77: Black on Black

Posted by Scott

Picture 5.png I wasn’t sure if this new shirt and thermal were going to get printed before the new year, but we were able to get them out this week. The new Black on Black 50/50 American Apparel Tee (pictured above) and cotton AA Thermal are now available at The ISO50 Shop. These are going to drop in the ad on Monday so get them while they’re still around (as always, I’m posting them here on the blog a little early).

On a somewhat related note, I’ve always found it difficult to photograph black objects and this shirt was no different. The contrast between the paint and the shirt is a lot more subtle in real life (and the paint isn’t grey, it’s black), some more accurate pictures are here (taken by the guys at Merchline who have been shooting all the recent model shots for the ISO50 storefront). Apparently I need a gray card because I’m using the same lights as them: The Calumet Quattro (more on that later) and a tungsten Smith/Victor photo flood. The picture above was overexposed for effect, but even when I’m trying to be as color accurate as possible I’m still running into trouble. I was definitely happier with how these shots came out and it’s getting frustrating because I was using the same lighting setup, same exposure settings, and same room to shoot them. Does anybody out there know much about this phenomenon or how to correct it? Any advice would really be appreciated in the comments.

In other news, Alex brought by his Wacom Intuos 6×8 today. I really enjoyed working with it, I’ll be posting on that more tomorrow. Thanks again to everyone who took the time to respond to the Wacom: Which Size? post. It really helped a lot.

12 Comments Leave A Comment


Markus says:

December 4, 2008 at 12:08 pm

I kind of wish the shirt was appropriately represented in your posted photo. I like the grey on dark grey. Either way, awesome shirt!


Eric says:

December 4, 2008 at 1:09 pm

Hey Scott, this shirt (as well as the blue one) and the thermal are by far my favorite apparel items you’ve done. I really like that they’re typography, but ambiguous to the point of just being interesting graphics. Even if the viewer doesn’t see the numbers, they’re great images. More please!


Ethan says:

December 4, 2008 at 1:58 pm

I’m far from an expert, but I think a gray card is key for color accuracy in a studio or still-life setting. I agree that getting detail from black objects, especially fabric, is incredibly difficult, and I think this shirt would be a nightmare to shoot.


Ethan says:

December 4, 2008 at 2:22 pm

One tip that might actually be useful, especially when you’re using tungsten lights, is that as time elapses with your lights on, they will continue to grow hotter, and sometimes you have to periodically adjust your white balance during the shoot… So even if you’re shooting with the same lights in the same room with the same aperture/exposure, your results could vary depending on how long you’ve had your lights on. And again, black is really difficult to shoot.

Really nice job on the shirt by the way, and pretty much all of the other work on the site too. Great stuff.


Steve says:

December 4, 2008 at 2:34 pm

I love the new shirts. Are they printed on the same stuff as the 1976 Heather Grey? I have that one and love how it fits.


Justin Meyers says:

December 4, 2008 at 3:27 pm

Nice Scott. Does anyone recommend a particular company to print with. I’ve done black on black just with making my own screens which I thought turned out nice, but was very time consuming and you can only messup so many $15 American Apparel shirts.

So, I’ve had a few people really recommend Vertical Merchandise, not terribly expensive either. I believe they did Josh M. Smith’s stuff.

I tried looking up Merchline, but they’re virtually non-existant. No information on what they do exactly and no one returned my email.


Renzo says:

December 5, 2008 at 2:20 am

Geeez! This looks über-cool, I’m facying making myself a christmas present… Finally Black is back, he, he, he