Monday, June 27, 2011

South Atlanta Flickr Meet - Season's Bistro | davem photography

I hadn't been out to one of these meets in a while. When it was posted that it would be a theme and possible some old vehicles, I knew I had to be there.
There was plenty of ambient light to shoot without strobes, but I wanted to control the ambient and subject exposure for something a bit more dramatic. I like shooting wide angles and I wanted to get the entire vehicle, but you can see the reflection of the strobe and umbrella on the truck. Getting around that would mean creatively positioning the lights much higher or on booms requiring sandbags and counter balance weights to make sure the stands don't tip over. We didn't have the time or the gear to pull that off. My solution was to shoot around the problem.

I went in for a tighter shot and doing my best in eliminating the reflection from my shots.
A closer look still reveals reflection on the truck. It's just less noticeable and doesn't detract from the subjects.

Because it was a vintage theme shoot, I also had to process in black & white. I love shooting in color, but sometimes going B&W, is just the right way to go.
These were a simple 2 light setup using reflective umbrellas to bounce the light and create a really nice soft light. When we moved to the next location, we went from simple to a more complex yet still dramatic look.

It's still a simple look, but it required using gear from multiple photographers to pull this off. It was cool working out the problem. I felt very much like a co-lighting director working with another photographer as we placed, moved and positioned lights. Lighting diagram below shows the use of big & little lights.
- WL1600 Key Light 1/4 through a 40" white scrim (diagram shows umbrella, but program didn't have scrim as option.
- AB800 Back Light 1/8 Bare Bulb
- 580EX II 1/4 with 1/4 CTO on ground to light car grill
- 60" Reflective umbrella left, used as a reflector to bounce light to left side
- 2 strobes to the side @ 1/1 outside of camera frame (20-25 ft. away)

Using the old luggage is a bit cliche as there is a site dedicated to the cliche and the lost model. At least we weren't shooting on train tracks like most of the lost model pics.
I really like how the yellow line and the light from behind draws the eye to the subjects in the center. Probably not the most picturesque location, but we made a parking deck look pretty good.

I also wanted some nice portrait shots. Unfortunately we spent a lot of time setting up lights that there wasn't enough time to do another setup. I'm still pleased with the results from this lighting setup. I would have wanted to create a more hollywood glamour look from the 50's. I'll have to try that out some other time.

It was a great time and I had fun collaborating with the other photographers that night. I didn't shoot a lot of frames, but the frames I got were right on the mark.

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

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