Friday, September 14, 2007

A day without the assistant

I had an assignment the other day where my assistant was unavailable to "assist me" so I headed out on my own. I'd rather shoot with an assistant any day, doing this stuff on your own is difficult. Having an assistant allows me to fully concentrate on the photos and the lights and gear thing can be handled by the assistant.

Anyway, I had to shoot executives in an office environment. I have shot in these office several times before and I am now suggesting to my client that they move. We have shot this place out!

Because I was without an assistant, I chose to go lite with the lighting gear. I've been doing that a lot lately. I find it very challenging to head out with just the small strobes. The gear on this shoot consisted of my Nikon SB-800 set and a few reflectors.

This shot here to the left was shot using 2 SB-800 strobes. I had one in the door opening to the left of the subjects standing in the hallway. I used a folding Westcott umbrella to pump the strobe through to soften the light. The other strobe was placed on a stand just below my lens and bounced into the wall just to the left of the camera for fill. The shutter was dragged in order to capture the ambient light in the background. Down the hall in one of the offices, I set up another shot with 3 executives taking at the doorway.

Here I used just one SB-800 on a stand, camera right and bounced off the ceiling. I was using my Nikon 12-24 mm lens for this shot. By placing myself close to the wall and map, I was able to use the distortion to my benefit. The strong lines of the map draw your eyes to the subjects at the doorway. Another shot I had to do was with 2 other executives talking.

Actually, I knew I had to shoot 4 shots that morning. 3 of those where of executive taking (visiting) with each other and the 4th one in the conference room. I didn't know where I was going to shoot the executives, just find an interesting place somewhere. The 3rd shot here is one of those interesting places, the break room.

This shot was lit with one SB-800 pumped through an umbrella. The shutter was dragged in order to capture the lights on the back wall. I used the bar stools in the foreground to lead you eyes into the shot to where these stiff executives are standing. They really did not want to be there, we go through this every year. Even though they complain every year, they love the photos when the annual report comes out.

The final shot was the most difficult to obtain. First, I working with a bunch of regular people that are not use to being in front of the camera. Well, at least once a year. Anyway, the designer wanted a shiluette of executives in the boardroom which he was going to screen back on the cover of the annual report along with 2 other stock photos.

The problem I had here is that this boardroom did not have a full bank of window behind the subjects. Just behind the the two men in the center of the shot, there is a solid wall. I needed to blow out the wall with light to equal the two other windows on the left and right. I placed a SB-800 strobe on a stand to the left of the frame in the conference room. I pointed it at the wall in the center of the shot and blasted the hell out of it. I used cinefoil to flag off the light from hitting the subject in the center closest to the wall. I been using PocketWizards to fire all the strobes on this assignment.

I've been shooting corporate annual reports for 24 years and absolutely love doing so. It can be very challenging at times which I enjoy, and I also like the travel which comes with the territory. Additional work can be seen at my web site.


Charles C Stirk Jr said...

David nice post thanks

You do have some broken links to the photos ..

David Tejada said...

Thanks Charles. Taken care of. DT