Friday, May 9, 2008

Light-O-Holic 2

Once again, I'm going to talk a little bit about light and how much I love it.

Anyone who knows me would probably agree, I'm a little bit of a control freak. I don't think I'm really annoying about it, but it's there. So, we have to live with that, you and I.

(Insert blatant reference to 60s cult classic, "Billy Jack," here. That last sentence is a line from . . . never mind.)

This is a photo I made on assignment for the newspaper. Believe it or not, this photo is almost entirely lit with artificial light, i.e. electronic flash.

For better than a year now, I've been an avid reader of David Hobby's "Strobist" website. There's a link to his site to the left of this post. DH is a guru of creating high-quality lighting effects on a budget, using the small, camera-mounted strobes most of us buy when we purchase our cameras.

Now, I'm not claiming I'm at his level. Heck, I can barely see his level, way above me, from the level I'm on. But I'm learning.

About this image: The assignment came in to photograph artist Mick Lindsey on a gray, overcast day. When I got there, I really fell in love with his place, particularly his work space. It faced a pretty good sized window that looked out over his front porch. I knew immediately that, if it were a bright, sunshiny day (everybody sing!) the blinds that covered the window would cast some interesting shadows.

But, as I said above, it was overcast. So, I went back out to my truck and grabbed the "strobist" kit I'd put together a few weeks before. I'd been using it a some, but this was going to turn out to be what I consider my most successful attempt to that time.

My kit consisted of a couple of Vivitar 283 strobes, radio triggers and light stands with shoe-head attachments for mounting the flash. I put one of the strobes outside the window on the front porch, angled to be a little bit above and pointed down at Lindsey.

I shot a couple of test images and, as I'd feared, the rest of his place went totally black. It was cool, but not what I wanted. I put a second flash on a stand behind him and attached the radio trigger, aimed at fairly low power to just pump a little bit of light into the background.

And there it was! The image I was looking for.

If you're interested in learning more about the techniques I'm learning and using, visit the Strobist website. I don't get anything out of it, except hopefully sharing some information that will help other photogs make images they like.

Next, maybe another post about this type of lighting. Unless something else way cool comes along. Check back for more.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Great Andy.... Very interesting!