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Please tell me... (re: shoot disasters)
Old 03-10-2003, 11:41 AM   #1 (permalink)
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... that other photographers have had shoots go COMPLETELY wrong.

Sunday, I tried to do the belly dancing shoot that I had mentioned a while ago and absolutely nothing went right.

1) The other model was way late and since we couldn't leave without her we missed the light I wanted.

2) The other model was also convinced that she was ugly, that she looked stupid in the bedlah (dancing costume,) that she couldn't dance, and I could not get a decent pose or facial expression out of her to SAVE MY LIFE. (Neither of these models were being paid: this was supposed to be fun. I should have just sent her packing, but they're friends of ours.)

3) My flash malfunctioned and would only fire every second or third shot.

4) My camera for some reason would take about three pictures and then spend five minutes processing - I've used these settings before and didn't have these problems: I don't know what was wrong.

5) My camera also decided that it hated the Chroma-Key background we were using (I've used it before with no problems) and now I have bizarre artifacts all over the place.

6) My slave flashes were either possessed by demons or the laws of optical propogation were temporarily annulled in the area: two shots, same lighting setup, same angle, same flash settings, are displaying wildly different exposures. The exposure settings on the camera were locked, so I can only assume it's the actual light. They worked PERFECTLY in testing before and after shooting.

At this point, I don't know if I got ANY shots. We didn't get home until nine-ish and then we had to unload the equipment. After all that I was pretty tired, and when I started looking at the pics, I went through the first fifty or so and got so disgusted I stopped the review. (I took about 200 shots.) It's enough to make a brave man weep. At least I'm not out any cash.

So please tell me that this does happen to other people, sometimes, once in a while, and that I shouldn't just take my camera and all my equipment and toss it in a dumpster.

St. Marc
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Re: Please tell me... (re: shoot disasters)
Old 03-10-2003, 12:19 PM   #2 (permalink)
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We all have some bad days............ In 1971 one of the first major 35mm motion pictuers ( The Wedding ) myself and Peter Fortuna were writing, producing, directing, shooting, etc... was a comedy of errors. A few, we had the main wedding recption hall set with 20 paid SAG extras ( including John Herzfed, Ruth Alda ) and 80 non paids,the press like Variety, plus a crew of 10 gaffers, grips, etc... The actor we hired to play the priest, was not Catholic and could not bless himself and the production cut ($$$$ per minute) with the whole cast trying to show him how to it. We had silk parachutes hung form the ceiling to diffuse the lights, and one of the lights exploded causing part of the chutes to catch fire and burn one of the extra (later to take legal action)Oneof the film canisters was deffective and a 1,000 feet of film was processed Blank.... yada, yada, yada, to many things to write about in this two 18 hour a day shoot.
So, yes there are much worse days, Keep shooting.

J



Peter Fortuna, Myself, and Chales Hipser on the Arri 35
 
 
Of course, not...
Old 03-10-2003, 12:57 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Dump your stuff in the dumpster outside my house. [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gif[/img]

The only people who don't make mistakes are those who don't do anything. Same can be said about having diasters.

My (so far) worst experience was going out on a sub-freezing (literally -10 - 0F) sunny day a few years back to shoot a model in somewhat skimpy outfits - tees, thin pants, lingerie - (VERY brave model) - in the snow. I shot and shot, using the match-needle metering in the K1000. Learned later (too late) that the cold apparently drained the batteries throughout the shoot. First dozen frames were properly exposed (mostly scenics and tests), then increasingly overexposed. Nothing worthwhile of the model.



This is getting tiresome.
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Re: Please tell me... (re: shoot disasters)
Old 03-10-2003, 04:41 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Old Adage #1: 1) Any thing that can go wrong will go wrong. 2) Any thing that can't possibly go wrong will go wrong anyway just to prove point 1.

1) Another old adage: Hope for the best, plan for the worst, and you won't (usually) be surprised. Terribly disappointed, perhaps, but not surprised…

Never count on a model you're not paying to be on time. Don't usually count on a model you are paying to be on time. And, whether paid or not, never ever count on their makeup/hair being completed to their satisfaction by the time you wanted to start the shoot even if they arrived on time to begin with...

2) Best way to handle that situation, IMHO, is to be as casual about the shoot as you can possibly be. Set up lights and such, designate an area for the model(s) to stay within, then sit-back and try to capture the moments when they're least expecting it.

Photography by ambush? Maybe, but sometimes the best (if not the only) way to get anything close to what you're after. Also, BTW, works wonders with kids…

3) See Old Adage #1…

4) One of the joys of digital photography that the cam manufacturers conveniently neglect to mention in their brochures – that nagging refresh time. Still trying to get used to the 'hurry up and wait' pace of digi too.

Question: Did you change card size? Have noticed the bigger the card, the slower the refresh time seems to be.

5) No experience with Chroma-Key backgrounds, but have had same experience with plain ol' canvas. Background shoots precisely the way expected during a test shoot – unexpected shadows/shadings/wrinkles magically appear when it counts. Also see Old Adage #1…

6) See Old Adage #1. And refer to Item #5. Another unannounced enhancement of digital photography I think you may have experienced as the result of shooting another image, or more, before the cam was done processing an earlier one. Have experienced similar results when, in essence, attempting to manually do a short 3-4 exposure 'burst' of shots. Strobes can keep up, but I don't think the cam can.

Only thing I can suggest is to keep digging through those shots and hope you've ended up with at least a few decent shots. Wouldn't hurt to light a candle and say a little prayer of thanks to the Muse who watches over photographers and other fools that the gremlins crept in when you had little more than your time invested.

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Re: Please tell me... (re: shoot disasters)
Old 03-10-2003, 06:46 PM   #5 (permalink)
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I was hired to shoot a portfolio for a young model who was a pageant queen and she was wearing a beautiful $1200 gown. Well, I was using a hot light behind her on small light stand and she slowly backed into it and it started her gown on fire. I couldn't believe it. $1200 gown up in smoke. Her mom and dad were there watching the shoot and her dad started laughing and her mom shook her head with a grin on her face. I couldn't believe it. I thought for sure they would shoot me on the spot but they were of the attitude that things happen and they gladly paid me for the shoot. Can you believe it? I was apologizing all over the place. They said it wasn't my fault because she slowly was backing into it and even they didn't notice. That was the day I threw that hot light in the garbage and bought strobes. No looking back. Hot lights suck. Too hot, too dangerous, change color too fast, burn light bulbs out too quickly, and I just don't like them. Whew. So there. [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gif[/img]

If something can go wrong it will...and it did. If something doesn't go wrong, I did something wrong. LOL

Good day!

Mike
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Re: Please tell me... (re: shoot disasters)
Old 03-10-2003, 10:19 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Well Ill throw one in....recently had a shoot.....planned for it...etc...

shot three outfits.....and put the pics side by side and they dont look anything like the girls portfolio...or her in my estimation....and whats worse ....i cant figure out why....


ps. and she was on of the first I actually hired....and paid....






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at least you didn\'t get arrested
Old 03-10-2003, 11:45 PM   #7 (permalink)
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that would have really sucked
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Re: at least you didn\'t get arrested
Old 03-14-2003, 06:44 AM   #8 (permalink)
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I set up a photo shoot a couple months ago, indoors, with 4 cars and 3 models. A friend let me use his garage/warehouse. I went out and spent close to $200 for supplies, food and drinks just for that shoot. Only one car showed up and NO models. No one called to say they weren't coming either. the only photos I took were to test the lighting.. lol
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Re: Please tell me... (re: shoot disasters)
Old 03-21-2003, 11:50 AM   #9 (permalink)
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& I thought I was the only one this happened to [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gif[/img]
I call it "Sods Law", others have their own name...the great camera God was a bit P***ED off that day [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/wink.gif[/img]

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