Saturday, April 18, 2009

Workshop Results

Really glad to have made it home after our week in California. We held two wonderful Small Strobes, Big Results workshops, one in San Francisco and the other in Orange County. I arrived back in Denver just as the snow was piling up, we're having a blizzard for sure!

I wanted to go over some of the images we shot during our workshops. The first on the list is of the image I posted a few days ago while in SF.

First I would like to thank Tim for modeling for us during the day, I think we got some nice images for his portfolio. We were photographing in Pier building 40, a maintenance building along the harbor near the AT&T Giants Stadium. The large building doors provided wonderful directional light in the location of this photo as you can see. The large door is at camera left and the image below is just doing what my camera meter asked me to do.

By centering my meter on my camera, it provided me with what I would consider is a normal exposure. The next step for me was to change my white balance from daylight to tungsten, and than under-expose the image. How much do I under-expose it, maybe 2 or so stops. There is no set rule as to how much, it's your shot, you decide. By doing so, I not only create mood, I am also creating my fill light.

With my WB shifted to tungsten, all daylight turns to blue and any strobe or flash used must be gelled to match this WB. To complete this shot, I used 3 VALS (voice activated light stands) to hold my lights. Each of the SB-800's were fitted with full cut CTO (Color Temperature Orange) gels in order to balance with the tungsten WB set on the camera. I also place cinefoil around each of the strobe heads to snoot the light, allowing me to direct the flash where I wanted them.

I also want to show you another series of images that might demonstrate that there is not set rule about any of this image making. When your behind the camera, your camera, it's your shot! You decide how much of to add or take away, it's just like cooking, Bam!

In the photo below you can see the progression of shutter speeds in order to control the amount of ambient light. I used one SB-800 shot through a Light Break in order to provide some texture to the wall that Tim was resting against. The aperture remained the same throughout these exposures as "the aperture controls the flash exposure" and the shutter speed controls the ambient "fill light" Which is right exposure? your choice! What kind of mood do you want?
After San Francisco, Erik and I headed to Orange County, CA. Wednesday night I had a speaking engagement at a local college and on Thursday we held the 11th Small Strobes, Big Results workshop since beginning them.

Our model in Orange County was Jennyfer, a very nice young lady looking to increase her portfolio of images. In this photo I was demonstrating the use of proper bounce technique for the key light.

I used a total of 3 SB-800's for this photo, one strobe bounced off a white wall to camera right, another for the hair or hat light and another on the other side of the glass block wall behind our model.

For this photo, I used an 80mm-200 f/2.8 lens for this shot. You can see that the DOF is shallow, must have shot this one wide open, say f/2.8. As I mentioned above, my key light is bounced of a white wall at camera right. The hair or hat light is gelled with a CTO gel to provide some warmth and color contrast with the gelled strobe behind the glass blocks. The strobe on the other side of the glass blocks has a full cut of CTB (Color Temperature Blue) gel over the lens of the strobe.

For the above photo I switched my color balance to tungsten and than gelled the key light with a full CTO. Remember, when a CTO gel is placed over a strobe head, the resulting light will be balanced with a tungsten white balance setting on your camera. You can see a blue cast to the windows in the lower left corner of the frame due to the daylight coming through those windows. The green cast in the ceiling is due to the florescent light fixtures overhead.

I want to thank all of those that attended the workshops, I truly enjoyed meeting each of you and I hope that you'll stay in contact. These workshops are not only fun for all the participants, I really have a blast doing them. If you are interested in hosting a SSBR workshop in your city, please let me know.

I want to also mention that I have 1 space available for the up coming "Denver" Small Strobes, Big Results workshop on April 25th if your interested. Other workshop locations and dates are listed on the side banner on the right.


Rich said...

That's a lot of cool stuff to digest. I cannot wait to attend your workshop!

sandman said...

Time well spent. Thanks David!

Matt said...

David, good information, but a bit of a mystery here: How did you underexpose your second image from your first?

In your first image, the exif data shows you having your D300 set to:

0 EV Exposure bias
ISO 200

In the second (underexposed) image, the exif data shows the same thing:

0 EV exposure bias
ISO 200

So how are you achieving a -2 underexposure without changing shutter speed, aperture, exposure compensation or ISO settings?

David Tejada said...

Hi Matt: The top image, the one without the tungsten shift or blue cast to the image was shot at 1/160 @ f/3.2. This was the exposure the camera gave. I than reduced the exposure to 1/250 @ f/4.0 in order to darken the image. The final or third image was just adding the lights.