Spirit Week Portrait: “Splinter Cell” costume…

Hi Friends,

This is spirit week at my son’s high school – leading up to homecoming on Thursday night. The theme for this year’s homecoming is “Hush, Hush…” and is apparently spy-oriented.  (Don’t ask me why). My son has read all of the Tom Clancy “Splinter Cell” novels, and determined to dress up as Sam Fisher, the main character in the series.  He had most of the gear already, but had to build the night-vision goggles from an old paintball mask, some PVC, and a couple of mini flashlights. The result is above.

Now, for the gearheads, here’s a behind the scenes shot of the setup for the above photograph:

Not much to see given the dark background, but the setup was as follows:

  • Keylight: Nikon SB-800 in 22″ gridded beauty dish, high and pretty much directly above the camera position
  • Rimlights: SB-800’s in 10″ x 36″ Paul C Buff gridded stripbanks, behind and to Conner’s left and right
  • Fog provided by two $10 fog machines purchased a couple years ago from Target the day AFTER Halloween.  Note: if you like fog effects, get a REAL fog machine. These cheapo ones only run for about a minute and then have to reheat.  A bit frustrating having to wait on them.  I have my eye on an Antari fogger for a while. Christmas is coming…

I’ve done fog portraits before, and the trick is to take LOTS of frames as the fog is unpredictable and will sometimes obscure your subject, and often not be where you want it. It takes a bunch of frames to get the right combo of fog and pose / express.  Of course, this would probably have been easier indoors where there are no breezes to waft away the fog, but I didn’t want to run the foggers in the house…

Anyway, we’ll probably do more in a variety of poses once he’s done with Spirit Week.  May be some good compositing potential.

Thanks for dropping by!




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