Monday, June 30, 2008

Possible Detroit Workshop

There is a good chance that later this summer, sometime in September, I'll be teaching a 3 day intensive "Small Strobes, Big Results" workshop for the government in Battle Creek, MI.  I don't have exact dates just yet but I am interested in extending my stay to hold a one day workshop in the Detroit area.

If you are interested in hosting a "Small Strobes, Big Results" workshop in the Detroit area please let me know.  As host, you must provide a space large enough to accommodate 12-14 participant's.  For doing so, you'll be provide the workshop at no cost.

If you are interested in attending the workshop in Detroit, please let me know.  As you can imagine, it's very hard to plan such an event and knowing what the interest is out there is important.   As a matter of fact, if your interested in attending a workshop anywhere, let me know where you are.  If there is enough interest in your area, I'd love to visit your location.

I'll keep you posted on exact dates as they come available.  DT

Thursday, June 26, 2008

A Simple Portrait

On the previous post, I mentioned that I was headed up to Scottsbluff, NE on assignment.  Well, in this short post I will share with you one of the portraits I shot while in Scottsbluff.  I shot over 2700 images for this client, a huge amount in my mind.  I've spent the last several days editing and burning images to disk for the client.

This is one of the portraits I shot for a campaign they are starting call "Call Me"  not really certain that's the name or not.  The purpose of the campaign is to recruitment new physicians to the hospital.  The headline "Call Me" adds a personal touch. In the ad, the pictured physician would provide a personal phone number so the prospective recruitment could call with questions about the hospital and life style of Scottsbluff.  It's often hard for smaller communities to recruit new doctors to the area.

The lighting for this portrait could not have been more simple.  One SB-800 on a stand and shot through a light panel.  I have several collapsible panels from Calumet that I use for this type of work.  I fired the flash using the build-in flash or (commander) on my Nikon D300.  The photo below show you the total setup.  I used a lower angle to include the glass windows as a design element to the photo.  I place the subject to the far right of the frame, allowing the copy to be placed on the left for the ad.

The way I hold the panel in position is one of two way that I use.  In this case, I place a Bogen Super Clamp on the top of a stand, and than clamp the frame of the panel to the clamp.  Another method would be to simply place an A clamp on the top of the stand and place the frame in between the two squeeze handles of the clamp.

I may as well show you another portrait while I'm at it!  This portrait was shot with available light plus the use of a reflector for the right side of the face.  There way a building just outside the windows on the left being struck with direct sunlight which filled the hallway with this beautiful light.  I shot this wide open using my newly purchased $109.00 Nikon 50mm f 1.8 lens,  WOW.  I just love this lens.  It's small, light and very sharp and for a little more than a hundred dollars, you can't go wrong. 

I might also mention that I still have space for the August 2 and 23rd lighting workshop "Small Strobes, Big Results".  If your interested in learning more about location lighting, light and compact check it out.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Making Time For Yourself

It's really important to make time for yourself to shoot and practice your craft. While heading up to Scottsbluff, NE. for an assignment to shoot some health care images for a client of mine, I decided to stop and shoot for myself. We stopped in a small town in Nebraska while driving to Scottsbluff that had this interesting porch and bench. I thought it would be fun to take 15 minutes out of your drive to make this photograph.

I thought I could use this setting to create a photograph that looked as if it had been photographed late at night. The porch was in full open shade, which allowed me to create the mood of late night. I set my camera white balance to tungsten so that I could get a slight blue bias in the shadow area's of the image that included ambient light. In this case, the ambient light would be serving as my fill light.

I placed a Nikon SB-800 on a Justin Clamp over the subject gelled with 2 full CTO (Color Temperature Orange) gels over the flash head. The reason for using 2 full CTO's is because if I had only used one, the light coming from the strobe would not have the warmth I wanted. One CTO would have rendered the light as appearing neutral or balanced for tungsten. By adding the second or additional CTO, I was able to achieve the warmth of a tungsten light overhead.

The second Nikon SB-800 strobe was placed on a stand and gridded to only illuminate the back of the bench and soda bottle. This strobe was also gelled with 2 full CTO gels for the reason stated above.

Here is the video we shot while making this photo. I have 17 other videos posted at YouTube that you might find interesting as well. My lighting workshop "Small Strobes, Big Results" are filling fast. I have a few more openings for the August 2nd and August 23rd workshop in Denver if your interested in attending.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Urban Hunting

I had an opportunity this past weekend to photography my friend (let's call him Clay). Clay works for the sheriff's department...

Anyway, took Clay out to the field behind my home to photography him about 20 minutes before sundown.  The set-up I used for the following photos was a small Octa-box from Amvona, these are inexpensive boxes that happen to work well.  To the outside of the box I mounted 3 SB-800's  using 3 Justin Clamps.  Here is a photo of the set up. All but the last photo shown used high speed sync, Nikon's CLS (Creative Lighting System).

My son Chris and his friend (let's call him Billy) held a 42" Flexfill to shade Clay from direct sunlight.  The EXIF data on the photo below tell me I shot this photo at 1/3200 @ f4.0 the focal length of the lens was 12mm.

I took several shots from various positions, here I placed Clay with his back to the sun and me shooting straight into it.  I was using my 85mm f1.4 lens, shot at 1/6400 @f2.5.

When the sun did set, we turned back facing east where the only clouds in the sky were to be found.  We even had the moon in the sky that night, shot with the 12mm-24mm lens at 12mm.  The shutter speed was 1/250 @ f 4.0.

Lighting like this is fun-fast-easy.  If you would like to learn more about lighting with small strobes, visit my workshop website "Small Strobes, Big Results".  I have two workshops in Denver this August 2008. The August 2nd workshop has 4 spots available and the August 23 rd has 5 openings. 

I want to thank many of my readers who have offered to sponsor a workshop in their hometowns.  As soon as I have the time available, I'll be contacting each of you who have offered to sponsor a workshop with more details.

Saturday, June 07, 2008

Now Offering Lighting Workshops

Ever since I announced that I was going to be teaching a lighting workshop at the Santa Fe Photographic Workshops, I have had requests to teach a similar workshop on a regular basis.

I am happy to announce that I have officially lunched my lighting workshops "Small Strobes, Big Results".  I'll be holding my first 2 workshops in Denver, August 2 and 23rd 2008.

Like a lot of workshops, I would love to take this workshop on the road.  If you would like to sponsor a workshop in your area, please let me know.  I'm very excited about the workshops and hope that you'll think about attending.

Thursday, June 05, 2008

Some Images From Today

Woke to overcast skies and light rain today. I'm in Rawlins, WY shooting the instillation of a 16" inch gas pipeline for ONEOK, Inc. The weather did end up improving over the course of the day, pockets of sunlight here and there. I wanted to post a few images from today's efforts, as my client is a regular reader of my blog and I wanted Rick to see some of the work produced today.

Hey Rick, got some great stuff today!  Looking forward to shooting tomorrow. DT

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Wyoming State Penitentiary

Erik and I stopped by the "closed" Wyoming State Penitentiary, in Rawlins, WY. Had an opportunity to shoot several images of the old penitentiary with my D70 I.R. camera. Here are a few images from our visit to the PEN.

Rawlins, Wyoming

I'm in Rawlins, Wyoming tonight. Dove up today to be in position for tomorrows assignment.

We had several opportunities to stop along the way to do some shooting for ourselves. This is just one of the many shots I took with my G9. I also brought along my converted D70 to IR camera, got some pretty cool shots. More tomorrow. DT