This is the Blog of Swiss Photographer Nicolas Henri

Making Of: Paper Fashion + Video

This one has been a while in the making…

I always try to think of fashion in new ways. Fashion is, to a large extent, about texture, about contrast and form. Some time ago I came up with the idea of a fashion shoot made of nothing but shreds of paper. The dress, the setting, everything! I did this as a personal project, not with a commercial, but a fine art afterlife in mind.

I approached Jana Keller, designer of RoyalBLUSH to craft a paper dress for me. She was all over it and started sketching right away.

Early on I realized we would need a special model to make this one work. I turned to Option Model in Zürich for suggestions and it soon became clear that a black model would provide the necessary edge for the idea. We cast the talented and lovely Mariatu, who performed admirably!

Before the shoot me and my beloved girlfriend Fräulein Scharlach spent three evenings shredding over 100 square meters of paper and another evening rigging it all up in the studio.

The Lighting setup consisted of a beauty dish on a boom above the set, which served as the main light and was balanced for normal exposure. A strip light, about one stop over, was used as a rim light from the right. As fill I set up a large softobox camera left, dialed down 1 stop. In addition to this I used a gridded spot, about half a stop over, as a little kicker, slightly off camera axis to add some light to Mariatu’s face and torso. (I used Broncolor generators and heads)

Hair & Make Up was done by the incredibly talented Rachel Wolfisberg. She’s always full of fresh ideas and just great to have around!

And this is how it all turned out:

But wait, there’s more! Where there’s paper… someone might get the idea to paint on it! Check out the behind the scenes video for all the technicolor juice… Enjoy!

NICOLAS HENRI: PAPER - Behind the scenes from Nicolas Henri on Vimeo.

(If you are reading this via email, click here to see the video!)

Posted by nicolas_henri on May 16th, 2009 :: Filed under Artist Technique, Lighting, Making Of, Photography, Uncategorized
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Contrast: 5 Pointers for better photography!

I’m sure all of you will at some point yank the levels sliders, put an S in your curves or any other means to bring contrast to your images. It’s the most basic form of image processing and will to some extent improve your picture. No news there. But try to broaden your horizon and think of contrast in other ways! There are many other concepts of contrast, which will vastly improve your images:

1) Contrast in Luminance: As just mentioned, but try to bring in the contrast when you shoot instead of having to create a roller coaster in your curves dialog. Place dark and bright objects in your frame, work with lighting to create dark and bright areas. To illustrate this, here’s a shot by Edward Steichen:

2) Contrast in Color: Same as with regular contrast in terms of brightness you can use color to do the same thing. Bring highly saturated and almost colorless elements into your frame. A colorful dress in front of a white, gray or black seamless background for instance - the fashion mags are full of it, because it works. Don’t limit yourself though, it might be just the other way around and not limited to the subject to backdrop relationship. (Just promise to stay clear of color keys / selective desaturation - that’s just nasty!). There’s more though: Ever heard of complimentary colors? Have a look at the color star below:

Continue Reading after the jump…

Posted by nicolas_henri on May 15th, 2009 :: Filed under Artist Technique, Photography
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