Making of a concept shoot STEP 01 This may appear to be stating the obvious but make sure peanut skins are clean (to avoid having to photoshop to clean up dirt) and not overly dry (piercing the holes for the hands and feet may lead the nuts to crumble if they are dry and brittle) STEP 02 Using Q-tips/Ear buds, cut to size for hands and feet and stick into holes pierced for the same, using regular liquid glue. Try and position the hands and feet at different angles for batches of peanuts so you can create a peanut crowd of different heights and postures. STEP 03 Using manila paper, design and cut out the iconic shapes of buildings/landscapes you want to represent the city/town you plan to feature. Make sure these are easily recognizable and a few are all that is needed. STEP 04 To create the necessary depth of field, ensure you are working with a long enough surface. This will help your image have a 3-dimentional feel to it. AFRICANPHOTOMAGAZINE 18
The beauty about conceptual photography is that it is such a hands-on experience. The photographer is wholly engaged and involved in creating the subject matter of which he or she intends to shoot. For this first issue, when the food and drinks theme was set, we racked our brains trying to figure out a piece that would speak volumes on what a conceptual, contemporary food shoot would like and feel like to us. We wanted to produce a work that would test our skills in terms of creativity, lighting techniques and equally important, be visually engaging. In this tutorial, we will take you through a walkthrough of how we executed our concept. STEP 05 To add a little colour and variety to the picture, consider adding elements of scenery or other fixtures as you see fit. We cut out a few green trees to give a colour and height contrast to the peanuts. STEP 06 Place all the elements on the shooting plane, keeping in mind the different height elements, with the tallest being at the back. Examine the scene at eye level to ensure there is adequate spacing of the different elements….remember the depth of field you are trying to achieve! STEP 07 Now, we are trying to create a sunset using colour filters. For our purposes, we attached a red film filter over the overhead studio light, which we angled to face our “scene”. We then placed a screen (any thin white material will do as well) between the filtered light and the “scene”. The purpose of the screen is to give your “scene” a nice smooth background/ backdrop and to eliminate any photo-shopping to create a background. STEP 08 Start shooting, changing light settings and camera aperture settings to be able to finally get the “scene” right. For our purposes, we used a light setting of 2 stops with a grid for the studio light and a camera aperture setting of F/8 which enhances depth of field; shutter speed of 1/200 s and ISO 50 to allow for a darker setting but less grain. Local Perspectives. African Insights.
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