I really love this image because I feel it really sums up the outside look and feel of the Eastern States Penitentiary location. As I stated in my last post I am more drawn towards the old windows, doorways, stone walls and walkways then I am the prison cells. This image has the stones and the decaying window with remnants of chipping paint. Of course it also has Nicole in a nice pose showing off the Florencia Fiume Corset Cream Lace Dress (circa early 80’s) and we can see her full face with some depth behind her. Nicole is standing in the short corridor that leads from the central hallway to the entrance of the medical ward and I am positioned outside in a small court-yard like area that leads to the main gates that the prisoners would use to enter the sports fields.
As for all the photographers who want to know the technical info; I was using a Canon 6D (full size sensor) with a 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II USM lens. On camera I have a ST-E3-RT radio Speedlite controller that is firing a Canon 600EX-RT radio flash on the inside of the hallway and it is located just to Nicole’s left side. The 600EX-RT is mounted in a Wescott 26 inch Rapid Box beauty dish that is mounted to an Impact brand Quick Stick that was being held by the lighting assistant. The use of the light gave separation to the model and added depth to the hallway behind her.
My camera settings are 1/125 sec at f/2.8 ISO 100 70mm. 70mm I thought was perfect for the half body shot and at the shallow depth of field setting of f/2.8 and putting the focus point on her closest eye let the window frame fall out of focus just a bit.
Now for the edit; all I can say is it started in Lightroom CC then over to Photoshop CC and back to Lightroom CC. I do keep notes on my edits (see screenshots) when they are strong like this one, just in case I need to return to the file and re-edit. I write my notes on top of the image and I make maps of what was fixed and how. For some this might seem crazy, but for me it is how I work in Photoshop… it is how I create.
For an image like this the workflow starts at the location with a shot of the Passport Color Checker (by X-Rite) so I can create a camera color profile specific to the actual scene. Then in Photoshop color cast is removed and I will add my own white balance. I’m not concerned with proper whit balance because I am doing what I call a creative edit. Then it is on to the normal stuff like blemish removal and that was easy because my model already looks great. Trimming a few distracting fly away hairs and then on to the real creative work using Nik Color Efex Pro 4, Camera RAW filter and output sharpeners. Then Emily Soto custom Photoshop Actions and I believe I used the “Lydia” action and made several personal adjustments to my own taste. And… then back to Lightroom for some “split toning” and cropping and then done.
Going back to the topic of white balance for a minute, I would like to say that I actually am very concerned about white balance at the time of shooting because if I want to do a standard edit I need proper white balance and the Color Checker will provide that. But when I do my color cast removal process in Photoshop it brings me back to a clear kind of “cool” white balance and I will start my edit from that point.
There will be more images to come from this shoot but this was one of my favorites… not “the” favorite, but one of them. Some shots have Nicole with a vintage “Pillbox” hat and she looks so cute.
Thanks for reading.