Entries in Photo Seminars and Workshops (36)
As promised in my blog post about Studio Sitges yesterday here is a post from a shoot I did there during my workshop last month. As most of you know I'm a big fan of Elinchrom, but this day I was trying out a very CRAZY light! The Broncolor Para 220FB Reflector Umbrella as main light. This is a parabolic 7.2' umbrella with 24 braces, with a very shiny silver coating on the inside.
As I was teaching with a projector earlier in the day I kept looking at that big crazy para and thinking I would really like to try this one out, but maybe it's the wrong time to try a new modifier during a class? Well I thought now or never, so I did.
If you look in the images underneath you can see how the outside edge make a whole "sharp" circle around the room. So I am using the edge of the light to light Luba. When we measured the light it was 1 1/2 f stop brighter on the floor then on her face! I'm only using 2 lamps in this shot, no fill.
The second light is a standard reflector with a honey comb from the back corner. ( See image underneath, different model but same set up.) See how we use the flag to avoid getting spill light on my lens. Lens flare is great when you want the effect, but if not, I try to protect my glass from getting hit by light.
This overview snapped on my Lumix LX5, really shows how bright the floor in front of her is lit up.
Main shot: Canon EOS-1Ds Mark III with 70-200mm f.2.8 @ 115mm and f 20. 1/100 sec. 100 ISO.
Hope you enjoyed this post, I look forward to be back at Studio Sitges in April 2011 for more workshops.
Welcome to Part 2 in this 4 part series on Photographing in Midday sun, these two images is taken within less then a minute of each other around 2:30 pm on a day where the sun was at the highest (Noon) at 1:15pm. (For Noon info, sunrise etc , see iPhone app Darkness) Hope you enjoy this midday series? This part also have good info on perspective and working with wide angel lenses in people photography.
Before I get into Image number 1 here is the technical info. Canon EOS 1Ds Mark III with a EF 24-105mm f/4L IS USM @47mm and f 5.7 (43mm is normal on a DSLR not 50mm) Time taken 2:33:36 pm so 1 hour and 18 min after the sun was at the highest.
In midday sun tall buildings are great, I picked this silo because of it interesting shape against the sky. As you can see from Illustration # 2, I choose to work right inside the shade, and get lot's of bounce from the sun hitting the ground. The silver reflector creates a great highlight to shape her face. I wanted the shaded area of the silo as background to get a colder color temperature in the background then the reflected light, and found it more peaceful. If I had wanted a more dramatic image I could have back lit her, and used the sunny side. If you have problems with clients reacting to the bright light? then make sure to read Part 4 of this series which have great solutions for that.
In Illustration #2 see how she leans her upper body towards the camera, it is to get less distortion shooting it at 24mm on full frame, if you look at the final image underneath this way of standing have avoided a distorted face and body, if she had stayed straight up she would have gotten very wide hips and a small head with an up the nose look. Try to think camera and subject leveled when you shoot wide angel, if you want the subject to look it's best.
Canon EOS 1Ds Mark III with a EF 24-105mm f/4L IS USM @ 24mm and f5.7 This image is taken at 2:34:19 pm, so less then a minute apart from the closer shot. This is what I like about high quality zooms, being able to quickly get different shots, especially when I'm laying in such an uncomfortable position :-)
I decided to add more light on her face then the rest of the body since I consider her face the most important part of the image, not the clothes. If it had been a fashion image I would have approached it differently, drawn more attention to her clothes and maybe had her look away?
PS. NO retouch done on any of the images :-)
I just got back from another teaching tour in Europe, and it made me realize more than ever how much I love to photograph in midday sun. Love the quality of light we can get then. I will make this a 4 part series, in part 1 I will show some examples with diffused sun + a reflector. This shot was done during a class in Norway on May 3rd. According to the iPhone app, brightest noon that day was 1:15pm. "Noon" is seldom 12pm. I wanted to do my demo when the sun was as high as possible, so these shots were done between 1:07 and 1:32, the time most photographers consider "the worst time" of day. NOT ME! Okay, let's start looking at some images:
Image #1.This image is taken at 1:32 pm with a 70-200mm@170 and f2.8. If you look at the overview underneath you will see how we have diffused the midday sun into a soft nice light with a California Sunbounce Sun-Swatter Pro . I have an assistant reflecting sun into her face with a silver reflector.
Overview for Image #1. See how far out of the my shooting area the Sun Swatter is. That is one of its most unique features, it frees you up so much more than other diffusers. (This overview is taken within a few minutes from the the shot on top, but with the same technique).
Image #2. Time 1:07:05 pm. 70-200mm@200 at f4. In this shot I have placed the model in the direct sun right out of the shade to get a cold shadowed background (higher Kelvin temperature there). I just used a small soft silver reflector to give her face a pop of highlight. We also get a bit of fill light from the sun hitting the white wall about 25 ft from her (see overview right underneath text). This direct sun approach gives more layers of light and is more dramatic than image #3 shot a few minutes later.
Overview for image #2 taken 1:07:10 pm 5 seconds after Image #2. The Sun Swatter has no effect here, just the soft nice silver reflector giving her a nice highlight and the white house wall giving some nice fill. The sun hitting her adds drama, see image #3 for the more diffused version.
Image #3. Time 1:07:54 so within seconds we shoot this variations. It's shot with a 70-200mm f2.8 at 130mm and f4. This image has less drama, more overall soft light—it's a matter of taste, both look good for midday sun, I think. What a GREAT time of day to SHOOT!!!
Overview Image #3. Time 12:07:42 pm. Notice that the Sun Swatter creates a soft, diffused light on and in front of the model.
Conclusion: I LOVE PHOTOGRAPHING IN MIDDAY SUN, watch for parts 2, 3 and 4 coming soon.
OK, this blog post is not perfect, like a students shade hitting the model :-) but there is something to learn. First thing I look for is GOOD LIGHT! Then a background. The sun is setting down nicely hitting an ugly wall on the building behind my studio. The wall itself was boring and to much like her skin color and hair. I wanted a more professional look. Solution: Shooting along the wall towards the mountains where I get a majority of a bluish cold background, thanks to the colder color temperature in the shade etc. Blue is good, almost a complimentary color and importantly a receding color. The warm area in the background brings in a little repetition of color which is good. The warm color of the evening sun brings her towards us.
Next step is choosing the right f. stop and lens. I used a 70-200mm f.2.8 and shot at 200mm and f 2.8 to blur the background to the max, focusing on the eyes. I love hunting down last minute sun and use it as a direct light source like in this image. See how I make the sun hit her in about 45 degrees so the light wraps around her face and give her a nice shade to shape the face. In a way I like the shadow hitting the white, which tones down lot's of the bright white. All I done to the file is auto contrast and unsharp mask in Photoshop (Unsharp Mask: Amount 121, Radius 1.2, Threshold 1). Please have a great week end:-) Kenneth
PS. The illustrations underneath was shot today, a different day then the main shot and the sun was not as warm sun. When I did the actual shoot I needed to use the short time of good light to photograph and teach my students. (Photographing People Part 3 class.) by intSOP.
In last week's Photographing People Part 3 class we had a lot of fun playing with a bunch of different light sources. When we come to part 3 it's time to put into practice what the students have learned in Part 1&2. They work 2 and 2 together spending 45 minutes at different workstations with different kind of lights. They trade off shooting and assisting. This is a great way for them to experience how an assistant can help improve their work. MaryLyn and I go from group to group giving input. Class by The International School of Photography.
The workstation in this image is window light with several great tools to help them. Reflectors including a black reflector for subtractive lighting, daylight bulbs with or without a silver umbrella and a diffusion screen if the sun comes and hits the window directly. We also have a metal halide lamp for daylight at a different work station.
In this image the window light was not strong enough and we wanted it to wrap the light more around the face so she could look more straight towards the camera without getting a dark side of the face. This was achieved when we added the 4 daylight bulbs Lisa is holding right inside the window, increasing and extending width to the light. The bulbs are very reasonable if bought in the right place. I love getting great light and results with simple and inexpensive methods. It's also fun for the students to come home with new great ideas that don't take thousands of dollars to put to work.
PS. So I added a "finished" image as requested. My Photoshop expert is busy with a magazine deadline, so I ran a file through our workflow action "ColorPerfect" so it's a one click file. What is the biggest difference with our actions is that they are made for normal workflow not effects, except a couple of them. The set is called: Linge's Action Packed PS 1 v.1.03 Price US$ 175. It might add some sleep to your life :-)