of people and it has worked out very well for me. Here's an example of using the ring light on a person. 

Delivering the product

Earlier this year, I was the photographer for Like a Rockstar at Seattle Fashion Week. I posted a few things on Instagram and Twitter, but not much else.

Yesterday I delivered the book to the designer from the show.