It was NOT my intention to get involved with this shoot at all.
I had already done a MUA / Zombie shoot, where I took over 1000 images, and was keen to let others "get stuck in" as it were.
I initially limited myself to setting up a studio in the TV studio, and as suggested by one of their tutors, I set up a Green Screen backdrop.
My intention was then to let Charlie shoot (My partner for the day) to utilize my experience and my camera (as she was not too experienced with DSLRs). I was quite happy to hold lights, etc.
Here's my thoughts on the project...
The basics of Green screen dictate a flat, even light so that the green can be replaced later. I feel we got that, and most of the shots seemed ok, although I'm not sure how many others used it as such.
The models were amateurs. Not in a bad way, but one has to define the experience of the models, and that is the only term I can use. It is NOT a derogatory term. They tended to be (Or at least the models we worked with) friends of the MUAs. I'll write a separate blog entry on the way I work with other styles of models later...
"Our" two models were inexperienced, I don't know how Charlie felt, but I can only talk about my perspective. That, however, did not mean they were difficult to work with, but simply needed a little bit more coaching than an experienced model would need.
From the studio, we moved out into the college itself, and self selected areas to shoot in.
I directed many of the poses and talked with the models and tried to give them a "story" to follow. It's a common tactic I use, as I find it easier to work with someone rather than simply say "Chin up, turn left," etc.
I decided that one model was a cyborg from another world, making contact with our inferior race for the first time, and we talked this through with the model at each stage, and gave her a chance to input, but she wasn't very forthcoming, but we got there.
The Shots themselves.
I tried to shoot from a low angle, to accentuate her (cyborg) superiority. I think her inexperience helped with this, because she kept a very similar facial expression during most of the shots - which is exactly what a cyborg would do (I assume).
Equipment was kept light. We used LED lights instead of speedlights, which allowed us to see the effect before taking the shot.
Taking all due precautions, we had her stand on a table in one of the craft rooms, and shot with a wide aperture to through some paper decorations out of focus. My concept for these shots was of an "Alien Abduction..." The viewer wakes up. There's a strange cybor sort of person looking down on them, behind them some unfamiliar "equipment" on the ceiling...
We then went to the plaster room, where I remembered they had some torsos, and took some shots there. The concept that inspired me was the scene in "I, Robot" where the day's production of NS5's are in formation, and Sonny hides among them...
These ended up as some of my favourite shots.
In keeping with the "Sci-Fi" theme, I quite heavily processed the images later, including working with some of Charlie's Green Screen Images (See Below.)
What did I learn?
From a photographic perspective, It was interesting to utilize the rather "earthbound" elements of the Uni and try to make them Sci Fi.
From the "assistant" point of view, I found it was good experience to help, and just stand back. I'm quite used to doing my own lighting and setups, so it was not a major adjustment to make.
Well. Here goes. Nothing ventured, nothing gained.