Gun and Camera Shadow

A bit of manipulation with the shadows, handgun is a toy. A whole new meaning to a photoshoot

A bit of manipulation with the shadows, handgun is a toy. A whole new meaning to a photoshoot
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Winner in Shadows Don't Lie Photo Challenge
Outstanding Creativity
thomassonnier Ynot-Photography mcampi Dszeba tonyraymondthompson Craig-Sheffield janland +8
Peer Award
DrPhrogg charterswilliamosborne winnerslens31 JayneBug ClaritaBethCanlasMiller kurtsnyder deekaycee +4
Superb Composition
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Absolute Masterpiece



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5 Comments | Report
LoCiceroPhotography PRO+
LoCiceroPhotography June 10, 2023
I love this!! This is what I am seeking in my challenge, "Shadows Don't Lie." I guess most people did not quite understand what I was asking for, but The difference between the real and the shadow shows that the truth is in the shadow. Brilliant!
LoCiceroPhotography PRO+
LoCiceroPhotography June 16, 2023
Congratulations on being the Winner in my challenge!! As I messaged earlier...Brilliant! And exactly what I was looking for!! Thank you for your entry!😊👍👍
deekaycee Ultimate
deekaycee June 16, 2023
Congratulations on your challenge win!
kurtsnyder Ultimate
kurtsnyder June 16, 2023
Very creative - congratulations on your challenge win! Kurt 😀👍👍👍
tonyraymondthompson PRO+
tonyraymondthompson June 17, 2023
An absolute stunning shot!!! "Shadows Don,t Lie" Brilliant working of the subject matter. Well done.
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Behind The Lens

I took this photo in my home studio, where I have an array of different backgrounds and have full control over the lighting and other environments. This is in Auckland New Zealand. The advantage of taking photos like this in a studio is that you can continually tweak the settings, but everything else remains constant. This was taken during lockdown, as there was little else I could do with my cameras.
This was taken during the day, however as this was done in my studio with the curtains closed, I could have taken this photo anytime.
I arranged one flash unit to the right of the camera and higher than the camera and me (Which was on a tripod) and had a small pilot light running in the back right hand side of the studio. (So I could see what I was doing) for the rest the studio was totally dark. I had the camera set to manual and also focussed the camera manually. I was using a wireless shutter controller that I was holding in my left hand, out of view. When the flash fired it created the shadow. I had to make a number of adjustments, in terms of shutter speed, and flash settings. I used a plain white background as this handled the light better than some of the other backgrounds that I use.
I used my Canon 600D with the 18-55 lens. The camera was mounted on a 30 year old Takara tripod. I was using a Yongnuo YN 560 flash, mounted on a light stand. I also had a YouPro Wireless controller to enable me to take the shot myself with no one else in the studio. I used my white background and chalk on the floor to mark where I needed to stand, as I was moving back to the camera after each shot and needed to be back in the exact same spot each time. I used a "toy" Luger pistol. (You cannot own handguns in New Zealand). The camera in the photo is my first digital camera an early Panasonic Lumix. My 5D did not look good held in such a pose.
Some years ago I saw a similar photo of a person standing looking dejected, and the shadow was jumping in the air in happiness. Being a military veteran I thought the play on words of a "Photo shoot" was too good an opportunity to miss. I had a vision in my head as to what the result would look like, and certainly managed to get the result I set out to obtain. I took a number of photos with the camera and an equal number with the gun.
Obviously I needed to do some post shot processing to create the image. I use Paint Shop Pro and have used this application for many years. For those who do not know, it has all the features of that other well known package. I opened the first image (Photo with camera in hand) and added the second one (with the gun in hand) as a layer behind. Using masking I was able to mask out the items that were created in the first image that I did not want and bring through. I then exposed the photo layer with the gun shadow. Using layers you can make all kinds of adjustments to images, and I highly recommend that those new to photography give it a go, you will be surprised at what you may be able to do.
In my camera bag
My main camera is a Canon 5D Mk11, backed up by a Canon 600D. I have both a 28mm and 50mm prime lenses, a 75-300, a 24-105, an 18-55 and 55-250 telephone lenses. I also have a 2X converter which I rarely use. I have three flash units all Yongnuo YN560's with a wireless flash controller. A sleeve with an array of filters from ND through to coloured filters for B&W, cleaning kit, remote shutter release, spare batteries, 3 plastic bags for rainy weather and an old external handle which connects to the tripod connector for when I am taking photos and really need to hold on to the camera. The bag is Lowepro, but the model details have worn away, I have a monopod strapped to the outside of the bag. and I also have a phone that I will use in emergencies.
Get creative, If you have an idea, plan out how you can take the photo that you want to create and just get working. I did this all on my own in my studio (Lockdown time). If you want to do the shadow, just follow what I have done and learn to master layers and masks in your software. Thinking about it now, I think I should have used a coloured cellophane in front of the flash as a red or green tinge might have been more interesting. If you are doing this on your own, and you want to minimise post production time, make sure that you can get back to the spot where you need to stand. I draw around my shoes with chalk and therefore can guarantee that I am in the right spot. Also if you are just using one flash unit and taking the photo in the dark, you will have to have the camera on manual and the focus as well, as the camera cannot really focus well in the dark.

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