El Perro Y La Luna

One of my most ambitious images so far: I usually point-and-shoot for i365, but it was late tonight, I needed to shoot indoors, and I was looking around the bedroom for something to shoot. I saw this little doggie, a painted figurine I got in Guanajuato, Mexico. I needed to glam it up somehow, so I grabbed a lamp and handed it to my Faithful Assistant (= boyfriend) and had him paint the light while I shot. Well, the iPhone doesn’t use a shutter, it does a sensor scan, so light painting didn’t really work. (For a discussion of rolling shutter distortion, see Camera Toss (The Blog).)

So I had the Faithful Assistant point the light up at the dog from below, creating a cool shadow on the wall. Step 1:

I wanted to pop the colors of the dog, so I tried the Lolo filter from CameraBag on it, but the effect was too strong, so I went into Photogene and upped the saturation in Colors:

Okay, but it wasn’t theatrical enough. Although I usually never use them, I played with the Frames Photogene provides, and found a fun one that made the photo look like a projection from an old home movie camera:

Hey, wouldn’t it be fun if the light looked like a spotlight? Time for vignetting. Into the giant resource that is Tiffen Photo FX and the Vignettes tool under Classic fx. Usually the goal is to create a vignette where the gradation from bright middle to dark edges is not noticeable in contrast or hardness, but here I wanted the opposite: a hard black oval.

The light and vignetting helped create an old-timey feel, so I figured, why fight it, and I turned the image black and white by desaturating it in Photogene:

Kind of a quirky picture, at least twice as much production as any of my other i365 photos (I used a light for an iPhone photo! Wow!), and I applied filters in ways I usually avoided…must be “luna”cy, right? Si!


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