Monday, March 15, 2010

Let The Sun Shine

I'm currently in Bridgeport, WV shooting a corporate assignment. It has been overcast and raining for the past several days here, I'm hoping the sun will shine tomorrow. I'll be shooting a drilling rig for most of the day tomorrow and I don't want to shoot in the rain.

Earlier today, my client wanted to shoot in the lobby of their offices. The lobby has beautiful windows on it's west side that normally would allow late afternoon sunlight to shine through. Due to the current weather conditions, I needed to pull out my own light source to improve the non-existing light.

By placing a single SB-800 outside of the building, fitted with a full cut CTO gel, I had my sunlight. I used a RadioPopper to fire the strobe which was out of my line of sight. I just love these Poppers! Here is a set-up shot showing the strobe placement on the outside of the building.

My white balance was set to daylight, and with the use of a full cut CTO I got the warm from the strobe I was looking for. This was a very quick and easy shot to set up, no more than 5 minutes to put together. When I see windows, I just want to push light through them... give it a try. DT

Tuesday, March 09, 2010

Nikon CoolPix P90

Nikon provide me the opportunity to try out their new CoolPix P90. I received the camera shortly before I went to Costa Rica and Saudi Arabia. This is a fun camera and I thought you might enjoy seeing a few images I've created using this camera. The camera has a few feature I really like, one thing I don't like is it does not have the option to shoot in RAW. The feature I used most was changing the image size. I found myself using the 9:16 and the 1:1 ratios the most.

Another fun feature is the ability to add a black stroke around your image for play back on the camera. It give the image a finished professional look to it, sort of a fine art matting. The images are sharp and rich in detail, not a bad little camera.

This was a photo I took just outside my hotel in San Jose, Costa Rica prior to the Mentor Series Trek start. I just love the colors here.

This photo was taken during a short bus stop near a fruit stand and restaurant on the side of the road.

During our trip we stopped by a butterfly center, I found this the perfect time to try out the macro capabilities of the P90. The center photo above is a detail of a butterfly's wing tip. It is designed to mimic a snake... pretty cool.

The photos above are details of the corrugated plastic doors separating each of the butterfly rooms from one another. The plastic was a light blue and back lit with natural light.

I made this photo while walking around the hotel that I was staying at on my last night in San Jose, Costa Rica. The late afternoon light coming through the windows was gorgeous.

The next series of images were produced while I was in Saudi Arabia several weeks ago.

When changing planes in Amsterdam, I had the opportunity to shoot a few images in the terminal, without airport security noticing.

I had a short amount of time site seeing while in Saudi Arabia, having the P90 allowed for those quick travel type snaps.

Here are a few detail shots I did at the hotel that I was staying at while teaching my workshops.

I like shooting with this camera, just wish I had the ability to shoot RAW. DT

Wednesday, March 03, 2010

Wishing I had GPS Technology On My Camera

During my visit to Saudi Arabia, the majority of my time was involved with teaching my workshops. My host Abdullah Al-Saeed made sure that any free time I had, was spent sight seeing and enjoying the hospitality of his country. I was overwhelmed by the kindness and generosity extended by Abdullah, his friends and the Saudi people I met during my visit. This was truly a once in a life time experience, one I would like to have again!

GPS technology on my camera would certainly help me identify where this photo was taken. The gentleman shown in the photo at the top of this post is Mohammed Al-Musalli, he is a local artist from the town of Qatif.

If memory serves me, this is a very old fort build in the 16th century, it is the oldest castle in the Persian Gulf and was built by the Portuguese. It is located in the center of Tarut Island. Anyway, while being shown this wonderful location I asked to photography our host over looking a Mosque in this beautiful town.

In terms of lighting, this was a very quick set up. I first metered the background, underexposed it by a stop and a half and than turned on the strobe. Adam, one of my students at the workshop was with us this day and he hand held the SB-600 off camera and to the left. The photo really took only a few moments to achieve, having a VAL available doesn't hurt.

Prior to visiting this historic site, I had the opportunity to visit Mohammed in his home/studio. Mohammed is an accomplished and well know artist in his part of the world. His a photographer, painter and 3D artist.

After visiting the castle at Tarout we went to a beach where there was a traditional fishing boat beached on the sand. I had a few moments to photograph this ship before we lost the sun for the day.

I managed to add a quick fill flash using an SB-800 with the help of my friend Adam. He held the strobe at camera left and he used a hand to flag the flash off the sand in the foreground. DT

Monday, March 01, 2010

I'm Back, Sort Of

I can't tell you how happy I am to be sleeping in my own bed once again. The lack of recent posts here at my blog should be a good indication how busy I've been. I've been on the road for about a month now, first Costa Rica than Saudi Arabia and finally, The Santa Fe Workshops.

Over the next several weeks I will be posting images from my adventures as well as lighting demonstrations and thoughts on my approach to making several of these up coming images.

Let's start with an image made during one of my workshop earlier this month. While conducting my Saudi Arabian workshop I produced the following image. I selected the location for two reasons. First, I liked the repeated pattern of the metal fence as well as the receding lines it offered. The second reason was to illustrate location assessment and the choice of lighting this scene.

When we look at the photo below, you will notice that sunlight is coming from the right side of the frame, you can see the shadow of the fence projected on the ground. In my mind, it would make sense to light our subject from the same direction where the sun is coming from.

I first made an exposure to place the background value where I wanted it, this in turn puts my subject in silhouette. We than added a single SB-800 shot through a Lastolite Tri-Grip diffusion panel.

It's very important that you think about your location and from where the existing light is coming from. I chose to light from the right side to duplicate the direction of the existing light. I think it would be unnatural to have my light coming from the opposite direction.

I'm headed out to Columbus, Ohio for The Arnold Sports Festival this weekend where I'll be conducting a shorten SSBR lighting workshop. If your in the area, I hope you can attend.

I'll try not to take so long in posting, sorry about that..... DT