Blog

Here you'll find various things relating to photo shoots. Behind the scenes pictures, video, and some commentary. 

Winter Portraits

Compilation of the wintery photos of myself and friends. 

Compilation of the wintery photos of myself and friends. 

     Recently I've gotten into the habit of doing themed portrait shoots with my friends. Both as practice for myself and just because its a fun way for us to all hang out. Get together and take turns hamming it up right?

     We did simple black and white portraits, the gold ones, and then since it was getting colder in December, I thought we'd do some more stylized ones. If you didn't know, I live in Santa Cruz, California. Right now as I type this in late January/Early February, it has been mostly clear skies in the upper 60s or low 70s for the last week. We don't really get a very cold traditional winter here. That said, I thought it would look cool if we all looked like we had been trekking out in the northern wilderness for a while so I set up some photos. 

     I originally wanted to go heavily viking inspired for these but the logistics of us all finding suitable costumes for it were a bit much so I settled on something easier: ambiguously draped furs. Finding the fur to use was easy thanks to my awesome friend Tracey who is a taxidermist and let me borrow some of the fur she has collected. You can find out more about her and her work at her blog: http://tmbtaxidermy.tumblr.com

     As I mentioned above, I can't just walk out into the snow so everything but the people had to be comped into the photos. I have a resource folder of stock images of sky I have taken throughout the years and some snow resources I found which I used to make us look like we were actually outdoors:

Pretty much everyone in these photos came in their street clothes so they had to be taken off or hidden by layers of fur.

Pretty much everyone in these photos came in their street clothes so they had to be taken off or hidden by layers of fur.

     To get an idea of what the processing progression looked like, here is a gallery of some of the different stages from beginning to final image:

     I realize that these don't look completely realistic. I would have liked to have gotten some actual fake snow and used it during the shoots to dust on the people and maybe throw past the camera but I couldn't get some by the time I wanted to do the shoots. Even if there isn't total realism, they pretty much achieve the dark and wintery look that I was going of so I'm pretty happy with these. 

Here are all of the final shots:

     One more thing, I finally uploaded something new to my Youtube Channel. A time lapse retouching video. I posted about it recently. Just thought I would add another little note on this post about my channel and mention that you can see a few of my photography related video there: https://www.youtube.com/user/nickchaophoto

     Hopefully I can keep myself in gear and produce some more videos soon.