CUMS portrait shoot

Today I helped Karys Orman and CUMS with some portrait photos for their brochure for the next season.  This involved photographing musicians against a white background, and a few other shots. My set-up was pretty straight forward, a big white and wrinkly cloth, together with two flashes with remote triggers on either side in front of it. If I had had a third flash I would have used it to blast the background. By overexposing it we would have got rid of the wrinkles in the cloth, instead I had to resort to using Photoshop to cut out the people and place them on a solid white background.

Emily Newton, who was in charge of the layout of the brochure, wanted to use cut-outs of the people. I used the quick selection tool, together with the refine edges function, to get a quick-and-dirty selection that was then pasted on a white background. This is an outtake with Rees Webster and Ros Ridout, which won’t end up in the brochure, so figured I’d post it here instead.
We did a few line-up shots as well. Note to self, removing the thing a person sits on makes the photo look weird… Of course, an easy save is just to put them on a giant park bench, which looks hilarious. The Lilliput orchestra. Might upload that photo later.
Ros Ridout and her flute. Here I am just playing around with reflections.
I’m not sure this photo needs any description, and to be honest, I am not sure I could properly describe it either. As with the previous photo I had to really lift the shadows to get the reflection in the grand piano.
After the proper photo shoot ended things got interesting. This is the bit that I like, when the shackles of expectations are dropped, and I can play around.


Eleanor Kornas and Rees Webster were thoroughly enjoying themselves. To get the final shot I had to photoshop out a lot of bags, etc, that were spread out around the room.

It was a fun way to spend the morning while the rain was pouring down outside. Curious to see what the final brochure will look like. If you want to read more, have a look at the posts: Cambridge University Chamber OrchestraFoundation Concert: Verdi Requiem or Let the camera be your ticket.

– Johannes

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