Monday, April 2, 2012

You've come a long way baby...

You've come a long way baby...

It's been over 5 years since I was first inspired by David Hobby's blog - Four years ago I took the plunge, got myself a Poverty Wizard, a Shoot-Though umbrella and began experimenting with controlled light.
Not long after, I called my friend Roi out for a photo-shoot on his BMW motorcycle, as you can probably see, my skills at the time were rudimentary.
Four years passed since that day, four years of light and learning. Roi traded in his heavy duty BMW K1200R for a sleeker Ducati 848, and I somehow became the proud owner of three strobes and two light-stands.

I can't recall the power setting for the sun...
And so, four years later, we revisited the "Motorcycle Shot". This time with a nice three-way cross lighting setup. The key was a SB-24 at half power shot through an umbrella, with a SB-26 + reflector at 1/4 power as fill to catch  the back of the motorcycle and Roi's riding jacket.
At the distance the fill light stand was positioned, you could hardly call the light "Harsh", though there was some light spillage on the asphalt which was cleaned up in post.

I had the setting sun working hard in this shot: First as shadow control, secondly as separation and lastly - for a nice "halo" effect.

You might notice that the light-stands have rocks holding them in place. Weighing down your equipment is important when there is even the POSSIBILITY of a slight gust of wind as I painfully realized when a sudden squall knocked over my key light, destroying an umbrella and nearly taking my SB-24 with it as well.

R.I.P. Trusty Shoot-Through.
I'm rather pleased with the result, though in retrospect, might have wanted to shed some more Light on Roi's face for a better skin-tone. I blame the 60D's shiny new screen, it makes shots look better than they have any right to and you'll find yourself inevitably disappointed in post. I prefer my 30D's dull and blurry display, if something looks good there, it'll look good ANYWHERE.

So there you have it, four years and I still feel like I've only scratched the surface. I'd like to take the opportunity to thank David Hobby for introducing me to the wonderful world of off camera flash, his Lighting 101 and Lighting 102 series are better that most photography courses (not to mention cheaper!).


Anonymous said...

I got here following your link on Strobist. Congrats on becoming an awesome strobist in 4 years, this is very inspirational. Seeing all the polished shots elsewhere, it's easy to forget that even the pros start small.

JustinCaridi said...

I am also linked over from Strobist comment, and I wanted to say what a great job you do. This is very much like my story, I learned from other photographers and have been perfecting my craft.

I love the 2012 image, the lighting is subtle. It is there where it is needed and it is not overbearing. It would take a trained eye to deconstruct the lighting in that image with the BTS shot. Great work, keep it up. Keep learning!


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