Monday, June 28, 2010

Bikini Bowling Promos

My family, as I've probably mentioned before, owns a bowling alley - Sheffield Lanes, in Aliquippa, PA.  It's summer, and business is slow, so Dad, being the, uh...interesting fellow that he is, decided what we need to make bowling in the summer attractive is bikinis.  And thus was born Bikini Bowling.  Our first one was 2 weeks ago and we haven't had too many people show up, sadly.  It's been 21+, 11pm on Friday nights, and the problem is that we've had a couple girls who are 19 or 20 interested in coming by but that whole 21+ thing...yeah, a problem.  So we're going to be doing it (still on Fridays) starting at 10pm and 18+ instead of 21+, so hopefully that will help.  Another idea to generate interest was promo pictures.

Today was my sister Christiana's high school graduation party.  You'll recognize her from pretty much everything I do.  She's my default model, and she's good.  Near the end of the grad party today, I set up my Alien Bee B800 (using the umbrella) and first my friend Nora posed as the test subject to get ideas for angles and compositions.

The last pic is Nora's brother Landon, who is hysterical and got in on the test shooting, as did some of the other party-goers such as Mike, who's in my summer bowling league.  I dig.  Anyway, I wanted Nora to be my Bikini Bowling model, but she said her body isn't currently bikini ready, which is ridiculous because she's totally gorgeous and, being Cuban, perpetually tan.  So Christy, Liv, and Kels were my models, which was cool, because it's always interesting shooting multiple people.  Olivia has done a little bit of modeling (plus I did her senior pictures), and Kelsey was recently a vampire for me.

I really liked the shot of Nora from above where she was throwing the beach ball up at me, but I wanted to get the bowling alley name in the promo images, so I ended up shooting from floor level.  Plus this kept there from being huge amounts of empty lane space, but still being able to see the pins.  I kept my light in the same spot (maybe 7 feet away from them, in height as well as floor distance and pointed downward, bouncing out of the reflective silver umbrella) but it was definitely more dramatic looking when I changed my vantage point so that the light was to my side instead of behind me.

This was one of my favorite shots, but of course I screwed it up and didn't get the Sheffield Lanes text in the original image.  I messed with combining other images with it in Photoshop for, oh, probably 45 minutes before getting the second version, which I'm still not entirely happy with, but is acceptable.  Lots of trying to get angles straight and not have heads from the other shot in the lanes.  It's going to get played with more later, I'm sure, though I may have to go shoot the alley without any models to have a blank canvas in case of any other alterations I might want to do.

We only shot for maybe 20 minutes because Kels had to go to her friend's house down the street to watch TrueBlood (a completely acceptable reason to leave, in my opinion) but Christy and Liv and I took a couple more images after.  I have 2 frames of my sister by herself, and she's super cute and happy-looking.  Awwww!

This shot of the two girls is definitely one of my favorites.  They manage to sip their drinks (cranberry juice for Christy and OJ for Liv) and still have great facial expressions.  Work those eyes!  As Tyra Banks would say, it's totally fierce.  I included both the LightRoom version and Photoshop edits to show what all I did in post.  Not much was done in LR, just some white balancing, exposure and a bit of my beloved clarity.  The detail work is in the Photoshop, especially seeing as the only beach ball we had was one a local "band" called guruguru and has their name all over it.  (I say "band" because they are "more art than music" - performance art, basically.)  I did some skin smoothing and toning, opened up some shadows, brought out their eyes and played with black and white versions as well as different saturations.  Definitely dig the color version, though the b&w is pretty cool too.  I'm happy with the way this last image especially turned out.  This is going on Facebook (and possibly Myspace, but who goes on Myspace nowadays?) and hopefully we'll have some Bikini Bowlers this Friday!!

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