For this image I used every light I have, one flash in a softbox that I was booming out right above Jenna's head, a flash on either side to to help bring out detail in the coat, a flash bouncing off a reflector on the floor and then a snooted hair light behind her. Normally I would have kept the hair light concealed but I had set the camera to fire on its own so I could be in the right position with the softbox and couldn't see how much out of position she had gotten. But I kind of like it.
For this image I put my softbox behind Jenna to silhouette her. Had to dial the power of the flash way back so I didn't get a lot of flare in the lens. Then some gray scale and duo toning in photoshop for the final image. Even though I have the option of shooting black and whites in camera I still like to shoot the originals in color so I have both options.
So I am going to get the jump on Wednesdays image, here is another one from my shoot with Jenna. My friend Lance had this old microphone and I had been wanting to try a glamour type image with it. I had a softbox camera left, an SB-800 bouncing off of a reflector on the floor right below Jenna and a third flash with a cardboard snoot behind Jenna and camera right to get a little separation between her hair and the background.
Jenna is another one of my friends that I have shot with over the years and can always be counted on for great images every time we shoot. I really love the detail in this shot. The set up was simple, one SB-800 in a softbox less then a foot above her and then a second flash bounced off of a big silver reflector on the floor that she is actually standing on.
Jeremiah is always fun to shoot with, you never know exactly what you'll get. For this image I used a snooted SB-800 camera left pointed at his face. Beyond that I went black and white in Light Room and got a little creative with some HDR. I spent maybe 15 minutes with it in post and I am really happy with the result.
Another dance image, for this one I programed in a -2.7 EV into the camera since there was a bright street light just behind Lara camera left that was kind of messing with the exposure and I wanted just the lights showing up for the most part in the background. Lighting was really simple here, just one SB-800 in a softbox camera right. I used an SB-800 for the trigger since it is sometimes hard to get the strait line of the SU-800 to trigger a flash in the softbox.
For this shot I had an SB-800 fired into a softbox camera right with a CTO gel and for the rim light on her left side I used a second SB-800 on a Justin Clamp attached to a stop sign. White balance was on tungsten. Lara was a trooper too, not only was it about 20 degrees out but this intersection got really busy and I am sure we were getting some odd looks.
This was just something fun, I wanted to go over the top with some color and the only other gels I had with me were CTO and I tend to use those a lot. The fish house was kind of cramped so I shot this by holding the camera above him and trying a few different compositions with the 20mm. The flash was sitting on the minnow bucket camera left.
Probably the biggest thing about color photography was taught to me in elementary school and that is complimentary colors work well together in an image. The easiest way to do this in photography is shooting in a tungsten white balance in daylight situations and then bring in gelled strobes to warm up select areas of the image. In this shot I wanted to convey the cold that usually goes along with ice fishing but have the warmth of the shelter at the same time. The tungsten white balance took the already slightly blue natural light and kind of amped it up. I then put an SB-800 with a full cut of color temperature orange gel in a cup holder attached to the wall inside the fish house. The problem was that the flash inside couldn't read the signal from my commander SB-800 that was on camera. The easiest way to fix this would have been to hook up a flash cord to run the commander unit off camera but that had been left out of the bag by mistake. To get the needed effect I ended up daisy chaining a signal from the camera to the flash inside. I set the flash on the camera to fire on manual so there wasn't any monitor pre-flash and then set a second outside strobe to work as a slave unit, firing only when it "saw" the flash fire on camera then it would fire triggering the flash inside the same way. If I would have left the pre-flash on the main unit it would have triggered the first slave before the exposure and that wouldn't have been in the proper sync. Also, I had to make sure the power on both flashes outside were set as low as possible so they didn't effect the outside exposure.
This was a simple set up, I had two SB-800's on a stand camera left and used the D300's built in flash as the trigger. I had Lance run at me as fast as he could in the snowshoes and when he filled the frame I fired a shot. I like how I got this one where both of his feet are off the ground.
Here is an interesting angle that you might not see of some one snowshoeing very often. Working with Lance is always a fun time because he is up for just about any of my crazy ideas. for this one I was laying down shooting up at him with my 10.5mm fisheye, the front of the lens was maybe 6 inches from the bottom of the snowshoe. I had one SB-800 in a softbox directly above me that I was triggering with a second SB-800. Normally I have the flash that I am using for the trigger set up so that it doesn't play a part in the exposure but this time I set it for a -1.7 EV to add just a little bit of fill light to what the softbox didn't cover.
Right now most of the work I have been doing has been for BSU shooting various sports and a few odds and ends. In the 8 or 9 games I have shot this year this is probably be the best one yet. To do this I had four SB-800's on stands at the top of the bleachers behind me, I used my SU-800 on a bracket pointed behind me as the trigger. All of the flashes were set at 1/4th power which gave me an f-stop of 4.5 with the ISO set at 400.
I took this image last week and didn't put it up right away due to the fact that that it needed some work. If I were to do this again I would have found a way to add a light to the background so I could get a little separation between Renee and the back wall. I would have also moved a few more pool balls to the lower right side of the frame. What I did here was a single snooted flash camera right.
Playing with the white balance can yield some interesting results. I shot this image in a tungsten white balance with an SB-800 in a small softbox camera right. I didn't put any gels correction gels on the flash on purpose so that the scene would go blue. Then after a little tweaking in Lightroom I was able to create an image similar to what you get when you cross process color film.
Over the last few years I have started bouncing light off of reflectors on the floor/ground and been really happy with the results. It allows me to get that nice beauty light combo that can be pretty hard when you don't have the right stands or a second pair of hands to help out. For this shot I was holding a 1x2' soft box on a light stand like a boom, just out of the top of the frame and then I had a silver reflector on the floor right in front of her with an SB-800 clamped to the tripod I was using pointed at the reflector. It was set at one stop less power then the main light.
Here is another image from the roller derby shoot. This was actually the first test shot where only the flash camera left fired but it was the shot where everything came together nicely. I was really close for this shot since I was shooting with the fish eye. A little HDR work to keep a bit of detail in the rafters and it was done.
There is a new roller derby league starting up in Bemidji and when I found out my friend Natalie was in it I asked her to do a shoot in her derby gear. The set up was pretty simple, I had one flash directly in front of her in a 1x2' Chimera soft box and then I put a second flash with a cardboard snoot four rows back and slightly behind her to edge out her back for a little separation. I tried just zooming the flash to 105mm but there was still way too much spill onto the bleachers.
Part of the purpose of this blog is to share what I know about photography. Todays photo is to show how much of a difference a flash can make. The top image has decent light but to expose for Shelbi everything outside washes out and loses a lot of detail. Then again if I would have wanted the detail outside Shebli would have gone dark.
To bring up the detail I slipped an SB-800 into the cameras hot shoe with the camera set for Aperature priority and setting the flash for TTL metering which allows the flash and camera to "talk" to each other and came up with this exposure, which opens up the shadows. Now if this coffee shop wouldn't have been so busy I would have brought a stand in with me and moved the flash camera right since straight flash can be pretty harsh but I am pretty happy with this result.
With most point and shoot cameras, if it was set for auto more then likely the flash wouldn't come on so you have to override that setting and turn the flash on.
This isn't part of the photo a day project but who doesn't like an old truck out in the woods. One of my favorite things to do is just take one body and one lens with me and walk through the woods and its not one of those do it all zooms either. When I was shooting film my favorite lenses for that were the 20mm 2.8 and 50mm 1.4. Doing this forced me to think in different and more creative ways to work within the limits of the lens. Now days my favorite is my 70-200 which is what I used for this shot.
Growing up my Dad had a great collection of photo book and magazines and after I was shown how to use an SLR I basically taught myself by reading all of those magazines and books. Now I have a large collection of books and magazines. Over the years I have gone through different styles as I found photographers who's work I liked, Herb Ritts, Norman Seeff, Galen Rowell, Mark Seliger and most recently Joe McNally who literally wrote the book on small flash photography. Back in 1996 I taught myself how you mix natural light and flash outdoors, till I got a hand held light meter I was stuck with the S.W.A.G. (scientific wild ass guess) method of flash metering. When I got one though I was able to create the below image, which won first place in a state wide high school photo contest.
Then came digital, which allowed me to try new things with small flash but it was still hit or miss since I didn't understand that the communication between flash and camera was even more advanced then what I was used to. The image below was my first serious work with balancing gels and white balance.
After having read Joe McNally's book "The Moment it Clicks" and following his blog I have been inspired to add small flashes to my photographic style and haven't been happier with the images I have been able to create. The top image was done with two SB-800's, one clamped to the shelf across from Tommi and the other hidden in the book. The white balance was set for tungsten and no gels on the flashes to keep the overall blue feel going.
One of the things I wanted to try doing with this project was to shoot in some locations that people wouldn't normally think of for a photo shoot and the laundry mat is just such a place. We got a lot of strange looks while doing this image. The concept of the shot was Tommi was reading a book while waiting for her laundry to get done, very simple. The lighting set up was also really simple, I placed an SB-800 outside on a stand with a full cut of CTO filter on it. Trying to go for the late afternoon sun look. We tried two full CTO gels but that was just way too orange.
This one was done with a cardboard snoot on a SB-800 up high camera left pointed at her face and a second SB-800 camera right zoomed to 105mm. I processed the image in Lightroom and then tweaked everything in Photoshop. The yellow tone is from the quadtone setting in Photoshop.
Back in photo school I realized how much could be done with just one light, in fact I did my whole graduation portfolio in the studio with one light. Back then I was the only person in the class who enjoyed shooting with the old Agfa 25. In the studio it was great, I could shoot with my 35 mm and still get images I could blow up to 11x14 without hardly any grain.
These days I still try to keep things as simple as possible. With this shot I worked a small (1x2') softbox with an SB-800 in as close as possible camera right. Shot with my 17-55 at f/2.8 to get that nice shallow depth of field.
I got a chance to shoot with a Facebook friend today while she was in town visiting family for the holidays. Since the temps were below zero we had to find a place inside to shoot, which I think is going to be the major obstacle for this project. I had been wanting to do a pool table photo for a while so we headed to a local bar.
This was a two flash set up, I had one SB-800 in a soft box camera left and a second SB-800 bouncing light off of a silver reflector on the floor. Everything is gelled with CTO filters and the camera is set to tungsten. Lens was 17mm @ f/5.6, I dragged the shutter at 1/8th of a second to bring up the background detail a bit.
This one started off kind of rough, had a shoot lined up but the model didn't make it out. I had some images that I had been saving to put on here but I really wanted to shoot since I dragged myself out in sub-zero temps. I was just about out of town when I thought I would see if my friend Lance was free to shoot a photo.
These were done in Lance's living room, the sun had already dipped below the trees so out came an SB-800 flash. I put two full cuts of CTO gels on it, placed it outside about 15 feet from the house and zoomed the flash to 105mm.
Inside the house I had a 17-55 set at 17mm and f/2.8 with a shutter speed of 1/125. The trigger for the flash outside was another SB-800 because I needed its omni-directional head to trigger the flash behind me.
I couldn't decide on black and white or color so here are both of them.
As I said in my last post I want to start posting at least one new photo a day for the whole year of 2010. To kick things off I did this image of Corina on New Years Eve day. We had gotten a lot of snow over Christmas and in the areas thick with pine trees the snow really clung to the branches. I knew Corina is really into yoga and I thought pine trees covered in snow would make for a great backdrop. The set up was really simple I had one bare bulb SB-800 on a stand camera right zoomed out to 105mm. My 17-55mm was at 17mm and I was holding the camera (D300) just above the snow, kind of winging the composition. I processed it for the most part in Lightroom and just tweaked things a little bit in Photoshop. Hope fully I can get to work with Corina again under more pleasant conditions, it was probably right at zero when we did this shot.