Sunday, 28 September 2008

Hard Light

Wade K SuperstarIts been a very busy month for me. My day job has been turning into my night job and so I haven't had time to post anything on the blog. But seeing as I did manage to find time to organise a mini strobist meet at my secret location, I thought I might as well write about it.

I had arranged to have 3 models and three photographers meet me for a shoot a couple of weeks ago. Two of the models cancelled at the last minute, but fortunately Wade, pictured here, showed up and it actually worked quite well. Each photographer prepared a set, and Wade was able to move quickly from one to the other without having to hang around for test shots and set-up.

For this shot I wanted a full body silhouette with just the face picked out with hard light from a snooted flashgun. I don't have any seamless paper so I used a couple of 6x4 polystyrene boards and threw a bucket of water over the floor. I lit the background with an SB28 flash on full power, and used barn doors to control the spill because I didn't want any light hitting Wade. I deployed a voice activated light stand called Huy to light Wade's face with another SB28 this time using a small coroplast grid.

This kind of shot has a lot of challenges. First of all I needed to get Wade far enough away from the background to avoid light wrapping round him but the background is quite small, so I had to stand well back with a 135mm lens to get him and the background in the shot. This led to my second challenge, which was focussing. The location is a derelict underground car park, with no windows and only a few working flourescent lights. This is when I really started to miss the modelling lights on studio flash. Huy was able to get some light onto Wade's face with a head mounted flashlight but the autofocus really struggled to lock on. Very few images were sharp enough. Another issue was that my voice activated lightstand also had some trouble getting the flash pointed in the right direction. It took quite a few shots to get to this one. The light isn't quite falling exactly where I had wanted it. If I were to do this again I would get the subject to wear a dark shirt and use a tighter grid, but I think the highlighting of the Ramones T-Shirt works in this context so I'm not unhappy with it.

It was a good day, everyone came home with some great shots and we had some fun. If you are based in London and want to do this sort of thing then join the London Strobist Flickr group and come to a meet. If you want to see more Here are some more images from the day

Friday, 12 September 2008

Last Chance to See

Tommorow is the last weekend that the Photographers Gallery will be running the excellent Fashion in the Mirror Exhibition I blogged about earlier get down there tommorow if you have some free time. The last day is the 18th September.