Magic Monday: Behind the Scenes

Despite the comments that have filtered through the grapevine to me, I’m proud to say that my “A Change in the Wind” picture is nearly straight out of the camera.  No, it is not photoshopped to look that way, and no I did not take a shot of the Julie Andrews poster as I overheard an old man say to Ben at the Summerfest display!

Thought some people might enjoy a little look behind the scenes that created the shot!

First, let me introduce you to my fabulous friend, Teresa.

I met Teresa about 15 years ago back in my theater days.  She was playing the role of the Wicked Witch of the West in The Wizard of Oz.  I had a starring role as an Ozian and Winkey soldier.  (I had one line for the whole show… “Dorothy?  Who’s Dorothy?!?!” But my how I said it well! )

Teresa is absolutely hilarious.  So animated and fun to be around, and this shoot was definitely full of some laughs.  A lot of them!

Teresa is a fantastic actress and has a costume collection to rival any drama department!  When the idea for this shoot popped into my head, I knew immediately who I would use.  Of all the random things to ask someone on facebook, I said, “Hey!  Want to dress up like Mary Poppin’s, jump on a trampoline and let me take your picture?” She responded in minutes with an emphatic “YES!!”

hilarious Poppin out takes 🙂
getting used to the trampoline 🙂

So yes, the secret’s out.  We helped Mary Poppin’s get some air via her fantastic neighbors trampoline!  I settled on this trampoline because of the location.  I could shoot west and not have any distractions of houses close by.

Because of contest restrictions, we had to shoot on Monday, which happened to be TOTALLY SUNNY.  And since we shot in the morning I had strong direct light shining right in her face causing shadows and contrast issues.  Sun in the east, trying to shoot west for the cleanest background… we’ve definitely got some problems.

Poppin out takes 🙂

Solutions?  #1.  I decided to have her look “up” instead of at the camera.  This filled in the shadow areas, and also helped bring attention to the umbrella which is supposed to be carrying her away.

Solution #2.  We decided to use the big black umbrella as a diffuser.  Having her hold the umbrella in her right hand towards the sun, suddenly cleared up our contrast and shadow problems on her face, and… since the umbrella shade was black we didn’t have any color casting issues to deal with and it helped the umbrella to pop out against the light colored sky.

To make these shots really work, its all about the angle you shoot.  I was shooting really low (practically sitting on the ground) so that I could place her in the sky with my perspective.

And the absolute greatest trick that I didn’t figure out until the very very very end?

I got right next to the bar on the trampoline, placing part of it in the bottom of the image and shooting up at Teresa.  This in effect totally blurred out the bar since it was so close to the camera, and because I was shooting at f2.8 and focusing on my subject.  What this ended up doing, was making the blurred bar of the trampoline look like clouds and totally got rid of our horizon line of trees and houses.

the blurry bottom of picture a result of the trampoline bar depth of field...

Here’s the winning image straight out of the camera.  The only thing I tweaked later on was the small sun spots on the bottom of her bodice that the umbrella wasn’t blocking (the only edit I did in photoshop), slight color shift,  very small crop, and I increased the exposure on the trampoline bar to enhance the illusion of clouds using Lightroom’s adjustment brush which allows me to adjust the exposure in only certain parts of the image without affecting the entire image.

SOOC (straight out of camera) shot

Final Image:

So there you go!  Go and learn from my trampoline flying learning curve and take some fun action shots this summer!

avatarBrooke Snow is a Lifestyle photographer in Cache Valley, Utah. She recently learned how to yodel so she could perform upbeat polka songs in the kitchen for the baby boy she is smitten with.  Her delightful husband sings bass and does a great oom pah line to accompany the yodel chorus.  She wrote an opera once, and dabbles in cowboy poetry.

Brooke teaches private photography lessons as well as monthly photography classes in Logan, Utah.

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16 Responses

  1. I love it! I actually did some of my senior photos on a trampoline with my dad – and they were AWESOME!!! I think you’re just so super clever…

  2. I love this picture, and that may or may not be because Mary Poppins was one of my ABSOLUTE favorite movies when I was little. I was curious as to how you did this, because I was pretty dang sure you wouldnt have photoshopped her into the sky. I knew you had a secret up your sleeve! Its absolutely fabulous! 🙂 I think I might try some superman ones of my little guy like that, since he is obsessed with being a flying superhero!

  3. Brooke, have I ever told you how much I freakin love you? I love your creativity, your sense of humor, and your AMAZING talent. You have such an eye for things. But my very favorite thing about you is how giving you are of your knowledge. most professionals are not quite so generous. but you are more than willing to help amatuer photographers and teach them and train them and give tips, and show us your tricks. Thank you so much for that. It has made me decide that if I ever get as good as you, I will always be willing to share with others as well. You are such a dear. thank you and I LOVE LOVE this post. I don’t know teresa, but I can’t help but love her from these pictures. they are awesome.

  4. I love this whole story of how you got the shot. I liked seeing what kind of problems you had to work through to make it a success!

  5. Funny thing- I was there when they announced the winners, and with this picture the announcer said they were amazed at your absolute precision in photoshoping the figure- “Look at those feet! They’ve been cut without a flaw!” If only they knew it was straight out of the camera- they’d be even more impressed!

  6. Thanks for the play-by-play and sharing your learning! I love how you really did very little to the photo after it was shot. That’s the way great photography is! (And I still claim Mary Poppins as one of my favorite movies as an adult!)

  7. What a great project and fantastic capture! Thank you so much for sharing not just your end results but the process of how you go there. I just learn so much from you, thank you thank you!

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