For Damian’s senior photos, we went out one beautiful day for a portrait session at Boulevard Park in Bellingham, Wash. He was a charm to work with and easy-going.
A few weeks ago I had the opportunity to document love first hand. Alex asked me to do their engagement photos. He planned a surprise proposal at Boulevard Park in Bellingham, Wash., during sunset.
On Friday, I photographed the actress, and now fashion designer, Melissa McCarthy at Nordstrom Seattle. The flagship store hosted the event where she announced her new line: Melissa McCarthy Seven7.
It was a simple assignment from Getty Images: photograph McCarthy posing with fans as well as a few candid photos. Pretty easy.
And the performers were enlightening!!! Fire performance artists entertained over 200 people during the evening of July 17th. As the Sun set, spectators flowed from the trail to the beach inundating a normally quiet park.
Locust Beach is the one park I like to go to that is close to town, but not well visited. There’s limited parking and a good 1/4 to 1/2 mile hike down to the beach. It’s rocky with no facilities. But super nice to get away from it all within town.
On Sunday I had an assignment to shoot 3 team members of the Ferndale U11 Cal Ripkin All-Stars.
As part of the assignment for The Bellingham Herald, I was to meet three standouts and photograph them at practice. To be safe, I met the three early for a quick portrait session.
Always thinking on a larger scale, I kept picturing 3 major leaguers and wanted to light them as if I was working at Sports Illustrated. Hey why not think big. They may be 11, but why let that limit how you shoot it.
As a safety, I asked one of the dads to be a test subject so I can get the light placed correctly and power output set properly. I like my strobes at a 1:2 ratio.
The main light I place on the right at about 90 degrees from the camera-subject line. The secondary fill light, at a 45 degree angle on the left. I switched the main from left to right while keeping the 1:2 ratio. This gave me lighting choices to keep me from second guessing myself during the editing process.
With the sky dark from clouds, I tried to set my exposure to underexpose the ambient light by one stop. But in retrospect, I should have underexposed the ambient by 2 stops. Live and learn I guess.
For the three youths in one shot, I kept the lights simple: placed each strobe at a 45° angle and evenly lit.
- 2 SB-910 Speedlights placed about 5 feet from subject(s). IMPORTANT!!! Set the mode for the strobes to manual.
- Phottix Odin TTL triggers used to control light output. They give you the ability to control the light output from the camera.
- Have subject turn to their left towards the main light to give dimension to the face.
- Adjust lighting as needed using transmitter.
- Swap the lights between subjects for variety. Place the left at 90° and the right at 45° for variety.
- I did not use a tripod to be more fluidlic. But my camera position was in a general area about 5 to 7 feet from the subject.
- For the 3 Subject photo, I placed each light at 45 degrees and set to full.
Here’s a couple of tips, which I went over in a previous blog Intro To Creative Flash: Balancing Your Flash with Ambient Light
- Because the flash duration is so short (1/100th of a second or shorter), the aperture controls the amount of light when your flash is set on manual. Keep in mind this only works on manual. If you have your flash on auto , TTL, program, or whatever, this won’t work and you’ll get more confused. It must be on manual mode.
- The shutter control the ambient light for the most part. Use the FP mode on your strobe if you need to go higher than the camera’s highest flash synch speed.
Simply: aperture for your flash, shutter speed for the ambient. It takes some practice, but it’s well worth it and gives you more tools for your photographic toolbox.
Simple lighting Set-up:
Practice! Practice! Practice!!!
Thank you for stopping by to read and view my work. Feel free to comment, critique, or just ask questions.
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Paul “pablo” Conrad
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