Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Thursday, May 7, 2009

The Joy of Photographing People Using Small Flashes

Last week, I got opportunity to shoot portraits of different people in different settings at Paso Robles, California. Here are some tidbits:

1. The Happy Couple:

As my friend and I were walking in a park at dusk, we come across a young couple cuddling on the chair. They gracefully accept our offer to take couple of pictures of them. I set up a westcott 43" umbrella(in shoot-through mode) and my Canon 580ex II on a light stand, about 5 feet away from the couple, at about 8 o'clcok position to the camera left. I used 70-200mm IS canon telephoto lens to isolate their faces. Both the camera and the flash are in manual mode, and the flash is triggered by pocketwizard transceiver. As my friends were chatting with them, I quickly tested the flash exposure, and made some adjustment. Suddenly, the couple is laughing hard, I seized the moment by clicking away a dozen shots. The above image is one of my favorite.

2. Sophia in the shower room:

This time, my assignment is to shoot a beautiful model Sophia, at the bathroom in a gorgeous Victorian House. After some brainstorm, got an idea. I had her put a towel around the head, standing in the bathtub, pretending just finishing the shower. (Thank God, she didn't mind to mess up her hair with the towel). There is no room for light stand, but fortunately, I had my friend Martin as VAL (voice activated light stand), and he was over 7 feet tall. I put a Canon 580ex II and 43" shoot-through umbrella on a small Bogen Nano light stand, and Martin held it high to the right of Sophia, I took couple shots, the light wrapped around her nicely.

3. Abducted by UFO:

Sean, Steve and I were wandering around in a park at sunset, we found couple of big electrical boxes, and decided to use them as interesting background. After some test shots, an idea came to me, I like to make some cold vs warm contrasty shots. First, I set my camera white balance to tungsten(it makes daylight blue), then I put one canon flash on top of the electrical box with head facing down. The key light comes from a flash(with a full CTO gel attached to the head) on 43" shoot-through umbrella to my right. I also had steve hand-held a snooted flash pointing to Sean's right ear. All 3 flashes are triggered by pocketwizard. Lastly, It's Sean's turn to make some faces and poses, and he was really good at it, you can clearly see the result here.