Friday, August 8, 2008

Business cards, my way

So, I am incurably impatient.
Two or three days ago I sent off some pictures to a graphic-designer friend of mine. She has been working on a business card design (or three or four) for me. Having read some of David DuChemin's thoughts on graphic design, I decided to try my hand at it (cause i've got nothing better to do... just passing time til college starts). 

Before you see the cards you get to see the process I went through to get there.
First, I needed a picture. Something that hopefully goes with the "Vault" theme, and looks good. Lacking a safe, I chose a padlock. I happened to have a couple locks lying around without brand names on them (although I toyed with replacing the "master" on masterlocks with "vault photography").

Location studio: my bedroom.
Backdrop: One of my sports coats
Lighting: mix of tungsten, daylight, and mostly SB600, diffused with a piece of paper taped to it.

Here is a picture of my "studio" as I finished my shoot.

You see my platform is my bed, the sportscoat is still on its hanger, and the flash is on its tripod with half a piece of paper taped to it. I made some wrinkles in my coat to give the background a little texture.

I used the 28mm 2.8 lens, shooting between f4 and f8 to get a decent depth of field balance while trying to keep my ISO low, because I knew I was going to be cropping a fair amount.

The original:

It is dark, and you can hardly see any detail, but I knew I could fix most of this in post. For once, I was actually shooting with the post-production in mind, so all I shot for was a decent focus and the right highlights.

I messed with it a fair amount in Aperture's limited editing. Boosted contrast, brought down shadows and boosted highlights. The result:

Lots of color range. I blew out the highlights a little bit so I could have some pure white somewhere on the card to go with my contact info, which I planned to have in all-white. Of course I then have a LOT of shades of grey to choose from for the "Vault Photography."

End Product:

When my graphic design buddy is done with her magic, I'll show you what a real business card looks like :-)

Eventually we'll get to that self-portraiture and a decent shot from one of the many storms we have been having in Boulder.
-Matt Beaty