graham dunn is a city of industry

What’s Been Goin’ On

Posted in shoots by graham dunn is a city of industry on August 22, 2009

After shooting Chelsea in Corpus Christi back in late June, Jess and I sold the house and had to be out in 10 days. We packed up and headed to Los Angeles. There are some Contax T2 pictures from the drive out that are at the lab to come soon.

Since getting here, we’ve had a few shoots, one impromptu one with my brother:



A few with my wife, Jess, as she works on makeup and tries various looks:

Smokey Chignon

Heroin Panda

Jess and I shot a couple of other looks that we’re retouching and will post soon.

Lastly, we had a shoot with Alex (Model Mayhem) that was really fun. She and her boyfriend Matt came to our apartment where we shot a concept creative directed by Jess (AKA Juxta Makeup). She also did the makeup. The idea was a small girl from yesteryear trapped in a jar. She’s sad now, though she’s touted as a marvel to behold in her poster (seen next to her in the photograph).


Lighting-wise, I used a giant rectangular softbox on my Alien Bee 800 with the inner diffuser only (the inner diffuser is close to the strobe head, creating a slightly punchier source since it hasn’t had a chance to totally even out as it exits the box). This was placed the tall way, totally to the left side of Alex and slightly behind her, in order to create the 50/50 light/dark across her face. By putting it slightly behind her, I kept it off the background (the curtains of our apartment) and kept it from spilling across her face and onto the other side of her face. By shooting at 1/250 of a second, I kept the shutter fast enough to squash the ambient light. The jar was shot separately but with a similar lighting and camera angle setup. It was lit with the same softbox in the same position, plus a tungsten lamp on the floor pointed up to hit the jar eerily from below. I white-balanced to daylight and let the tungsten lamp orange up the scene to make it look older and warmer. There was a black pillow on the tabletop off-camera to the left. It was acting as a flag (opposite the softbox) to keep the same 50/50 light/dark ratio across the jar and to prevent the light from bouncing off the white walls where it shouldn’t. It helped to shoot tethered in Aperture and to shoot the jar first so I knew what angles were required.

In post I did a full beauty retouch on both images, masked them out, and composited everything together, using textures and brushes to give it all a decaying look.

We shot some beauty shots of Alex making faces just for fun as well. These were lit with a pretty simple clamshell setup. An Alien Bee 800 with a gridded beauty dish was centered and overhead, a giant softbox behind her head to provide wrap and backdrop, and a silver round reflector in her lap.

Alex Quat

That’s all for now. PEACE!


One Response

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  1. juxtamakeup said, on August 23, 2009 at 1:35 am

    hieee-fieeve! i’m excited about next week…and our sweet upcoming psa’s and music vids…get ready for the breakdown!

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