Share D3X shot and a forest inside my studio

Joined
Jan 6, 2021
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11
Hi,

This was shot with my D3x, which I still use a lot. And yup, this is NOT a location shoot. This forest was literally built inside my studio :D

If you wanna know how that happened, the full story is told on this YT video:

Forest shoot:

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Critiques are highly appreciated.

We can only improve if we realize what went not so well, so please, critique all you want.

Best regards,
Marcio Napoli
 
Joined
Jan 6, 2021
Messages
11
haha guys, I'm enjoying a lot your little chat :D

Mike, please share some shots of your setup, I'd love to see!

I absolutely LOVE with a passion everything that's build up, everything that takes more effort to accomplish. If you wanna share, I'd definitely love to see :)


Part of the inspiration for my sets, is that I'm a massive movie nerd. Love, love, love how Hollywood build up their stages. My whole life I wanted to do something at least inspired by that.

And yup, there's definitely more coming up.


If you're interested, please check it up the 3:00 mark in this video below (it's the follow up to the forest, on my channel).


On the 3 min mark there's a teaser for an actual full scale Pyramid room I've been sloooooooooowly building for 18 months haha :D :D

The mummy shoot:

This one was not shot with a Nikon, hope the mods allow this post. :)
 
Joined
Sep 13, 2007
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Northern VA suburb of Washington, DC
Mike, please share some shots of your setup, I'd love to see!

Unfortunately, my makeshift studio is part of a storage room and my working space is only about 6' x 9'. Considering that small size and that it is also black, it's not practical to make photos of any of my setups. Coincidentally, I am in the process of moving all non-photographic items out of the storage room into a shed. Doing so will increase the working space of my makeshift studio by more than 60%. Though the resulting space will still be at best only a makeshift studio, that additional space will be a godsend for the type of photography I regularly do. It might even be large enough for me to photograph the setups in the future.

This one was not shot with a Nikon, hope the mods allow this post.

You're new here, so I'll mention that though the name of the website refers to Nikon, all narratives by everyone using all manufacturers' equipment and all of their photos are welcome here.
 
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Joined
Jan 6, 2021
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Hey Mike, thanks for the reply. I loved the image on your website. It's very far from my field, but I understand the challenges involved in photographing glass (reflections, dust, environment, etc).

It's specially hard to get quality, clean results like yours, congratulations, amazing work!

Now, speaking of set ups and available room, one thing I wanna do with my channel is not only to receive views for what I'm doing (haha), but I'd honestly like to give something back. I really do.

I've been encouraging a lot of people (which have been following my work since the forest shoot - that was shot way back in 2018) to try their own versions of this set-building thing.

For example:

In my case, I'm for sure in a fortunate position here in Brazil, having enough room and spare income to build these things.

I'm faaaaar from rich, but for a 3rd World citizen, I'm sure in a more fortunate position than the average Brazilian.

But truth be told, the blessed position I enjoy is probably very, very, very average compared to what you guys have in the US.

For a start, most American properties have super large backyards, and what I consider "good" income here, is probably peanuts to you (even more so if you consider Brazilian currency is 5x weaker than USD).

What I'm trying to say is:

I have plenty of sets planned that are reasonable to be built in short time, by one or 2 people, and it doesn't cost much, neither take too much room (it nicely fits in a garage corner or a backyard shed).

In simple terms: small, cheap stages, but with amazing, punchy visual presentation that clients would find impressive.

That not only expands business models, but also is a tremendous hobby for those not shooting professionaly.

For the moment I can't show a specific example lol I have yet to build those myself (I'm focusing on the larger sets for now).

But I'm curious if you guys would be interested in seeing videos exactly about that, I mean, specific tutorials, showing step-by-step on how to build these easier, smaller, cheaper sets.

I'm deciding what content I can add to my channel, and was curious to see if people are interested on such tutorials (considering these are way more build friendly).

So anyone passing by, please share your thoughts :)
 
Joined
Mar 4, 2005
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15,553
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Los Angeles, USA
Nice photo! I find it interesting that you mention the big spaces in the US, but I think it'd cost significantly more here to build small sets especially for larger projects! In big cities such as Los Angeles or New York, you'd probably have to rent studio space for these kind of shoots.

If you want to drive more traffic to your site, I think you should highlight aspects and scenery of Brazil. More interaction with models is also nice. You have a worldwide audience on Youtube and people can't really travel right now, so showing other locations in the world is nice to see. Also keep the videos brief and straight to the point. If you have extra content to show, make the videos in parts. Quick time lapses of the set building is also nice to have.

On a side note I have a sweet spot for the D3X. That camera was the last high megapixel flagship body Nikon made. I took some great images with that body!
 

Commodorefirst

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Welcome aboard, thanks for sharing your set up, and regarding gear used, all gear is welcome here, just a note though repeating links to images or videos in multiple threads may make it seem like you are driving traffic to your site. No worries yet, and I see you found the non Nikon forum too. Once again, welcome aboard. Jonathan’s advice is spot on too. Looking forward to your next post.
 
Joined
Jan 6, 2021
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Nice photo! I find it interesting that you mention the big spaces in the US, but I think it'd cost significantly more here to build small sets especially for larger projects! In big cities such as Los Angeles or New York, you'd probably have to rent studio space for these kind of shoots.

If you want to drive more traffic to your site, I think you should highlight aspects and scenery of Brazil. More interaction with models is also nice. You have a worldwide audience on Youtube and people can't really travel right now, so showing other locations in the world is nice to see. Also keep the videos brief and straight to the point. If you have extra content to show, make the videos in parts. Quick time lapses of the set building is also nice to have.

On a side note I have a sweet spot for the D3X. That camera was the last high megapixel flagship body Nikon made. I took some great images with that body!
Hi Jonathan,

Sorry for the late reply, I was super busy this past week finishing a set we've been building for the past 18 months :O (it's finaaaally done!)

Thanks for all the comments, they're pretty much spot on, will do my best to follow those advices.

Some things are a bit hard to implement though... I always ask the models (the whole crew in fact) to interact more with the videomaker, and register their personalities on video, but they always shy away.

Not sure why, because it's an awesome window for their work.

Maybe they can't speak English, but they have the option to speak in Portuguese and I'll subtitle anyway.


Super agree regarding showing a bit more of where we are.

Whenever I see a shoot shot in LA, the Western deserts, or just about anywhere in the US, I just love it. More than a shoot, it's a vacation.

I'll do that on my channel as well, but I'll have to wait for my next trip to Santa Catarina.

That's a State in South Brazil (where I was previously located up to 2014), which is probably the better part of Brazil.

That region is where most of our top models come from, due to being mostly European descendants. High quality of life, gorgeous looking people, amazing beaches, etc.

It's a place most of you guys never heard of, it's a shame you guys mostly know about our lamest region (Rio...).

I'll be shooting some outdoor content on my next trip there.

For now I'll be uploading mostly studio shoots like that, as Sao Paulo is not really outdoor shoots friendly. lol :D


If you guys don't mind, here's the next set we'll be shooting:

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Guys, thanks for the feedback.

I'm editing the next episode and for sure it will be shorter. Not only that helps on the pace, but I can't endure another full month of editing up to 3 a.m. lol

Agree on the D3x as well, amazing camera, one of Nikon's finest.

It's a shame we never got a D4x, and even more of a shame we all wanted a D700 replacement (aka D850 body, D750 sensor) and that never came as well... such a shame.

Nikon, here's our money, c'mon.

Guys, thanks again.

Wade, thanks for understanding. I'll be posting content on their related forum :)
 
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Jan 6, 2021
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Hey,

Just wanted to share, as Jonathan suggested.

The content below I'm not even proud of, it's from my earlier days, was sort of a noob back then... lol So not really sharing because I'm proud or anything... :( haha


Even the video format itself is too boring.


It's just for the sake of sharing.

The video below was shot in Florianopolis, the capital of State of Santa Catarina.


Florianopolis I'm sure you've never heard of, but it's a tremendously high quality of life city. It equals or surpasses many cities in Europe or US, regarding quality of life.


Most of the shoot was shot in a dunes area, quite a bit far away from downtown, tough...

Link:

For the gear talk, camera used was a D700.


I'm sharing as most of you don't know about places like these.


And if you don't mind, a bit of eye candy now :D haha


Shoot below took place in Balneario Camboriu, a very famous beach city in South Brazil, just 100km north of Florianopolis, another place with exceptional quality of life.

These are places many of the wealthy people here go to live, after retiring.


With places like these, I still can't believe foreign turists chose Rio for vacation, just to get robbed (or worse).


Gisele Marciniak:


And yeah, this is a very typical beauty in that region, I'm sure you know why our top models come from this area haha :D

(camera was my beloved D200 back then)
 
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Jan 6, 2021
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Hi,

Quick update, just to let you guys know that I'm carefully listening.

Loved the suggestion to show more of the city / area where the shoot is taking place.

I thought long about it, and you're absolutely right!!

Way more than the shoot itself, people are interested in "visiting" other places through these videos.

Whenever I see a video in Route 66 or any American desert, LA, Las Vegas, I'm actually experiencing a trip, and love every second of it.

So even if Sao Paulo is not a gorgeous city, to me it's just home (quite boring actually), but to you, Sao Paulo is exotic.

You don't know what it looks like, so you'll enjoy as much as I love seeing LA.

Taking notes guys!

Next outdoor shoot in Sao Paulo will feature almost a tourism vibe xD

Will leave you guys with a video that I LOVE watching, from the awesome Frederico Martins.

Shot in Fuerteventura, it presents exactly that "tourism" vibe.

I'd never knew about Fuerteventure if it wasn't for that video.

Fashion editorial for ELLE:
 
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Jan 6, 2021
Messages
11
Hi Commodorefirst and Phil, thank you so much!

I know how corny that sounds, but every kind word pushes us forward. These projects may no look like, but they're done out of sheer passion and enthusiasm (I'm not a pro anymore for many, many moons and my YT channel is so small it doesn't even count regarding monetization).

I do it to have a venue to show my work, something I couldn't properly do in my pro days, and feedback from you guys always means a lot. Thank you!

If you liked, there's a new video going online this weekend.

It was based / inspired by Calkin Klein campaigns (more like a literal copy Lol), and once again done as an enthusiast.

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Sorry for the super compressed images! lol

The video is 4k, these are just grabbed from a quick preview render.

A question for the mod, can I post the link on this existing thread? (since the non-Nikon forum is almost a desert :D lol )

It was shot with my Leica M8 and my lower end Phase One, no Nikon this time :D

I know there should be a Nikon in there to allow posting, but I feel there's more to talk about than just cameras.

For example, the shoot has an actual large campaign vibe, but was shot entirely on a tiny enthusiast level budget.

I'm an amateur now, but shoots like these prove you don't need to be hired for large assignments to produce ambitious work.

Just because one doesn't shoot for a living, that doesn't mean one have to aim small.

Also, the video makes a nice argument for colored lighting, which is something I'm trying to emphasize as much as possible, because it was a real game changer for my work, and it's something that took me many years to realize how important colored lighting actually is.

Please mod, say it's fine to post here ^_^ haha

Guys, once again, massive thanks for the lovely feedback :)
 
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Jan 6, 2021
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Guys, so here's a few images from the upcoming video.

Here's the argument I'm bringing up, and honestly, no matter what involvement one has with photography, this is worthy checking out.

No matter if you're shooting for fun or professionaly, photography is always about quality of light.


At first this looks like basic stuff (like something that has been done - and talked about - to no end since forever), but you never realize how much of a game changer that is until you start doing it yourself.


I did a quick 5 min 3d demonstration.

Let's assume this is what you get on full sunlight at 2 p.m.

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Sorry for the goofy expression lol

Now, if you bring it to an "indoor" space, and use a single light source (flash or continuos), you get this:

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An improvement in rendering of shapes.

Shapes now have volume, due to the how light brushes the head and casts shadows, etc.

Now with a colored backlight, that's the argument I'm bringing up:

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This is a very rough example, for sure :D lol

But you get the point.

It's such a simple thing, that can improve to no end countless situations, just by placing a colored back light of any sort (ideally a strobe, of course, but I've done it before even with cheap 30 USD Chinese LEDs)

Now a few examples, all from my upcoming video, and these are all Nikon related :) (all from the D3X)

Please note the cool backlight, that's the real interest.

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One strong argument the video tries to bring up is that whenever you're in any sort of rustic location, just go for the cool back light (blue, purple, green, etc).

9 times out of 10 it's a perfect match, and one's photography improves drastically.
 
Joined
Jan 6, 2021
Messages
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Guys, the video is finally uploaded (the one exploring this blue back light thing I mentioned previously)

To be honest, it has nothing to do with Nikon (other than the fact I used my D3x as a light meter xD Lol).

But I don't know... isn't photography itself more important than keeping the forum as a brand thing?

If a mod says so, I'll delete this post.

Until then, please take a look at the blue back light tip, this is the argument I'm constantly bringing up because, personally it was a game changer for my photography, and it can be equally as special for anyone embracing the technique.

In fact, the whole idea of rustic location + blue lighting + fog + sparks is a can't-go-wrong situation.

This whole combination of factors is like activating a cheat mode: it's too awesome to go wrong.

Do this, and you'll always have a bunch of keepers getting back home :D


A few shots from this shoot (maybe NSFW, just maybe, it's censored anyway):

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I know it's quite dark, but I didn't want to boost exposure in PP, to keep it moody and the gritty overall tone. Underexposing was part of the aesthetics.

It's NSFW because of topless girls, but no worries there, it's all censored.


Now, if you wanna take a look how this was done in a very limited budget, the video tells the whole story:


Calkin Klein (sort of) jeans shoot:


Hope you enjoy it :D

Again, if mod say it's not fine, I'll delete the post.

Best regards :)
 
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