Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Sunday With Fashion


It was Sunday, and I woke up to such a beautiful day that I could not help it but went back to sleep. Sometimes I do wish every single day is like Sunday, when you just could sleep your morning through. I know it has been quite some time since I actively went to church, but hey, even when I was in Kuching my family has always opted for the evening (Evensong) services. These days I just feel there is so little time in a day that sleep just does not fit anywhere into the equation.

*click* image to see its awesomeness

*click* image to see its awesomeness

*click* image to see its awesomeness



I knew well enough that there was a Fashion show at 1130am at Times Square on Sunday. I woke up at 9am, and initially intended to get ready for the first session. The next thing I knew I was still curling up in bed, and my clock was saying 1045am already. And I thought to myself, oh crap, I was going to miss the first show. No biggie, still have half a dozen more to cover throughout the entire afternoon. It was funny how a terrible week preceding the Sunday made everything else seemed, so unimportant.

*click* image to see its awesomeness

*click* image to see its awesomeness

*click* image to see its awesomeness



Since the fashion show started an hour late on Friday night, it was safe to assume that same thing was to happen on the Sunday session. And it did. I arrived at Times Square at 1145pm, and the host had just announced that the fashion show was about to begin. I quickly found myself an auspicious spot, sprang my gears out and got myself ready for action. Just as I turned on my camera and fiddled a few settings, the first model came up on stage and did her thing on the miniature sized runway. I did not even miss a thing. I guess it was worth sleeping in that extra hour and a half.

*click* image to see its awesomeness

*click* image to see its awesomeness

*click* image to see its awesomeness



I may have taken quite a lot of Fashion shows already, but each and everyone of them have been unique in their own ways. This was the first time I have been to a fashion show that was held outdoors. The stage was setup right in front of the main entrance to Times Square. Since it was afternoon, the sun was high and the shed provided by the building was not adequate to fully shield the whole stage, thus some part of it was exposed to the direct sunlight. This was a huge challenge to me in terms of metering, and balancing between the harsh bright sun and the dark shadows at the shady area.

*click* image to see its awesomeness

*click* image to see its awesomeness

*click* image to see its awesomeness




Under such condition, flash has become a necessity to mitigate the previous mentioned problem. I have set the external flash to Super FP mode (or High Speed Sync mode) to enable flash shooting at high shutter speed. The flash provided fill in light for shadowy areas of the face (below the eyes, nose and mouth) cast by strong sun from the top, and also counter a slight back-lit situation depending on where the model was standing. I was pleased to find that the flash worked well and managed to produce quite an even skin tone on the models.

*click* image to see its awesomeness

*click* image to see its awesomeness

*click* image to see its awesomeness




On the downside of things, Olympus is known for being notorious when it comes to dynamic range. It can be easily seen that the top of the hair was severely exposed to sun light, suffering from highlight clipping (white-out due to overexposure). In the process of squeezing out the details from the shadowy areas, the exposure was pushed up for a brightly lit skin, but unfortunately the rest of the photo suffers the lack of balance between light and shadow. I know I could recover the details by shooting RAW, but seriously, even if I did, I would not have the time to just sit down whole day and process my photos to revive the lost dynamic range. All I did when I got back from the fashion show were to transfer my pictures, did a little colour correction and boosted up the contrast before I resized and uploading the photos online.

*click* image to see its awesomeness

*click* image to see its awesomeness

*click* image to see its awesomeness

Photo Note: Hmm I just realized that photo above is OOF...

I have also tried something different this time. Instead of just standing at the front like most photographers who would fight their ass off for that auspicious position, I went to the side. I noticed that the model stopped at the side briefly; hence it would have been quite a nice spot too. Since there were half a dozen sessions for one day, I had plenty of room to play around with positioning myself differently for each show. Also, instead of just using the usual tele-lens, I switched my lens to macro as well. The image came out sharper than the tele lens, but I truly need the reach of the longer tele lens for stage shooting.

*click* image to see its awesomeness

*click* image to see its awesomeness





I still remember the rush I had the first time I shot a fashion show. For some weird reasons, I still feel the adrenaline pumping in my veins when I was at this show. This could have been another trait of mine, I do not get tired of things easily, once I have fallen in love with them. I have seen friends who just bought the camera and left it there to collect cockroach eggs. I asked them why, they said, they have tried everything and there was nothing new to entice them in photography. Funny, to me, if you find one thing truly pleasurable, you will never run out of steam no matter what. It is just like sex. You just have got to do it over and over again.

Next up will be the second part for the Sunday series of Fashion Show. Stay tuned, and I do hope you guys enjoy like the models as much as I did.

3 comments:

  1. mmmmmmm girlssss...

    -Marcus

    ReplyDelete
  2. I can't comment on the picture coz I know nuts on stuff like 'flash' or whetever it is connected to SLRs...

    What I can say is, the models look reaally stunning... I think I just had a 'high school crush' while viewing your photos.

    -cyrildason.com

    ReplyDelete
  3. hey marcus,
    LOLL....

    hey cyril,
    LOL do not worry, sometimes the way I write it does seem like I am talking to myself.
    High School Crush eh? ahahah... there will be more "stuff" coming up soon in these coming weeks.

    ReplyDelete