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Behind The Lens

Location

This photo was taken at home. Actually, I was just at my start as a photographer, and those times were golden – now, when I have to shoot professionaly, I've got much less time for creativity and plotting. So I can say frankly – as my quality grows, my free time diminishes and creativity falls. So well, me and my wife (she's the Doll) just put a big piece of fabric on the wall, protruding it camerawards, put heavy curtains on the window and did this series.

Time

It was a little past noon, we just came home (I can't really remember where from now), and had this idea.

Lighting

Since it was my start, and I had some really amateur equipment and had yet to visit studio for the first time, it was a total improvisation. Were took two table lamps and played with them a bit. Actually, we dropped and broke one of them, so it was replaced, so technically we used three table lamps. As I said, we put heavy curtains on the windows and put all the lights, except the table lamps, out.

Equipment

All the clothes, except tophat (that was lent to me by my friend from the theatre), were found in our regular wardrobe. The face-painting was completely wife's idea. The strings (the hands ones) were made by me, I had to visit a general store and by some fishing string. More of that, we found a curtain-rod in some abyssal depths of our flat, so I screwed it into the wall to put the fabric on it and fishing strings across it. Then I took out my Sony alpha 330 with a kit lense 18-55 and a tripod. That was pretty much all my photo equipment for the time.

Inspiration

I was inspired by the tophat. My friend works at a theatre, and I asked her to find me some steampunk clothing. It didn't work completely, so I got just this cardboard-and-cloth tophat and that was all. So I was thinking what to do, and then consulted my wife. You can see the result.

Editing

I was working as a graphic designer for that moment, so I had some skills in Photoshop. I don't know, if you'll notice looking closely (I still don't), but the leg strings are drawn by hand. I didn't want my wife to be tied up too much and didn't want the curtain-rod to fall on her head if she accidentally pulled it down. So the hands are tied by real strings, and the leg strings are fake. Then I b&w-ed photos to make them more authentic. That's all postwork I've done.

In my camera bag

Normally – now, when I became professional photographer – I take my Nikon d810 with Tamron 28-75/2.8 as the main camera, plus 8-star filter, CPL. If I shoot weddings, I take my old Nikon D7000 with Nikon 85/1.8 with me as a portrait camera. No filters for it.

Feedback

My one and only advice for just this photo will be DON'T YIELD BEFORE DOUBTS. Better try now than cry later. There is no cheap equipment, no bad quality – there are only your imagination and billions of ways to make it true. Try to realise the potential of every tool — even if it is just a pocket flashlight from some cheap store. Find a good model for your experiments – or marry one as I did – and go trying as many times, as possible. Don't ever stop learning, and do it with endless practical experiments.

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