“I need to dress up like a woman for this photo.”
Would venture a guess that not many wives want to hear this. However, if you are married to me, it wouldn’t seem strange, especially given some of the photos that I have come up with.
It is so much easier to take a photo of myself than to worry about someone else. I don’t have to get permission for anything. I just do it. That and merging two photos of myself into the same scene helped play up the final image that I wanted to create.
The setup for this shot was relatively simple. I didn’t need any specific lighting, necessarily.
Nikon D700 & Nikon 24-70mm f/2.8 on a timer setup in front of the bed. Pocket Wizard II’s triggered an SB-800 camera right shot into an umbrella as well as an Alien Bee ABR800 ring flash camera left.
This had to be done in pieces. For the image of me on the left, I snagged a pink bathrobe and put on some night time facial mask cream (I believe it helped my pores tremendously), and threw some rollers into a wig that I bought from a local shop. The Living magazine just topped it off, right?
For the image of me on the right, I wanted some more in the “redneck” range, so I chopped the sleeves off a white t-shirt and got a bunch of empty beer cans for that side of the bed. It was only a matter of getting a dumb facial expression. Thankfully I am quite skilled in this area.
Once I had the two base images, it was a matter of merging them into the same image. Shooting on the tripod and timer made the photo merge easy.
I did not spend a lot of time editing the “woman”. For the “man”, well, that required more work to hammer home the point. I extended my chin and belly, added tattoos, and removed one of my front teeth. With the Dale Earnhardt, Jr. number on the shirt, slightly faded, and the “Redneck and darn proud of it” hat, I was finally happy.
But the image still felt a little flat to me. I was not happy with the overall lighting and tones. Part of me didn’t want to mess with it, because I spent the time setting up the strobes in the first place, but another part of me just couldn’t leave it alone and do any further editing.
I added a subtle repeating pattern to the background to simulate some type of wallpaper. Looking back on this, I wish I had spent more time here. It would have been great to have seen some of the wallpaper peeling or to have something else on the wall. My fear was not to overdo the environment as it might detract from the subjects.
With the wallpaper in place, I enhanced the light coming from the nightstand lamps. The final image was topped off with the “Vintage Film” action by Fallout75.