A per­son­al project borne of the Cre­ative­Live ses­sions men­tioned in my last post led to the cre­ation of a month­ly project. This month’s offer­ing is “Junk Store Super­hero” and con­sist­ed of a trip to sev­er­al sec­ond-hand stores, and an after­noon shoot­ing pho­tos out and about in the city of Cal­gary..

Star­ring in this install­ment was Von­Bon­bon (“V” for short) and her mild man­nered alter-ego Tasha. Make­up by Aman­da Cook and hair by Mike Lindee.

I’d been itch­ing to get out­side and shoot for a while, and real­ized very quick­ly the lim­its of small flash­es again..   Mak­ing use of our stu­dio expe­ri­ence in Seat­tle was help­ful, but I did fight a fair bit to bal­ance nat­ur­al light..  A chal­lenge for sure!

The set­up changed for as we moved around, how­ev­er for the most part I used a sin­gle strobe shot into a small­ish (40″??) umbrel­la.   Lens­es were a 50mm and 90mm f/1.8’s and a 70–200 f/2.8 sat on a D700.

Since this was all an exper­i­ment things went right, annnnd..  things went wrong.  Some key take­aways for this shoot:

Long days:

We start­ed in the after­noon and went pret­ty darn late.  Look­ing for inspi­ra­tion for the cos­tume and style in the junk store is great, but sig­nif­i­cant­ly increas­es the length of the day. I’d split the pur­chas­ing and shoot­ing up in to two days in the future.


Food is always appre­ci­at­ed when you’re going for any­thing more than an hour.  I had enough water, pow­er­ade, and munchies for us to set­tle our grum­bling tum­mies.  That was mon­ey well spent.

Have a plan:

The plan with this shoot was to have no plan.  This was a bad idea. It made things pret­ty hel­ter-skel­ter when we actu­al­ly got to shoot­ing and reac­tive rather than proac­tive when it came to work­ing in spe­cif­ic loca­tions. I feel this shows in the pho­tos.  Hav­ing a few spe­cif­ic shots (or at least a sol­id loca­tion) in mind to get start­ed is a much bet­ter idea than ‘let’s see what we can find’

Con­tin­u­ing on with the ben­e­fit of a good plan, as the pho­tog­ra­ph­er hav­ing a clear­er idea of what I actu­al­ly want­ed from the shoot would have also made things smoother in that I could have pro­vid­ed bet­ter direc­tion.

My mod­el was incred­i­bly patient and will­ing to take direc­tion, but I (in hind­sight) feel like I was rely­ing too much on her to just come up with super­hero-ish pos­es and sit­u­a­tions which was a bit unfair.

Tasha did a great job of doing the ‘mod­el’ thing and the result was most of the images came across more like a fash­ion shoot than a super­hero in a spe­cif­ic sit­u­a­tion.  This was not inten­tion­al, and the results are pleas­ing, but not accept­able if we’re look­ing at this from the per­spec­tive of a com­mer­cial shoot (where, to be fair, we’d have a plan..  See where this is going? :)

Have an assistant

Hav­ing an assis­tant to help out with lights, bags and logis­tics would have been incred­i­bly help­ful..  Mike and Aman­da did a great job of lend­ing a hand but unfor­tu­nate­ly weren’t able to stay ’till the end of the day so I end­ed up haul­ing gear and try­ing to focus on what I want­ed to shoot..  I’m not good enough for that to be a 100% slam dunk yet.  Work­ing on it.

Request for feedback:

So there ya go.  As always I’m open to feed­back on the shots and the com­men­tary above.  How do y’all think this turned out? Where could I make improve­ments? What would you have done dif­fer­ent­ly? Also… How do the col­ors look?   I’ve just dug the col­or cal­i­bra­tor out and every­thing grey looks kin­da pink now…  :0/

Here are a few of the shots for you to see..

Final Images

Junk Store superhero

Junk Store superhero
Junk Store superhero

Junk Store superhero

Junk Store superhero


2 Responses to Junk Store Superhero..

  1. Eric Krebs says:

    Nice work Jor­dan! All great shots, I espe­cial­ly like the train shot! I think the col­ors are com­pli­ment­ing through­out all the pics and tied togeth­er well with the mix of arti­fi­cial and ambi­ent light­ing. Thanks for shar­ing the details of your day and the take­aways. Can’t wait for 2.0! Again, great work.

  2. Jordan says:

    Thanks again Eric.. I’ll have to give Tasha a bit of cred­it for the train.. As it was going by she asked whether it was mov­ing behind us.. I’d briefly con­sid­ered it before that but for some rea­son I was fix­at­ed on stop­ping the action.. At any rate, it was get­ting to the point in the day where nat­ur­al light was actu­al­ly pos­si­ble, so it was nice to be able to shoot both..

    I’m look­ing for­ward to the next project too!