What does this picture of Blair have to do with the title? Nothing, really, other than it was taken last night, on the eve of the one year countdown to the 2010 Winter Olympic Games in Vancouver! In a little less than a year, I hope to be standing out in the cold meeting people from all around the world and watching the best skiers zoom around the course at Whistler Olympic Park.
As for the picture of Blair, we were just fooling around with my new D700 trying to recreate David Hobby's iconic shot of himself as The Strobist. We had an SB800 with a blue gel on the laptop keyboard and an SB26 with a Honl grid off to camera left. sounds pretty simple, but we could not create the same soft background that David did in his shot. Ours were really harsh.
It took a while for it to sink in why this was happening. When Blair mentioned that the screen of his Macbook Pro is a new design, one that doesn't diffuse reflected light but rather bounces it straight back, I realized that this meant the light source was too small.
We fixed this my taping a few pieces of paper to the bezel around the display, which increased the apparent size of the light source dramatically. The shadows softened by orders of magnitude.
The result is much softer shadows in the background. On a print, there is a nice graduation of tones, but you won't be able to see them here on the web.