Week 24, Steampunk and Trolleys

For this week, I brought a few film cameras to a ‘Steampunk’ themed photo shoot held at the CT Shoreline Trolley Museum in East Haven, CT.  They have lots of neat, early 1900’s trolleys and it seemed a fun setting for a steampunk shoot.  For those that don’t know, steampunk is basically an alternate future where Victorian-era clothes are matched with steam-based technology.

Our model was quite young, but a very nice young woman.  Despite her serious model poses here, she smiled a lot when the cameras weren’t on her.  She and her mom did all her makeup and styling (the makeup artist cancelled at the last minute.  Boo.). All her clothes were made by her friend, who attends things like ComicCons and steampunk-themed Cosplay conventions.  The detail on the outfits was quite impressive.

Since this was only my second photo shoot, I had a few issues with getting things in the background that shouldn’t be in frame, having light flare from the studio strobes, and a few other technical problems, but it was a lot of fun and each time I do these I learn a lot about lighting and how to position lights for modeling type shoots.  Some shots had just a key light with a beauty dish, and a strobe under the trolleys to light up the steam, but my favorite shot had a key light, a back light and two strobes under the trolley (the featured image).  Right before I clicked, the model turn her head just slightly, enough to get a lot of the back light over her shoulder, but it still turned out pretty good.

The square shots are with my Yashica Mat 124G, and the 35 with my Kodak Retina IIIc.  I brought both of these because the flashes are often set at 1/125 of a second (4 other shooters were there, all with dSLRs) and the leaf shutters have no sync issues.  Most of my other film cameras can only max out at 1/60 or 1/90 for flash sync.  The Mat was loaded with Portra 800, and the Retina had both CineStill 800 and Portra 160, all lab-developed.  I cropped a few and adjusted light levels to try to get the look we were trying to achieve.

Trolley Studio

Trolley Studio, CineStill 800, Kodak Retina IIIc

First shoot, CineStill 800, Kodak Retina IIIc

First shoot, CineStill 800, Kodak Retina IIIc

Working Trolley, Kodak Portra 160, Kodak Retina IIIc

Working Trolley, Kodak Portra 160, Kodak Retina IIIc

4584, Kodak Portra 160, Kodak Retina IIIc

4584, Kodak Portra 160, Kodak Retina IIIc

Puttin the Steam in Steampunk, Kodak Portra 800, Yashica Mat 124G

Puttin the Steam in Steampunk, Kodak Portra 800, Yashica Mat 124G

This one, “Puttin the Steam in Steampunk” is most heavily adjusted.  I was trying to darken it enough so the corrugated walls of the quonset hut were not visible.  I mostly succeeded, but most is not enough.  Also the light under the trolley was a little too close, we moved it back for later shots (I also brought my dSLR).

 

 

Catch the 220, Kodak Portra 160, Kodak Retina IIIc

Catch the 220, Kodak Portra 160, Kodak Retina IIIc

Electric Rail, Kodak Portra 800, Yashica Mat124G

Electric Rail, Kodak Portra 800, Yashica Mat124G

Subway 7th Ave Express, Kodak Portra 800, Yashica Mat 124G

Subway 7th Ave Express, Kodak Portra 800, Yashica Mat 124G

I have some more shots on my flickr, those not shown here are from my dSLR.  It was a fun shoot and as with everything, a learning experience.

Here is a post showing the gear and lighting setup by the workshop instructor, Bob Harrington.

13 thoughts on “Week 24, Steampunk and Trolleys

  1. Great shoot! I’ve seen some great results from y’all using Cinefilm, I really need to try a couple of rolls of it. I just wish that it came in medium format size as well.

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    • Yes, I would love it in 120 or can you imagine, 4×5? *shiver* that would be incredible. But because they are basically taking cinematography film stock and doing some processing to make it C-41 compatible, I think it would be a long time before we see it in anything other than 35mm.

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      • Yeah, removing the remjet coating so you can develop in regular C41 instead of the motion picture process (ECN2, I believe), but it would also take Kodak to make larger film with that Vision 3 Technology, and I don’t think that they would do that, I don’t think they even make 70mm anymore, which I believe you could trim that down to 120/220 size. But 4×5, that would be incredible…

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    • Thank you, yes it is certainly not something I’d normally think of doing, but these are instructor-lead workshops, so there is a good learning curve. Lots of messed up shots too, but that is why I bring my dSLR. Get a feel for the shoot before I bring out the nice film. I now have a basic speedlight setup and need to convince a few friends to model for me.

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  2. There’s a similar museum near my town, I might have to drag a friend out there to do a shoot for my 52-sheet project! Thanks for the idea!

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