Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Athens Strobist Meet - January

January 9th was the first of many strobists meets for this year being held in the Athens area. If you're interested in learning about lighting or want to be part of like minded individuals that shoot for a couple hours and then socialize afterwards over dinner, you should come on out.
It was a cold weekend. Atlanta got some snow on Friday and had traffic issues with ice on some roads that had basically kept many people indoors. Luckily, most of the roads had been cleared by Saturday. Despite mid 30ยบ temps, we were still a go for our meet.

When I arrived at the location, I walked around looking for different textures and unique opportunities to photograph. I found one particular spot that I liked.  We had several models to work with. I was able to work with Ashley. Since it was cold, I did my best to work quickly.
I found a car bench seat along one of the walls. I liked that it looked out of place, but also that there was rust along the walls and provided some texture.

It was about 4:30 and I had plenty of sun to work with. Sun is on the right and I used it as my key light. I then placed a 580EXII at 1/2 power in an Apollo 28" soft box as fill on the left.  I wanted a natural light look, but used the soft box to bring in detail to dark areas and soften shadows. Light setup is below.
Here are a couple more shots using the same setup.
Ashley also brought her husband along and I got a couple shots of them together. Brandon plays guitar in a band and is not one to smile. He had the same expression in all the shots.
I used the exact same light setup on the shots with Ashley and Brandon as I did with Ashley alone. The soft box only provided fill light and was sufficient for both.

I then moved to another location that I thought would be interesting. There's an abandoned brick building that has a weathered red door. I opened the door and had Ashley stand inside. Here's where I ran into a bit of a problem. I only had the soft box as my only source of light. Although the soft box provided sufficient light for the upper half of her body, her black denim pants were getting lost in the background. I didn't like what I was seeing. So I asked Ashley to step out. This worked much better.
I placed the soft box to the right, but was running out of room as we were on the edge of a platform. I couldn't move the light any closer because it would be in the shot and if I move it further out, it would be off the platform. Light setup below.
If I do a shoot here again, I would bring in a second light. I'd place it inside the building. Maybe as a hair light or just bounce it off a wall to help bring out detail inside.

I wrapped up with Ashley and joined the rest of the group in the back. As I was walking back I notice a unique spot some of the other guys were shooting. It was literally underground. We crawled under a platform and found an old rusted gate. It was a cramped area and you couldn't stand up straight. I brought my soft box setup, but had to collapse the stand and hold it. I first held the light stand while fellow photographer Ezra got some shots. Then we switched and I got some shots.
The light was held directly above Clinton. Here's the setup.
I had a great time shooting and then hanging out with everyone at dinner at Transmet. Because of the cold weather we didn't shoot for long, but still had a great turnout and good time. Once again thanks go out to Steven Skelton at [ssp]* studios for organizing and setting this up.

Next meet is scheduled to be indoors, so if you're interested, come on out. Find out about future meets on Facebook and get involved.

If you're looking for a portrait photographer in the Atlanta area, visit my portfolio.

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