Category: Alt Light Project

Neon Lights – Alt Light Project Recap

The beauty of the Alt Light Project is that you can do some much with different light sources, especially neon. With Vegas being the city of lights, the possibilities are endless!

I kicked off my project by doing various shoots on Main Street, just south of Charleston in the Arts District of Vegas. Main Street has plenty of neon on their windows. Many of them were within eye level, which worked out for my project. Main Street also had larger strip lights that hung across the street, creating an even greater bokeh effect.

It was getting a little repetitive after doing 4 individual shoots on Main Street on different nights, so I somewhat “retired” that area and moved on. I found more neon lights at a location with a very fitting name on Fremont Street…Neonopolis. However, with the amount of people visiting, not to mention having to pay for parking, shooting on Main Street was much more desirable. Perhaps after a break, I may do a shoot on Main Street again.

My Alt Light Project portfolio is growing, so view the rest of the images here.

As I’m growing my gear in reference this gear list, I’m looking to try daytime shots with alternative light. Prisms, kaleidoscopes, decorative items with interesting patterns, and sun-catchers are next on my list!

It’s Good to Have a Muse

By definition, a muse is “a person or personified force who is the source of inspiration for a creative artist.” However, in my case when it comes to photography, a muse is just a fancier work for “guinea pig”.

Whenever I want to try new things, I always seek out people who are not only comfortable in front of the camera, but patient with me when I want to experiment. A huge plus is someone who is readily available with very short notice, especially when I have that last-minute creative itch.

Hannah is a great muse. I first worked with her during  Dirt in the Skirt with other photographers back in February. Since then, she’s been willing to be my muse whenever I wanted to try something out.

My first project was the #michaelschallenge. Because Michaels Stores officially announced the challenge on their social media, they are probably the only store that gave legitimate permission to do such a project. (Hobby Lobby did not.) Hannah and I only spent over an hour at the store.

At the time of writing, I’m not sure why I only did the Michael’s Challenge once. Perhaps I just lost focus and wanted to try other projects. I may want to do it again, especially with fall and holiday merchandise currently in their stores.

I was in a creative rut and wanted to elevate my photography, so I started the “The Alternative Light (Alt Light) Project”. I originally called it the “B.W. Project” after photographer Brandon Woelfel, but as I was working on this project, I realized I didn’t want to completely imitate his work. Woelfel’s signature editing style usually has cyan blue and pink tones with crushed blacks, but I didn’t fully incorporate that into my project. I was mostly inspired by his whimsical way of using fairy lights and other light sources.

After receiving the Star Master projector night light and a couple of fairy lights in the mail, I was very eager to try them out, so Hannah came over to my house for a last minute shoot. I first had her try the fairy lights and then the night light. I also had these pink-to-purple ombré round sunglasses from Torrid that I rarely use (because I don’t wear sunglasses often) as well as a glass in the shape of a light bulb with a straw. My front porch uses a blue LED light, so we incorporated that into our shoot.

After seeing my shoot with Chauntel, Hannah wanted to do a shoot with the neon lights. With Hannah’s lighter skin tone, I discovered the lights didn’t project as strongly as with Chauntel, especially with the pink neon at Koolsville Tattoo. With Hannah’s sweater and glasses, along with the editing, the images reminds me of the “Stranger Things” advertisements mixed in with Scooby Doo (Hannah reminded me of Velma).

Chauntel and Neon Lights

I officially kicked off my Alt Light Project with a neon shoot with Chauntel. Prior to the shoot, Chauntel modeled in a hair show, in which her hair was dyed blue. She was supposed to be my first subject for another project I’ve had in mind, but haven’t started yet (“The Blue Project”). However, at the time of the shoot, she just finished modeling for another hair show that re-colored her hair into a teal-green color.

During this shoot, I left all my strobe equipment in my car. I was just using the ambient light, finding various light sources to illuminate Chauntel’s face. I was mostly using the neon lights from the store exteriors along Main Street.

Because I was working with low lighting, I used my Nikon D750, which is a dream in low-lighting, and 50mm f/1.8 lens.

I was playing around with the editing. Some shots had the blue and pink hues that Brandon Woelfel’s work is known for. Not wanting to completely copy his style, I took bits and pieces of his work and make them my own. For instance, I preferred not to have the heavy matte look on my photos. I wanted my blacks to be a bit more richer, and not used a crushed black style of editing. I also did not want the vintage film effect.

At the time of this shoot, I didn’t have any gear listed on Brandon’s website, especially the fairy lights. This explains why my shots didn’t have as much bokeh.

Credits :
Model – Chauntel (Instagram)

The Alternative Light (Alt Light) Project

I’m in a huge creative rut. I’m at a point where I can’t make up my mind of where I want to take my photography.

A few months ago, I’ve been wanting to go back into using natural light, only to find out I recently purchased a strobe.

Almost a year ago, I wanted to try to build my Vogue Shots Photography glamour and boudoir brand, but I’ve been shooting weddings either as a 2nd shooter or associate photographer.

With my brand-spanking new strobe, I wanted to create Annie Leibovitz or Vanity Fair-style shots, but I only tried it once. I was hoping to setup a small studio at my house, but that didn’t really happen just yet.

I was also supposed to start another project inspired by Lindsay Adler’s “Seeing Red” collection, but instead of red, I wanted to use blue (it’s my favorite color). Nope! I haven’t started at all!

Instead, I started a project called “The Alternative Light (Alt Light) Project”, inspired by Brandon Woelfel’s photography. I first heard about him a few months ago when someone was trying to imitate his work and editing style in a Facebook group. I Googled his name and loved his use of lighting props, heavy bokeh, and his neon lights images.

At first, I wasn’t really into his editing style, but it grew on me over time. I found a few YouTube videos on how to get a similar effect in Lightroom, and practiced them on a few nighttime shots I’ve done in the past.

I recently made quick trip to the Dollar Store to buy some items, so I can play with them for future shoots.

To kick off this project, here are a few before-and-after shots of my normal editing turned into Brandon Woelfel-inspired images.