Monday, December 8, 2008

In the Studio with Nell and Barry

I had a busy weekend in my fledgeling studio. In my previous post I shared some of the images of Disa and her mom, Spyder, that were shot on Saturday. I had a couple of hours of editing, primarily sifting and winnowning, but also some minor tweaks like cropping or adjusting brightness or tonal quality. Then Sunday morning I had the fun of shooting two improv comedy performer/instructors, one of whom also performs as a musician.

I learned a lot. Mostly I learned that I really, really need to get more light on the subjects when they are squirrelly and physical.

Nell and Barry
Nell and Barry

By the Sunday shoot I had learned that I could let them run dynamically in hopes of capturing the essence of "them", and then call "FREEZE!" and they would. They would pause for a beat right where they were so I could capture the image. Then they would pick right up as though I had not interrupted. Now that was fun.

Barry, crooning

In general my light was satisfactory except that I was shooting at f/1.4-2.8 and so had a narrow depth of field to work with. Normally I love the look of photos with a super tight DoF, but in this case their near-constant movement made that difficult to cope with. The solution, of course, is more light.

Nell, freezing her motion for me

I have a safe-sync adapter ordered which will allow me to move my strobe off-camera. Until that arrives (hopefully this week) I will have to use less dynamic posing restrictions. For these shots I was using my new ProMaster QLight 250 studio light on their left with either a white umbrella (soft light) or a silver bounce umbrella. I added a 100 watt compact fluorescant snooted lamp from the right to highlight the faces. The backdrop was generally lit either from behind or from the front over the subjects heads with a soft spot in a clip lamp attached to the ceiling. With this hodge-podge of lights, setting the white balance using a gray card was an absolute must! This is all great learning experience, and is of course why I am doing all the gratis work. I do my best. The subjects get some good images to use and I get valuable experience.

And no, I do not want to photograph weddings. *grin*

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