Let me tell you about Sunski, the Kickstarted sunglasses brand with some of the coolest shades around. It all started with a surf trip to Australia and the discovery of a few vintage shades by a guy named Tom. It just so happened that Tom and his friend Michael are product designers. A few years after that surf trip they used those vintage Australian shades as the inspiration for a new line of premium sunglasses. Quality without the crazy high price tag of designer frames. Their founding Kickstarter project in Summer 2012 is when I got my Blue Originals and I’ve been a fan of their stuff ever since.
So why am I telling you this? Sunski has come out with a couple more styles since the Originals, like the new Black Headlands, and they were doing an Instagram giveaway for a pair a couple of weeks ago. I actually won the giveaway (still not entirely sure how, given my luck…) and I decided to do another photo shoot, like I did with my Blue Originals, centered around my new pair of Headlands. Even better, an old friend came home to visit around the same time and agreed to help me with it.
He was coming to visit on a Thursday afternoon with just enough time to squeeze a quick shoot in. We went to B-Dubs for lunch, which was kinda weird for me since I’m almost never awake in time for lunch, much less for going out. After that we headed over to a nearby metropark that, for some reason, I’ve never gone to before. There’s a nice wooden fishing pier there and it was a really good day weather-wise which made the shoot all the more fun and relaxed. To top it all off we played a card game called Dutch Blitz afterwards and I won!…somehow. I’d say it was definitely a good day overall. Thanks to Ryan for modelling and to Heather and Leah for the assist!
As far as lighting goes all I used was the sun and a gold reflector to keep everything warm and summery feeling. Editing was some basic exposure adjustments and then colour grading done with a combination of Color Efex Pro 4 and Analog Efex Pro 2 (both a part of the Nik Collection by Google).
The Headlands frames are made out of this translucent plastic with a nice matte finish and, more importantly, have this magical glow about them when light hits just right. So what better time to do some simple product-only shots then at golden hour? The sinking sun shone through the frames, lighting them up with a brilliant glow. Obviously they wouldn’t be as illuminated if they were on your face, but it’d be a nice subtle luminescence.
Lighting here was simply using the sun. Editing included basic exposure adjustments and then some colour grading with Color Efex Pro 4 and Analog Efex Pro 2 again. One of these days I’ll even remember to clean stuff off before I photograph it! (We won’t talk about all the dust I had to digitally clean off the lenses.)
Black & White Too
When I’m processing a photo I usually have an end goal for how I want it to look and feel, more or less. Sometimes I’ll create a few variants though, just to try out different edits and see if maybe there’s a stronger way to emphasize the things I want and I’m just missing it. Rather on a whim I decided to do a black and white version of an image from this shoot, not really expecting much to come of it because I was after a colorful and summery feeling. I ended up really, really liking the black and white though. I easily spent fifteen minutes just staring at the black and white next to the color version and I couldn’t decide which one. That’s perhaps the strangest part of this because I usually know right away which I like better, the color version of an image or the black and white.
This continued for a day or two until I finally decided I’m going to do something I never do. I’m going to post two versions of each image; the color you saw above and the black and white versions below. Normally I only like to post a single version of an image because I want to present a unified vision. How is the viewer suppose to understand what you’re trying to show them if you can’t even decide it for yourself? So yeah, I’m going to break my own rule thing and post a second version of these images. Which ones do you like better?