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Canon EOS Photo5 Entry 2: “Bubble Gum Hair”

October 19th, 2010 by Raj

What is Canon EOS Photo5?
EOS Photo5 is Canon’s annual creative photography competition that begins with a brown box. Inside there are 5 separate photographic briefs to challenge photographers. Visit the Photo5 website here: http://canon.com.au/worldofeos/photo5/

Brief 2: Bubble Gum
This brief has one rule: feature bubble gum in a portrait. How you or your subject use the bubble gum is up to you. If you need more gum, visit your friendly local convenience store.

My Entry
When reading the brief for this shot there was one thing that stood out in the “Judges Notes” that kept grabbing my attention…
Consider how the light interacts with your subject and try to tell a story. I kept hearing that over and over again as I planned my shot throwing away the countless ideas of bubbles being blown and popped. To me they took away from the portrait and while I may be able to convey my friend’s bubbly nature there didn’t seem to be any story behind it.

It wasn’t until I was shaving one day when I had the idea of the horror stories you’d hear as a kid where someone got bubble gum stuck in their hair and had no option but to cut it out. A quick ring around of mates who normal shave or clip their hair left me empty handed as they’d all recently cut their hair not to mention none were to keen to let me squish bubble gum in for real.

Thankfully another opportunity presented itself with me getting around the issue by buying a rather cheap (and awful) wig from the local party shop and mooshing the brightest coloured goo of a bubble gum I could find into its wiry strands. I took quite a few shots of Caitlin cutting the gum free and the resultant hacked portion but none showed the emotion of the situation better than this. Her eyes and check red (most likely from chewing so much gum all afternoon for other shots that didn’t make it), the dimpled chin and quivering lip it all worked out really well.

Lighting wise I’m making use of a Bowens Gemini 500/500 kit with a soft box attached to one to soften her skin and umbrella on the other to evenly light the scene and make the colours pop.

Equipment used & settings
Canon 7D with 18-55mm lens, soft filter
ISO 200, 50mm, 1/250, f22
Bowens Gemini 500 with Soft Box attachment
Bowens Gemini 500 with Umbrella
White cardboard reflector
2 packets of Hubba Bubba bubble gum
Cheap wig from local costume shop
A pair of scissors

Thanks to
Caitlin, my model, for chewing countless pieces of gum and being a good sport.

View the other entries

“Ink Mole”

“Bubble Gum Hair”

“A Tree of Smoke”

“Confetti Explosion”

“Beware of falling lemons”
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