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Dreaming of Alice
Dreaming of Alice

Photograph Information Photographer's Comments
Challenge: Dreams II (Basic Editing)
Camera: Sony DSLR-A100
Lens: Sony DT 18-70mm f/3.5-5.6 Aspherical ED Zoom Lens for Sony Alpha
Location: Home Studio
Date: Jul 8, 2007
Aperture: 5.6
ISO: 200
Shutter: 1/60
Galleries: Portraiture, Studio
Date Uploaded: Jul 9, 2007


July 3rd - Challenge announced. I'm excited about the Dreams/Nightmare categories because there is so much you can do with it. My wife and I are at Spenser's Gifts in the mall looking for inspiration when I see sexy costumes from Leg Avenue on display. I instantly think, "Now if I had a young pretty model to wear one of these outfits it would make a nice "Dreams" photo. My wife agrees. Marriage stays in tact.

July 4th - Still thinking "wouldn't it be nice if I had a young pretty model for one of those outfits?" No ideas materialize. Marriage still secure for now.

July 5th - I find out at work that the young pretty summer intern working for our company is in a local stage production of a slightly risque play. I think to myself if she's willing to dress up in a skimpy outfit on stage for the whole world to see maybe she'd be willing to model for me. I work up the nerve to ask her if she'd be willing to model for me and explain the basics of DPC. She says it "sounds fun" but she'll have to think about it (crossing my fingers). By the end of the day she says "yes!" That night I run back out to Spensers and look for an outfit for her. Most of the outfits are too risque for me to ask a near stranger to wear but one outfit (Alice in Wonderland) looks fairly modest and my model is a pretty young blonde who would look great in the outfit as an innocent/not so innocent Alice. I'm also thinking Alice and Wonderland gives me so many options for possible props if I want them. I buy the outfit for $45 plus tax.

July 6th - I bring the outfit with me to work and show the model to make sure she's still willing to wear it. If she says no now I'm hosed on the outfit. The model blushes at the sight of the outfit and stockings (perfect) but is willing to go through with it anyway. SWEET! We set up a time to shoot in two days. I go home and start brainstorming poses and prop ideas by searching the internet for Alice and Wonderland pictures/paintings and asking my wife and friends what they think of when they think of Alice and Wonderland. Big hitters were the famous tea party scene, a black and white checkerboard floor and jumbo playing cards. The tea party seems too complex of a shot. I begin to envision shots I can do with a model laying on a black and white checkerboard floor with jumbo playing cards laying around her.

July 7th - My wife and I go shopping for props. I'm thinking of shooting on a white backdrop so I buy two white king sized flat sheets for a floor and backdrop. Another $27 ala Wal-Mart. My wife suggests we look at a local party store for jumbo playing cards. We find them and shell out another $7 for 8 jumbo playing cards. We also buy a $3 pair of white elbow length gloves (not used in the shot) and a $10 bottle of fog juice for my fog machine so we can create a dream like effect (also not used in this shot). Friends and family suggest I make a checkerboard floor by taping black construction paper squares to my white flat sheet. I find 12x18" sheets and cut them down to 12"x12" and buy double sided tape to fix them to the sheet at an additional cost of $13 in paper/tape supplies and another hour or two of my life. That night I tear apart my living room to make room for my lights, fake floor, and backdrop. Took about 4-5 hours to set up.

July 8th - Start test shooting before model arrives. The white backdrop is a NIGHTMARE (and not in a good way). I can't get the wrinkles out no matter what I do…no shallow depth of field can hide the horrible creases, wrinkles, etc showing up in my backdrop. My fake floor is wrinkling and getting dirty. I panic and rush to the store for an extra large sheet of foam core board to put behind the model as a wall - another $16. Foam core board is too big for my car and I bend it getting it in the back seat and ruin it (not used in the shot). Panic and depression sets in on the way home and I intend to call the model and tell her it's not working out. Then I remember that I also hung a black backdrop behind the white so I could shoot some extra shots in black. Knowing I can drop the levels in basic editing I figure I might get the wrinkles to disappear on a black backdrop. Frantically I pull down the white back drop and test shoot against black. No wrinkles…solid black. SWEET Then inspiration hits me. What if I suspended some playing cards from the ceiling using fishing wire. I could drop the levels enough so the wire doesn't show. An hour before the shot I'm frantically rigging up three playing cards leaving room for my model to be able to sit between them or interact with them. I test shoot. HOLY SMOKES THAT LOOKS GOOD! I think of some poses with her and the cards and when the model arrives I'm ready to go. The shoot is over quick and I'm stunned at how well it came together at the end. Many of the poses were better then the one I selected but wrinkles in the floor or other distractions made the shot I selected above the only solid choice. Outtakes will be posted so you can see the great poses we had to chose from if you're interested.

Total Cost: $118 (and a marriage if my wife ever totals up what we actually spent!)
Photo I can be proud of: Priceless!


Place: 7 out of 182
Avg (all users): 6.7358
Avg (commenters): 8.6500
Avg (participants): 6.4615
Avg (non-participants): 6.8369
Views since voting: 3575
Views during voting: 434
Votes: 193
Comments: 27
Favorites: 2 (view)

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07/20/2007 04:59:42 PM
I think you made the right choice here. The only one of the outtakes that compares is the almost identical one where there is a hint of a smile. I would like to see her smile more as long as it fits the picture. I said "Claire?" before because it looked a lot like ' . substr('//www.dpchallenge.com/images/user_icon/21_F.gif', strrpos('//www.dpchallenge.com/images/user_icon/21_F.gif', '/') + 1) . ' lovethelight. I even went so far as comparing freckles in her portfolio pictures but couldn't be sure.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
07/18/2007 03:44:58 AM
cool shot! and thanks for sharing the details! I hope your wife never sums up what you spent on props :)
  Photographer found comment helpful.
07/18/2007 12:14:02 AM
Just looked at your outtakes and I definitely like this entry best, although the rest were definitely awesome too. :-)
  Photographer found comment helpful.
 Comments Made During the Challenge
07/17/2007 10:21:45 PM
Nice composition and all around well put together 8
  Photographer found comment helpful.
07/17/2007 10:19:54 AM
very original... nice shot.can I have Alice's number?
  Photographer found comment helpful.
07/16/2007 09:13:27 PM
Very nice work here! 10
  Photographer found comment helpful.
07/16/2007 08:49:54 PM
Claire? Cute outfit. You came up with a lot of Alice in Wonderland things for this with the clothing, cards, chess board. Very well composed, colored and lit. 9
  Photographer found comment helpful.
07/15/2007 07:29:28 AM
Yeah, me too. Gotta go - night, night! (The Queen of Hearts is always your best friend) 10
  Photographer found comment helpful.
07/14/2007 03:16:06 PM
nice shot!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
07/13/2007 09:11:24 PM
I must say, this Alice truly is a dream!! Nice creativity and colors are spot on!!...............8
  Photographer found comment helpful.
07/12/2007 10:09:06 PM
Very Desousa-ish!!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
07/12/2007 12:26:58 PM
It's funny I was also going to do a picture from Alice in the wonderland (I even got a rabbit for it) but in the end my girlfriend didn't show up on time and I didn't enter - very nice well done - 9
  Photographer found comment helpful.
07/12/2007 04:42:56 AM
Great picture
  Photographer found comment helpful.
07/12/2007 02:45:23 AM
very good idea. And a nice capture
  Photographer found comment helpful.
07/12/2007 01:22:28 AM
Great shot, I like the composition and dof, well done.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
07/11/2007 11:02:21 PM
fantastic! i hope this one ribbons. love the playing cards. 9
  Photographer found comment helpful.
07/11/2007 10:21:55 PM
NIce Job psart you get an 8
  Photographer found comment helpful.
07/11/2007 06:07:52 PM
Very stereotypical outlook to a dream, but nicely shot, I am not sure I like the black background though :-s would prefer this in natural light
  Photographer found comment helpful.
07/11/2007 03:51:44 PM
wow, now i am too! what a cutie /8
  Photographer found comment helpful.
07/11/2007 01:05:42 PM
great idea!! good luck
  Photographer found comment helpful.
07/11/2007 10:51:19 AM
You went to a lot of trouble for this picture, and it paid off. I love the huge cards. The lighting is nice. If i had to say something negative, it might be the lack of catchlights in her eyes, but to be honest that's a very small nitpick and for all I know it wouldn't look better with the catchlights anyway. It is a great picture. Wouldn't be surprised to see it take the blue ribbon.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
07/11/2007 10:33:41 AM
Original, unusual, strange and very good image overall! (10)
  Photographer found comment helpful.
07/11/2007 09:49:01 AM
what a great shot. i'm so diggin those floating cards.. i wanna go there too!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
07/11/2007 08:39:46 AM
This is absolutely PERFECT!! My favorite in the challenge by far!! Awsome job!!!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
07/11/2007 07:43:40 AM
Nice shot.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
07/11/2007 04:56:46 AM
excellent photo!! great concept! i like it!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
07/11/2007 03:38:46 AM
Nice studio photo.
  Photographer found comment helpful.

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