Circle W Photography and other interests

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Lighting Essentials for Photographers’ Project 52 Week 2 Assignment, Photograph a Stranger

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The assignment for Week 2 was to shoot a stranger. Seems simple enough. It took a couple of attempts to complete the shooting portion of this assignment. I asked a waitress from Outback in Albuquerque first. She said she had previous experience modeling and that would have been a bonus for me since I’m not used to shooting people portraits much.we set up a date and time and I transmitted the ideas I had for the shoot and she backed out.

The next person I asked was a waitress at the Albuquerque Buffalo Wild Wings. We set up the Shoot For Friday morning before she went in to work. We found a little park that was convenient for her.

I drove by the park the day prior. I wasn’t able to go a the same time of the day but I did notice where the shadow fell and knew they would be longer during the shoot. I found one location that I liked.

I arrived early to get the gear setup and ready. She arrived and we discussed the ideas for the shoot. We moved everything in to position and the shoot went well. I started with checking the ambient light. Added my main light. I was using a Strobies bracket to hold my Canon 580EX2 ans Pocket Wizard Flex,TTL5, behind my 16″ Beauty Dish with a white sock. It was on a Bogen 3333 light stand.

I shot everything with my Canon 40D with a Pocket Wizard Mini,TTL1, and the Pocket Wizard Zone Controller,AC3. The AC3 allowed me to adjust all the Speedlite settings from the camera. I could change the amount of light or the power of each Speedlite . I could also change the Speedlite modes from ETTL to manual and back right from the camera. The AC3 replaces the master Speedlite that would be attached to the camera. It is really small and light so you hardly notice it. I dial in this light using the ambient as an accent light from the subjects rear. One problem I noticed with this technique was if I allowed to much sunlight to hit the lens it created a very soft image. The light was set to zone A.

Next I added a Canon 580EX with a Pocket Wizard Flex,TTL5, on a Lastolite Joe McNally TrifFlash on another Bogen 3333 lite stand. I used a Zumbrella for the modifier for this light. All lights had a StoFen Dome Diffuser on them. I set this setup to zone B on the Flex.

The last light was set to Zone C. It was a Canon 550EX with another Pocket Wizard Flex. All three speedlites were set to ETTL Mode with HSS activated. The third lite was on a Photoflex light stand with a Photoflex Reflector Holder Boom arm. I used a Honl 8″ snoot on it.

This setup allowed me to turn on and off each light individually and vary to power for each light individually from the AC3 on the camera. The reason for the HSS setting was to allow me to shoot at shutter speeds faster than the 1/250 flash setting. I did this to reduce the amount of ambient in the shot. My typical f stop was f2.8 to blur the background.

Last thing I tried was using the Photoflex 42″ reflector with the sunfire cover on the Photoflex Reflector Holder to warm up some of the shots in almost a clamshell configuration.

I culled the images so far and played with one shot but I’m not totally happy with it so as soon as I tweak tem I wil post them here for your review so come back and check them out.


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