Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Shooting Into Glass

I found this older image in my files recently and thought it would be a good topic of discussion. I can't tell you how many times clients ask me if we can use the view out the window in a photograph. They are not my favorite sort of image to shoot for some of the most obvious reasons, reflections.

If reflections aren't enough of a problem, try shooting 8 individuals in a setting like this. With two walls of glass reflecting the opposite walls in the room, your in a world of hurt. The only solution to this particular problem is to shoot two exposures, one of the view and the other of the group. And that is exactly what I did here.

Using a tripod is imperative in getting this shot, you need both exposures to be in perfect registration. I first made my exposure of the group and then the outside view. Which one you shoot first is up to you, just know that when you set your position for your first shot, you don't change it for the second.

Here is the lighting set up I used for the group exposure. Hey, want a second, are those Dyna-lites I see? Yes they are, I was not fully into my speedlight mode at that time and I felt I needed more power than what speedlight would provide.... In hindsight, I could have used speedlights for this. Anyway, you can see one head bounced into the ceiling for fill and one head bounced into the wall at the left of the group.

Shooting groups are hard enough as it is, throw in some glass and a small space, it's never any fun. With a room this size, bounce was really the only method of lighting I could come up with that would provide even light for a group this size. I personally like directional light rather than just putting a large umbrella on a boom overhead. By bouncing light off the wall, I have a sense of direction and the bounce of the ceiling provide the fill I needed.

Monday, October 18, 2010

A Simple Portrait

Being a corporate photographer, portraits of guys in ties are a big part of my business. Being able to pull off a simple portrait in a short amount of time is very important. Executives have only have a short amount of time to give you and the faster you can get their portrait the happier they are.

You can see here my set up. I'm using a 43 inch folding convertible umbrella in the shoot through position. I'm using a single Nikon SB-800 with a Quantum Turbo SC battery. You will notice a second strobe in the background which I ended up turning off. My color balance was set to tungsten and the flash was fitted with a Full cut CTO to balance with that.

When I shoot portraits like this, I like to anchor my subject. What do I mean by anchor, well, most people feel very uncomfortable just standing for a photo. So I have them lean against a wall, place a hand on a chair or simply hold onto a pair of glasses or a pen. Have something to do seems to put them more at ease... or anchored. You can see the wall in the photo above. Wall work particularly well as they can also provide a bit of bounce. DT

Monday, October 11, 2010

Small Strobes, Big Results 2011 European Tour

I am very pleased to announce the 2011 European Tour of Small Strobes Big Results Lighting Workshops. We are planning 12 European stops during the tour: Lisbon, Portugal, Porto, Portugal, Madrid, Spain, Barcelona, Spain, Aix en Provence, France, Milan, Italy, Zurich, Switzerland, Munich, Germany, Berlin, Germany, Dusseldorf, Germany, Amsterdam, Netherlands, and Paris, France.

I am being hosted by PhotoPress Production and I am very much looking forward to this tour. If you are in any of those cities, I hope you will join me for one of these workshops. I had a wonderful time this past July teaching in Vienna and London.

Update: I have cancel this tour for the time being. My apologies to those that have pre-registered for this series. You can contact PhotoPress with your concerns... I hope to reschedule at sometime in the future.

Wednesday, October 06, 2010

Sailing in Newport Rhode Island

I my last post, I mentioned that we had a bit of rain during our Mentor Series Trek to Newport Rhode Island. We managed to dodge the rain for a short time in the Lobster Company where I took the photo of the guy holding two lobsters.

One of the weekends activities that the Mentor Series planners had arranged, was a harbor cruise aboard a beautiful sailboat. After holding up at the lobster shop, the rain did lighten up enough to venture out on the water for an hour. You can see here that we are all bundled up with ponchos and other rain gear.

After motoring out to open water the sails were raised, and we managed to catch a light breeze to propel us through the water. I must say, when the sails were raised, all the water that had collected in them dumped out on all of us! Good thing we had our ponchos.

The photo at the top of this post was made using a single SB-800 held by one of our trekkers. The flash was just outside of the image area, and the trekkers used her left hand to flag the flash from the camera lens. I first metered for the ambient light, under exposing it by about 1 1/2 stops in order to make the sky more dramatic. Once the ambient was set, I adjusted the flash power using the built in commander on my D700. The flash was set to channel 1 Group A.