We are excited to share the tricks behind this amazing homepage featured photo by ViewBug community member larryneuberger. Learn the story behind this photo and the tricks to capture a similar shot.


1. larryneuberger, where did you take this photo?

This photo was taken in an old, abandoned, poorhouse in Angelica NY. I love photographing historic/abandoned buildings as well as working with models and this was a great chance to do something with both and create something cool.

2. What time of day?

This was actually mid day, probably around 11 or 12 in the afternoon. Since we were indoors I figured it did not matter what time I took it. It just happened that the sun was in the perfect position to give the room as eeire feel and create some dramatic lighting.

3. Anything worth sharing about lighting?

THe lighting was a little tough since it was a harsh back light. I had to shoot the background in HDR, then shoot my model normal and use post processing to make the two work together. I also had an off camera flash and reflector to help balance it more.

4. What equipment did you use?

This was shot with my old camera, a Canon xsi with a Tamron 17-50 2.8 lens.

5. What inspired you to take this photo?

I just wanted to create something different and eeire and at the time I had been looking into levitation photos. When I saw the room, which was as shot and I did not move or position any furniture, the idea just came to me to do the levitation idea. I felt it could create a sort of haunted look it.

6. Did you do any post-processing? If yes, tell us about it!

Yes. I love post processing as much as I love the art of photographing things. I used Lightroom to make my basic adjustments then merged the HDR images in Photoshop. Once that was done I had to paint out the ladder she was on to get the levitation effect. From there it was a lot of masking and painting to grunge it up and add the fog. To finish it off I used Perfect Effects to layer some effects to the image and mask out the areas I did not want affected. It was a pretty intense, time consuming process but I learned a lot and was really happy with how it came out.

7. What do you carry in your camera bag?

My camera, of course, which I have since upgraded to a Canon 7D mkii. A few lenses - Tamron 17-50 2.8, Tamron 70-300, Canon 50mm 1.8. I also keep an assortment of filters handy, circular polarizer, ND, variable ND. My tripod is essential as well and depending on the situation I would normally bring my flash because it always seems like when I don;t think I need it and leave it behind, I wind up needing it.

8. Any advice for others trying to capture something similar?

My best advice is to take lots of photos. You can never have too many to work with. I had to set up the camera, camera settings,focus, and tripod with my model on a ladder or a piece of furniture and get her shot in various poses. Then the model leaves the spot and using the same focus and settings I used with with the model, photograph the room. I knew I wanted more grunge so I shot in HDR but you can do single exposures as well. Then it is all Photoshop and experimenting with different things to get the look you want.


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