Seneca Spotlight: Patrick Estebar

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The Seneca @ York Independent Digital Photography Program is a two-year diploma course that prepares students for a freelance career and provides them with the necessary skill set to work in a multidisciplinary studio. Photo Life is proud to partner with Seneca students to document their journey through the school curriculum. Follow them each week!

Class:  Photography III
Assignment: MAJOR 3 “Magazine Story”
: Patrick Estebar
Professor: Patrick Fordham
Assignment guidelines
: Submit two editorial shots for either a business magazine, music magazine or fashion magazine: one cover shot (in studio or on location but must be shot in a studio-like set-up) with studio flash and one environmental (on-location) “opening shot” with flash lighting.


© Patrick Estebar
Nikon D600 with Nikon 24-85 mm VR lens; 1/60 s, f/5.6, ISO 400; umbrella flash.

The assignment was to create a magazine cover image and a two-page spread that would compliment and fit right into a template they had given us. Our choices for the magazine included Fall Fashion, Upcoming Musician and Business Week. I chose Fall Fashion.

I decided to do menswear and chose a friend of mine who had a great fall outfit. Instead of going for a high-end fashion like Vogue, I chose more of a heritage workwear aesthetic. I organized a shoot with my friend and planned the outfit, time and location.

On the day of the shoot, we drove to a park near his house with some trails that go through the wilderness. The sun was setting so it was the perfect time to shoot the cover photo. His outfit was a few layers of plaid and a green olive-coloured army jacket. I set him up standing in the middle of the trail with the sunset backlighting him, generating a silhouette. As I was shooting I had to frame it according to what the magazine cover would look like. There had to be enough space above his head for the words to be put on top of the frame.

After I got the cover shot, we walked around to different spot and decided to do the two-page spread. The photo would be landscape-oriented, across two pages. The page on the left would have the majority of the image with some words around it; the right page was to be covered with text. Another thing I had to keep in mind was to not put the subject too close to the middle because in the two-page spread that would place it in what is called the “gutter,” and the readers wouldn’t be able to see the subject properly.

Once we got the shot that I wanted, we then proceeded to have fun and change outfits. The guidelines of the assignment stated we had to have an ongoing theme when it comes to fall fashion. This kind of limited my ideas for the assignment; however, it did not stop me from shooting a different outfit. He wore a motorcycle leather jacket and a black toque.

The images turned out well. Overall this assignment was a great experience because it challenged me as a photographer to capture what is needed creatively while following guidelines—and also still take time to do some out-of-the-box ideas.

© Patrick Estebar Nikon D600 with Nikon 24-85 mm VR lens f/3.8, 1/80 s, ISO 400, umbrella flash.

© Patrick Estebar
Nikon D600 with Nikon 24-85 mm VR lens
f/3.8, 1/80 s, ISO 400, umbrella flash.

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