Perspectives of a Writer and Musician

Issues related to writing, publishing and playing jazz music: One man's muse.
by Al Stevens

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Location: Florida, United States

Sunday, November 26, 2006

A Photo Shoot

I'm working on upgrading my website as time allows. I've been studying PHP and CSS to be able to make a more visually and audibly pleasing site. I also wish to use the site to emphasize parts of my entertaining and figure-building career that the present website does not adequately address. And I need professional looking 8x10s for my brochure and promo package.

To those ends, I set up a photo session in my studio. I don't have professional photography equipment. I have only a digital camera. It's a bit bigger than the typical point-and-shoot camera that is popular now, and it has a bigger lens, so I think it will suffice.

The experts say, "Don't do it yourself. Go to a professional theatrical photographer. Would you take out your own appendix?"

Well, my appendix notwithstanding, I'm the kind of guy who likes to try things myself before I spend a lot of money having it done. That's how I becamse a figure-maker in the first place.

For this photo shoot, I used tips I found on the Internet and from friends on making a backdrop, setting up the lighting, and posing the shots.

The backdrop is a large bolt of black cloth hanging from a bookcase. Lighting is three shop lights diffused with scrim. Two lights are in front of the scene at different angles and another one backlights the backdrop from floor level, although you can't really tell looking at the pictures. The studio's overhead florescent lights are turned off. I set my camera's whiteness adjustment according to the manual.

The pictures that follow are from the shoot. I reduced them so they'd fit this blog format nicely, and I added labels that identify the characters I currently use.










Oh, yeah, here's Renfield. I don't perform with him now, but he's the guy that got me back on stage as a ventriloquist after almost a five decade hiatus.



The camera person was my patient—as in long-suffering, not as in having her appendix removed—and enduring wife Judy, who puts up with all my eccentricities. I'll never forget the look on her face about seven years ago when I said, "Honey, I'm going to retire from writing computer books and play music full time. And, oh by the way, I'm going to become a ventriloquist again."

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