Last week I announced to the world that I had worked on the wonderful book project called “Knits for Nerds“, a book by Joan Dark; published by Andrews and McNeel Publishing. The book was shot in several remote locations in the woods of Minnesota including on the property of the incredibly genius and legendary author, Neil Gaiman. I refrained from mentioning him in the previous post, not knowing if it was public knowledge as to where some of the locations were; but it turns out it said where we were in part of the book. Huh. Who knew? Anyway, as a recap, the book features 30ish knitting patterns from the Dragon Rider gloves featured below to a Princess Leah bun stocking cap, which I expect to see pretty much everywhere over the next year. (Not just because Shannon has one either).
(Nikon D3s, 250ISO, Nikon 24F1.4N, 1/400th@F2. Nikon SB-900 set to iTTL on a stand elevated above our model shooting through a 32″ umbrella. SB-900 triggered with a Pocket Wizard Flex TT5 unit by a Pocket Wizard Mini TT1 on the camera with a Nikon SU-800 in the hot shoe.)
Those are the Dragon Rider Gloves from the first section of the book labeled Fantasy. This is one of my favorites from the shoot that early Thursday morning in Minnesota. We drove all night from Indianapolis to catch the Sunrise on our location, knowing that we were going to a great cliff overlooking a waterway that nobody seemed to be able to identify. (We, can be defined as me, Tom Klubens, The one and only Shannon, Dill Hero (aka Dan Carr, aka Toni’s Husband), Toni Carr (Joan Dark), Megan Gill our Makeup and Style artist, and Summer Keown.) You can see two of the other official book shots in the last blog that I wrote here. It was kind of a whirlwind, as when we got there makeup and hair started right away while Tom, Dill, and I went out to the cliff, and to check out the trees.
(Nikon D3s, 640ISO,Nikon 24F1.4N 1/640th@F1.4)
First shot was at 250ISO F2 with an SB900, second shot was 640ISO F1.4, so obviously there wasn’t a lot of ambient light; we did get there pretty early and all. I also did a longer shot using the trees featuring Dill and our antique crossbow here. I also enjoyed that shot, but have to admit the shot on the cliff works much better in the book.
(Both shots, Nikon D3s, 250ISO, Nikon 85mmF1.4D, 1/400th@F2. Nikon SB900 set to iTTL on the end of a stand held up above our models and gloves. SB900 Triggered by a Pocket Wizard Flex TT5 from a Pocket Wizard Mini TT1 with a Nikon SU-800 in the hot shoe.)
You can actually see the umbrella in both of the shots above. It was a simple yet effective setup. Same thing with this shot; just one light. That one made it in the book though, and it’s also one of my favorites. Speaking of favorites, this photo of Shannon here is another one of mine:
(Nikon D3s, 250ISO, Nikon 28-70F2.8@45mm, 1/320th@F6.3. 1 Nikon SB-900 and 1 Nikon SB-800 stuck in a 1 gallon ziplock bag, each attached to a pocketwizard Flex TT5 set in the snow zoomed out to 14mm inside the base of Neil’s tree set to full power. Another SB-900 with a full CTO was on the end of a light stand, hard light zoomed to 200mm set to 1/4th aimed at a distance by Tom to be onto Shannon’s face to separate her from the rest of the background. All Speeedlights triggered by a Pocket Wizard Flex TT1 with a Nikon SU-800 in the hot shoe. The cameras white balance was set to 3200K to give the world the blue look, while being evened out with the slight orange of the Full CTO)
In the last post I wrote that Shannon was very excited to be involved in this project for different reasons than I. She actually gave me the biography of Neil Gaiman by memory when she found out we were going to be on some property that he owned. She was also incredibly amped that he tweeted about her when he tweeted about other things regarding our visit. Mentioning a Roller Girls boobs we were discussing, how Shannon was hilarious, but he still missed someone who didn’t make the journey, and how we all walked to the edge of the property to check out the Supermoon while a few of us made snow angels.
(Ambient Test shot, Nikon D3s, 250ISO, Nikon 24F1.4N, 1/1250th@F2)
That’s a test frame of the hollow tree as seen in Shannon’s photo modeling the Light of Earandil Shrug. As you can tell the tree is relatively large, as it fits Tom completely inside. The shot with Tom is also the ambient light in terms of brightness and temperature, which is obviously not what Shannon’s final image looks like…. This series of frames was done after we finished up with the Dragon rider gloves, and believe it or not the shots of Shannon were taken at just about Noon; not in the evening which is how they appear. Turns out the first thing that I did was take a couple of SB900’s and put them into a gallon ziplock bag with some full cut CTO’s on the top to give them an orange glow emanating from the inside of Neil’s tree. In my oddball mind, I saw the shot as it went into the book with the blue and orange color contrast giving us this enchanted elven world. I was lucky that Joan Agreed with me, since we really didn’t shoot many other options. It’s not like we could have photoshopped the shrug on Tom here above right? I like the color contrast, and how it makes the image something more than just a photo of someone in a tree. Here’s another closer shot of Shannon and the shrug for the road. Shannon was a trooper, and thats why I love her. She wasn’t exactly warm outside there in the snow standing half in a tree. My SB900’s get hot; but not that hot….. More Soon.
(Nikon D3s, 250ISO, Nikon 70-200F2.8VR2@155mm, 1/250thth@F7.1. 1 Nikon SB-900 and 1 Nikon SB-800 stuck in a 1 gallon ziplock bag, each attached to a pocketwizard Flex TT5 set in the snow zoomed out to 14mm inside the base of Neil’s tree set to full power. Another SB-900 with a full CTO was on the end of a light stand, hard light zoomed to 200mm set to 1/4th aimed at a distance by Tom to be onto Shannon’s face to separate her from the rest of the background. All Speeedlights triggered by a Pocket Wizard Flex TT1 with a Nikon SU-800 in the hot shoe. The cameras white balance was set to 3200K to give the world the blue look, while being evened out with the slight orange of the Full CTO)