Pinup Shoot on a Destroyer

No, I’m not joking. Earlier in the month I had gotten in touch with Dave Cross and RC Concepcion about taking a tour of the ship and doing some shooting while they were in town for the Adobe CS4 Unleashed Seminar that they taught last Friday. Dave asked me if it would be okay to bring a model on board and shoot a 40s-style pinup shoot. I thought, “Why not?!”

So I cleared the shoot with the powers that be and made sure no one would get upset. We weren’t going to take too long and we tried to be as unobtrusive as we could, but we drew a lot of attention from folks walking down the pier, other ships, etc.

The day was bright and sunny and it was about 2:30 in the afternoon, so we were going to be competing with the sun. Luckily, RC brought an SB900 with him. Those little flashes are VERY powerful and we were able to shoot mostly with just that one flash. We did have to bring in an SB800 for this shot though, because we were at f 22… yikes!

RC – VAL’ing for Dave while he shoots.

When all was said and done, everyone had a great time and we were able to capture some great images. Hope you enjoy ’em and let me know what you think in the comments!

Here’s to a short work week! Have a great Monday!


41 thoughts on “Pinup Shoot on a Destroyer

  1. I think you were suppose to clear this with the Designer/builder of the ship before making alterations to it!! And needed an onsite rep (me) during the shoot!!
    Will this be in an issue of Surface Warfare?!?! USO promo!!

  2. The shots are alright, not really “pinup” shots other than she’s wearing a pencil skirt and red lipstick. The backgrounds and compositions are all fairly distracting (jagged edges, radar towers, conflicting lines). Maybe some of your other images were better?

    • Unfortunately we didn’t have a whole lot of time and it was right in the middle of the afternoon, so we needed all the light we could get out of a couple speedlights. We were experimenting a little with the light and the models face could handle hard light, so we went with it. It’s not for everyone, but thanks for your input.

    • Agreed, the artificial lighting makes the model appear washed out. And I second Booker’s opinion about the business of composition. Interesting concept, poor execution.

      • Trust me though folks, being a submarine sailor, it’s not everyday that a Commanding Officer allows photos to be taken on his warship. Good, bad or indifferent I feel we should be happy that the Skipper authorized this shoot. Thanks Skipper!

  3. Great photos! The only criticism I have is the large tattoo on the model… otherwise she’s got a great look for the look I think you were trying to achieve.

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  6. Great shots! I like how you shot in the shadow available and not the full sun. I also like the small amounts of detail of the ship in the background such as the radar silhouette. Nice work!

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  8. Hi,

    I like this piece of work but am of the impression that the settings that you used in your camera didn’t allow it to deliver the best results.

    Taking as an example the second from the bottom and the one immediately above, I noticed that you shot at 1/160 f/11, resulting in a far too detailed image for that particular scene. Bearing in mind that taking a picture is a very own and subjective feeling, and that this is just the way I see it and therefore objectionable, I would have opened the aperture down to f/2.8 (I see you have a lens that allows it) and reduced the depth of this image.

    Otherwise the model has a features of great impact, but again she pays the price of the unforgiving megapixel detail. A little more softness in the focus (and maybe some deliberate de-focusing) would have helped some imperfections. Nothing that cannot be corrected in Photoshop, but it feels good having a good shot for starters.

    Thank you for sharing, I like your work. In this moment in time I have been unfortunately kept far from my photography hobby and I feel inspired by your work.

    All the best.

    • Ordinarily, I would have used a wider aperture (f 2.8 or f 4) in order to achieve a shallow depth of field. However, at the time of day that we shot I had no choice but to go to a smaller aperture in order to knock down the ambient exposure and stay below my max. flash sync speed.

      On the Photoshop side, I intentionally wanted things very sharp, contrasty (if that’s a word), and edgy. I think it plays well with all the lines and steel in the photo. If I would have shot this two hours later in the day, the results would have been VERY different. However, as photographers we sometimes have to work with what we’re given and make the best of less than ideal conditions.

      I’m glad that you feel inspired by my work and here’s to having time to get back to your photography!



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  10. The contrasts from the destroyer to the ultra feminine poses of the model, along with the lighting made me actually stop and look. I mean really look. The soft hair, flowing skirt and lush red lips melding with the tattoos, super clean black and white outfit with steel grey of the ship and the pops of red are amazing. Photography is not my medium. I sketch and draw with various different materials. With that eye and my personal tastes, I adore what you’ve done here. πŸ™‚

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