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Photograph Information Photographer's Comments
Challenge: Beauty II (Expert Editing)
Collection: 2014
Camera: Nikon D700
Lens: Nikon AF-S Nikkor 17-35mm f/2.8D IF-ED
Location: beverly hills, ca
Date: Apr 29, 2014
Date Uploaded: Apr 30, 2014


[May. 2nd, 2014 05:16:00 PM]

This is the staff of The Cheese Store of Beverly Hills, where we've been going for the past 10 years for their monthly wine and cheese tastings. I've been wanting to take Norbert's portrait (he's the guy playing the piano, and also the owner of the store), since forever. During a recent tasting, I showed him my Dames in the Dungeon portrait, and that seemed to seal the deal! He was the one that proposed we shoot in this tasting room (which is not where the monthly events are held), and when I saw it, I knew we had our set.

We set our date, talked about all the details, and I told him the look I was going for - a painterly, tavern-like scene of yesteryear. I specifically instructed that nobody but him should wear white, and that nobody should wear black, t-shirts, or other "modern" things...

So while cheese people may indeed be the greatest people in the world, they don't follow direction terribly well....

When I arrived, they started bringing in the "goodies" for the table, and then it was up to me to arrange them.

I knew from the beginning that lighting was going to be an issue. You are viewing the ENTIRE room. I squished myself into the corner and still could barely get it all. In addition, there was no room for the light at camera left. No matter what I did, a portion of it showed in the image. I started with my beauty dish, but it was impossible to get it close enough to the wall. I switched to a shoot-into umbrella, and those extra inches made the difference, although the light is a lot harsher than I'd intended. There is only one other light (behind and above me). As there was no room for the stand, I set it on a sandbag on top of the wine stack. In retrospect, I should have added one more light in the far right corner, as a special for the toaster's face.

While this is a real scene, it did require some compositing, which is why it is definitely an "expert" editing image. I had to replace the head of the man making the toast (as his face was completely in the dark), and clone out the umbrella and the flare in the area above him. I also needed to correct the distortion of the glass in the foreground at far left, and clone out a piece of cheese that we decided not to use, which I'd placed on the corner of the table. I didn't realize it was still in frame...

I also used my fog machine for several takes (including this one), although I initially did some images without it. I chose to go with the fog, as it really added to the scene.

But the hardest thing was getting this joviality. They were tired and wanted to go home after a long day of work. It wasn't until towards the end that everyone started loosening up. I wasn't getting the tavern mood by having them shout "Cheers" or "Shit". It only came together when I had them shout "Arrrrr!"

[POST CHALLENGE]
I'm so chuffed. As Anita pointed out, it's been a while. Thanks for such wonderful comments, and generous votes.

Statistics
Place: 2 out of 71
Avg (all users): 6.7195
Avg (commenters): 8.3077
Avg (participants): 6.4706
Avg (non-participants): 6.8958
Views since voting: 2081
Views during voting: 218
Votes: 82
Comments: 40
Favorites: 8 (view)


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AuthorThread
05/14/2014 11:23:20 PM
Oh Johanna! You are so good!!!!!! Love love LOVE this!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
05/13/2014 04:56:16 AM
This is so full of life, it's a fantastic image. Puts me in mind of some of the work of the wonderful Jorge De Sousa.
Many congrats on your ribbon, Johanna.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
05/12/2014 08:30:31 PM
Congratulations on the red, Johanna. Beautifully brought together! Thank for sharing the back story.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
05/11/2014 07:44:37 PM
Congratulations on the red. What a beautiful room. Only the modern dress give away the fact that this is a current image. Love the story about the Arrrr... I am very impressed by the lighting, and after reading how difficult it was, I am even more impressed with it.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
05/11/2014 03:43:07 PM
Great group. Congrats.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
05/10/2014 06:54:30 PM
Lovely atmosphere you've created. Excellent shot.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
05/10/2014 06:26:43 PM
Absolutely wonderful!!! And the story is almost as good as the Photo :)

Congrats on the ribbon.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
05/10/2014 04:18:18 PM
Great atmosphere! Congratulations.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
05/10/2014 07:59:56 AM
whooo hooo! A Tie for red -- how cool. ;)

wonderfully done! Congrats!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
05/09/2014 10:37:43 PM
Masterfully done! Congratulations on an epic production!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
05/09/2014 08:51:38 PM
A 21st century American genre scene! Now you're talking!
You chose a place with good wine and fruit, real cheese (and not velveeta) and all this so well lighted and no fussy processing!
Well done!
And tell your sitters that they played along beautifully - it is a real scene! (more exclamation marks)

  Photographer found comment helpful.
05/09/2014 05:24:57 PM
Wonderful shot Johanna. Well deserving of a ribbon. I enjoyed your comments very much.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
05/09/2014 03:17:21 PM
Lovely capture! Thanks for the story and congrats with the red!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
05/09/2014 02:48:06 PM
Very impressive. Thanks for your hard work. Very enjoyable.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
05/09/2014 12:27:05 PM
I love this shot, and your explanation is fun to read, too. Well deserved ribbon.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
05/09/2014 12:17:28 PM
Congrats Johanna on the ribbon! Loved this piece for all the lively actions and story going on. Thanks for the back story - methinks you will need to arm yourself with some bawdy Renaissance drinking songs next time in case the Pirate Arr! method doesn't work:-)
  Photographer found comment helpful.
05/09/2014 08:54:15 AM
This was my highest score by far... glad to see it get a ribbon! Congrats Johanna!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
05/09/2014 05:53:34 AM
great uplifting image - congrats!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
05/09/2014 04:56:22 AM
It's great to see this one with a red ribbon! Great job Johanna :)
  Photographer found comment helpful.
05/09/2014 02:06:45 AM
Hurray for cheese! Well done with the very difficult shooting environment. I struggle with directing just one person, I can't imagine how difficult it is with a full group! Congratulations on your well deserved ribbon :)
  Photographer found comment helpful.
05/09/2014 01:55:04 AM
Congrats Johanna! So happy to see this ribboned.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
05/09/2014 12:52:41 AM
Johanna, congrats! Your spirit is always right on target!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
05/09/2014 12:23:13 AM
AH HA my favorite photo of the challenge!! You totally fooled me! I thought this had to be some UK photographer at an old English pub. Well done my friend! Personally I gave it the BLUE!!!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
05/09/2014 12:18:13 AM
Glad it did well for you, and to think just the other day, I was thinking, Johanna hasn't ribboned for a while....why does the spell check always tell me I've spelt ribboned wrong, is there another way....hrupmphffff!!!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
05/09/2014 12:11:01 AM
This was by far and away my absolute favourite of the challenge. My only regret? Not favouriting it during the challenge! I love this shot.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
 Comments Made During the Challenge
05/08/2014 11:52:56 PM
I love this. Full of joy and beautifully composed, it is one of my ribbon choices. 10
  Photographer found comment helpful.
05/08/2014 11:14:13 PM
if you say so, but i might prefer the moment when i get to eat some of that cheese
  Photographer found comment helpful.
05/08/2014 11:01:29 PM
let me make a toast- to a table full of food props! great set-up, I am hoping that this shot is really the combination of many.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
05/08/2014 10:31:38 PM
yes, there is nothing more beautiful than a beautiful moment
  Photographer found comment helpful.
05/07/2014 10:18:25 PM
What a great image. So many details I am enjoying.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
05/05/2014 09:03:27 PM
Great atmosphere in this shot, looks like a great feast for all! In my top picks.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
05/03/2014 11:27:19 AM
The two empty chairs.....I want to be in one of them hearing that song! This is an amazing, compelling photo, full of delight and most definitely embodies the spirit of beauty. If this is not on the front page I will be amazed. It's a 10 from me.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
05/03/2014 12:05:47 AM
excellent in the idea and execution of this shot. Now what are you selling make a good ad.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
05/02/2014 10:40:05 PM
I do hope this is the Blue... but I fear that people won't stop to feel it. They'll just look at the other entries and think they know what beauty is.

They are confused. 10 (one of only two tens)
  Photographer found comment helpful.
05/02/2014 08:46:09 PM
Having a look through and this one begged for a long look. Although it looks a bit staged; it is beautifully done.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
05/02/2014 08:33:25 PM
Absolutely fabulous! This has the look and feel of a painting. Love the action going on. Life indeed is full of beautiful moments - the smiles, the laughter, the singing, the food, friends & family, and a nice glass of wine. Plenty of stories and moments to be found in this capture. Well done.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
05/02/2014 02:58:13 PM
This is great Like suspended animation :D
  Photographer found comment helpful.
05/02/2014 11:27:30 AM
This is really nice, I keep coming back to this shot. It really draws me in, makes me want to find that little pub and go there! If this is staged it is perfection, I believe all the faces in this! I don't know if you are an American but we used to have a show called Cheers, a small bar, where every body knew your name... This should have been the Cheers Theme Shot!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
05/02/2014 01:54:06 AM
Very expressive image
  Photographer found comment helpful.
05/02/2014 12:25:53 AM
Oh, strike a chord in me! I want to be a part of this!
  Photographer found comment helpful.


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