Thursday, July 30, 2009

Gypsy Fortune Teller - My Vision

Linda and I had a lot of fun creating this photo of the Gypsy fortune-teller with crystal ball and reading cards. Linda is my wife and the stylist for this shot. She choose all the fabrics and gathered all the props for this image, to help create the illusion of coming into a fortune-teller's shop and receiving a psychic reading.

(Click on any image for a larger view.)

The slightly blue halo emanating from the crystal ball is produced by a Nikon #1 Soft (flare) filter. This image was scanned from film, and there is virtually no Photoshop work done to this photo.

Here is the studio lighting (all strobe) set-up for the Gypsy fortune teller photo (that's Linda, sitting just to the left of where the model had been sitting):

1. Main light - a 48" x 48" soft-box (slightly below the model and pointing up to simulate the lighting coming underneath from the crystal ball.
2. Fill light - 36" x 36" soft box.
3. A projection spotlight to illuminate the eyes of the Gypsy model.
4. The crystal ball had a light coming up through a hole in the table.
5. Camera position through that narrow slit (made by two scrims that keep light from spilling onto the foreground -- the table and cards). There are three other scrims in this set-up, and they are covered with black velvet cloth.
6. Not shown, are lights behind the draped fabric backdrops, positioned to shine through the fabric.

Sidebar: Some time ago, a talent agency asked me to photograph some of their clients. They mainly wanted "head shots" for their talent books. Although the money they were offering to pay me wasn't that good, I saw it as an opportunity to experiment with people who were willing to try new things, and built portfolio images for both of us. Since some of these people had backgrounds in theater, they also had access to some interesting wardrobe pieces, which can really help liven a portrait. "Trading" talent has been a tool I've used over the years to increase my experience and build my photographic reputation. This image is part of a series that has resulted from these talent trades.

You can also view my "Most Interesting" images on Flickr to see more of "My Vision".

1 comment:

  1. Cool shot and great tutorial. Thanks for this. I'll adapt some these lighting techniques.