Entries in Teaching (88)
I promised a few weeks ago to post some images from my super fun shoot with Kurt Bestor. The shoot was done at the Covey Center for the Arts. When Kurt came in, I introduced myself and Kurt said, "I know you, you photographed me back in the mid-eighties! I still have the picture; I like it, but not the clothes I was wearing in it :-)))" We both connected back to the Osmond Studios and the eighties. The Osmond Studios was my first work place in the USA. Kurt has done more then 40 film scores, won an Emmy etc., but what he is most known for is his Christmas Concerts and albums for the last 21 years. I learned something cool from him: He is forty-eleven years old, so now I'm forty-fourteen :-) For more on Kurt Bestor here is a link to his website. and to the article.
On to the photographic part. First the back lighting. What gives both this images a performance feeling is the 650w Fresnel spot on the cover placed straight behind him many rows up. See how it spreads down the seat rows in the wider shot underneath the cover. It's sitting on a very high tripod to create more even distance to the rows and get some of the top of his head. In the image underneath the fresnel spot is more to the right as you can see in the overview .The tungsten fresnel spot gives a nice and warm backlight, to separate him well. Compared to the strobes ( 5500K), the Fresnel is about 3400K.
Cover shot: Main light and fill light in this shot is Elinchrom strobes. Main light is an the 53" Junior Octa 45 degrees from the right, as close as possible to him with out being in the image, placed right in front of row 1. The fill light is a silver umbrella right behind me up on the stage. Camera Canon EOS 1Ds Mark III 70-200mm 2.8 at 115mm and f 5.6. ISO 400.
In the image underneath it is NO strobes, just the fresnel from behind him to the right, existing light from bulbs, room, etc, then a Vector 3 mill candlelight spot with a diffusion screen slightly from the right of me. Camera Canon EOS 1Ds Mark III. Lens 50mm 1.4 @ 2.8. 1/160sec. handheld to be more free and faster for angles etc. ISO 400.
PS. To learn more about use of Fresnel spot and how it looks see this blog entry.
Midday sun solutions. This image is from a wedding I did in The Canary Islands. The sun is high and it's hard to light them without interfering with what's between them and me. Too bright for my spots etc. A mirror would have been the best "try". My personal rule photographing people outside is: If you can't get good light on them, don't have them look in the camera! Dark eyes looking at you is like an autofocus hitting a white wall, you just keep searching and searching without getting contact.
If I had wanted an image with eye contact, I would have kept the camera frame, but moved them close to me on the right and added some nice light on them, maybe also a diffusion screen over their heads (a California Sunbounce Sun Swatter would been the ideal one, since you can keep it so high and out of your shot). If you know me, you know I love photographing in midday sun, and it is one of the main things I teach.
A second thing about this image: I got low to get more lines, but mostly to get their heads clear of the ocean line to keep it peaceful between them.
Today I want to show you a simple but powerful two light set up for location. The image is of a Mother and son looking at a book together in a nice master bedroom. Main light is an Elinchrom 600 ws Strobe with the 53" Junior Octa my favorite soft box. The second light is a second Elinchrom 600ws unit with a standard reflector placed behing them to the right pointing up in the pitched ceiling. Look closely at the two slim detail crops and see all the second light does! It back lights, lights hair, over all fill lights in addition to lighting up the room evenly. Often simple ways make things look great. I did bring a carload of different lights, never know what you might want and need. Hope your summer is great. For us it has been the second busiest July in my 34 years as a Photographer. Not second most profitable, but second busiest :-)Main light only, Elinchrom 600 ws Strobe w/ the 53" Junior Octa my favorite soft box. Main light + second light a Elinchrom 600ws unit with a standard reflector placed behind them to the right pointing up at the peiched ceiling.
I'm sure you as me often like to know when the sun is going up and down in connection with shoots or workshops you are planning. It is many places to find out, but I really like the website sunrisesunset.com , here is a link to where you can make your own calendar for each month. I like that so you can have it all printed out for the year. On a personal note, I'm such a night person, so it is very seldom I need the sunrise info, but it is sure nice light at sunrise. Please make sure you shoot the minutes before it comes up, it is usually such soft nice directional light.
Today I had the great opportunity to attend PhotoCamp Utah 2009. It was very special to me, and I also gave a short presentation in the part called "Ignite". Since it was more meant to inspire then to teach, I choose one short theme before my slideshow, NO SECRETS! Today's image is the main slide my wife made for me for the presentation. One of the best decisions I have ever made when it comes to photography is to be completely open about my Photography rather then having "secrets". When I moved to Utah for the first time in 1983 it was to work as a Stills Photographer at The Osmond Studios. One day one of the owners took me to visit a Photographer in the valley who was " The Photographer " in the Valley at the time. I remember how protective he was about what he was doing and didn't even let us into his camera room from what I remember. For the next 7-8 years I just assumed Photographers don't like other Photographers! Oh how wrong I was! So for the next years I was not very involved with other Photographers, but one day back in Norway I got involved with an association and learned how wrong I had been. I also decided to become a "No Secrets" Photographer. That decision has truly helped me soooo much to progress in my profession, get so many great friends, teach in so many countries etc. to truly be a happier and better Photographer. It is amazing how other Photographers open up when you do! When it comes to the Photographer I went to in 1983, he is still in the Valley, one of many, I think even his logo is the same as in 1983, his Photography is about where it was then. I wish he could have enjoyed the blessings of "No Secrets" and enjoyed all that comes with it, maybe someday? Thanks to everyone involved in PhotoCamp Utah 2009, it was an emotional thing to me, to see and enjoy so much sharing and openess among Photographers in the very same Valley. What a great bunch of people, THANKS!