Darn Tootin, Time to go Shootin

…A Photo-shootin that is!

I had an amazing opportunity this last week to travel up to Bannack, Montana to do a photo-shoot with some amazing actors. Just so you all know, over the next few days, I will be posting some of my highlights and images that I took from this trip. I will explain a few of them, and as always, if you have any questions about specifics concerning each image (like the metadata), leave a comment and I will answer them!

Today, I will be showcasing five images from the creative photo-shoot.

Just a bit about Bannack

Bannack, Montana is currently a ghost town. It established during the gold rush in 1862, and became so large that it was the Montana Territory capital for a short while. The town slowly died over the next 100 years, and by the late 1970’s, the final resident moved out Bannack. It was then made into a National Historic Landmark, and turned over to the State to operate and upkeep.

Put The Guns Down, Missy

I wanted to tell a story with this one. I was inspired by the classic western standoff in the middle of town, with a warm sun beating down on figures on the street. I wanted to take my own twist, where the two cowboys were actually trying to calm down a local woman and get her to put her revolvers down. I took this shot from a couple of different angles, and I loved just how much tension was captured from just behind her, where you couldn’t see her emotions. Is she about to pull the triggers? Was she questioning her actions, hesitating? I also loved just how calm the cowboys are, even though they have two armed weapons pointed right at them, fully committed to peacefully persuading Missy to put the guns down.

Waiting In Red

This was another fun one here. Since I was in a ghost town, I wanted to try and create my very own ghost image. I was really pleased with the result! In order to get this shot, I had to explore the town and find one of the eeriest rooms that I could, set up a tripod with a five second exposure, and instructed the actor in how I wanted her to move across the room. After a few practice shots to test lighting and the actor’s movement speed, it was time to shoot. And she did perfectly! I loved how she was able to perfectly capture a look of longing on her face for each moment we see her face.






Which Is it?

Between the different types of photo-shoots that I did, I had some free time to go and explore around the town. I took a few shots of random objects here and there (fun fact, I organized the images in folders on my computer, and called the random objects, oddities). This one surprised me after I took it! And I loved it! I was standing outside one of the buildings and saw an old sewing machine in the window. I took a quick snap of it, and poof! I looked at the screen and saw that the way the camera took the image, made me question what I was trying to capture. Was it the snow covered lawn reflected in the window, or was it the sewing machine on the other side of the window? The two subjects blend together, fading into one another, creating such a beautiful piece of art.

Mary Poppins of Bannack

One of the types of images I was needing to try while out here was a levitation shot. Levitation images are rather interesting to make. You pose your subject and objects on stools and/or wires, snap the image, take everything down and take a shot of everything in the background by itself. Or first, depending upon how you want to do it. Then you take the two shots (or more depending upon your shot) into Photoshop and remove the wires, stools, etc., leaving a final image of what appears to be a gravity defying object.

I wasn’t really inspired when I was planning for this shoot the week leading up to the trip, so I just banked on getting an idea once I saw what I could work with, and I wasn’t disappointed. There was a slight breeze, and an actor and props to recreate a scene from the classic Disney film, Mary Poppins.

An Ad for I.B.C. Root Beer

The last one that I will showcase today is a commercial shoot image I did. In planning for this trip, I had seen a couple images of some of the actors who were going to be there, and when I found out about this shoot, I immediately knew what I wanted to try to do. I brought the I.B.C. with me and set the props, actors, and myself up in the saloon. I did a few light test shots, and then went to town shooting different types of shots that would complement the root beer. I had a few that I really liked, some without the actors, but I just kept coming back to this one. I wanted to really sell that the company has been around for a while, so I put a texture on the image to make it look more like a tintype or daguerreotype, and softened it in a vignette around the product and bartender. I then aligned the text along a vertical board on the back wall, put the company’s logo in the lower left corner, in color to make it pop, and called it good. (My watermark is just there to say I did it, it wouldn’t be on the one the company would print)

Till next time

Hopefully I will have another post up tomorrow with another set of images that I took! So look forward to it!!

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