(Mouse over for before and after!)
So I decided to do my one insane crazy weird photo at the beginning of this project so that I can get down to business for the rest of it. For such a ridiculous photo (which, by the way, I completely imitated from this photo, so I don't get any credit for the idea!), this actually took a lot of time and effort. First of all, there's not a black wall in my house, nor are there any black sheets. The closest I had was this green one, which I hung from the railing in my loft. Then I had to get the lighting right. I don't own any strobes or lightboxes, so I had to get kind of creative.
First I looked at just the natural lighting coming from my window. I closed my white curtains to act as a diffuser, which gave a nice light on my left side. But my right side was pretty dark, and since I wanted to mimic the studio feel of the original photo, this just wouldn't do.
To fill in the shadows, I tried my easiest option, my overhead light, but it made some pretty weird shadows on my backdrop. So then after getting my brothers' lamp (which was incredibly difficult to do because it was very heavy and surrounded by junk), I turned it on, adjusted the direction of the light to bounce off my wall, and viola! Studio lights.
Then I corrected the white balance, donned a crazy sweater, bribed my cat with some cheese, and magic was created.
This was the lighting setup. I'm super high tech over here.
If this hasn't convinced you of how absolutely insane I am, then I don't think anything will. But now I have a new, odd respect for horrible Christmas card photos, because I really had to pay attention to lighting and compositing ... even if I was compositing a disembodied cat head into the blackness of space.