Greenscreen photography with Milan Scholma

In my youth, I was already interested in photography and filming techniques. When I was 13 I got my first camera and it got my creativity flowing. On my 17th I started a filming study. My interest in film and photography went beyond that study. I was constantly doing free projects outside of my curriculum, both film and photography. One of those free projects was the photo series “Blue”.

How the idea came to be

In my creative career, I always encounter beautiful people. I got to know Lisanne via my study, she was in the same college but was on another study and in her spare time she was doing a lot of modelling. Together we came up with a lot of cool shoot idea’s. We made many great concepts and multiple mood boards where put together when the idea arose to do something with paint. At first, this was a simple but cool idea.

Because of my background in the movie I wanted to do more than just put some paint on the model and get photographs of that. I came across the video clip of Maroon 5, Love Somebody. The singer and his opponent appear from nowhere because the paint is put on them. This image was so inspiring it was the foundation of this session.

Techniques

I needed to figure out the techniques they might have used. Every film technique can also be used in photography. It was clear to me they must have used a Chroma key technique, also known as the greenscreen technique.

This technique already excists for decades. In a nutshell the idea is that you leave out the color of a certain channel. In this case it’s the green channel. Everything that is green in the image or video becomes transparent. But now it was not my intention to hide the green, I wanted to only show the green. This meant reversing the greenscreen technique. Luckily I know photoshop on this point very well. I immiatly knew how to invert so I could replace the background with anything I wanted.

We needed to have green paint and good light. When I did this project I did not yet have the money for a good flashcombination so I needed to use natural light. We went to the best lichtsource there was available, the window facing the garden.

Bit by bit we put on the paint on the model. Luckily the room was nicly heated as the paint was quit cold. We started with the face and worked our way down via the neck all the way to the bellybutton. We wanted to create some sort of bust in paint of the model.

When we finished up the session and Lisanne was scrubbing off all paint of her hair and ears I already started to select and edit the first photographs. Normally I only start the day after to have a fresh look, but this time I was too excited to see what was going to happen with this shoot.

I choose to put in a black matte background. This makes the colors stand out more so the forms of the “cut out” model are amazing. I was not yet satisfied with the green colors against the black background. I decided to change those colors to my favourite color; turquoise. This immiatly transformed the atmosphere of the photograph! I loved it. The session and editing of the photographs took me 4 days on total, but the result is spectacular!

Here you can view the whole blue series.
Here you can take a look at at Lisanne’s portfolio

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Milan Scholma is photographer and filmmaker. His work can be found on http://milartmedia.com/blue/

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