Saturday, 20 June 2009

Motorcycle Babes

HPS Motorcycle Shoot (6)I shot a few hot ladies on some cool bikes last week. Or at least I tried to. Ever since reading Joe McNally's Hot Shoe Diaries, I've been playing around with the Nikon CLS lighting system, but without much success. When Mike set up this shoot, I decided I would tough it out and force myself to use only the CLS. No Pocket Wizards. No Sekonic Flash Meter. Only CLS.

I almost chickened out when Trish and I showed up at the shoot. I didn't feel I had the system down 100% and boy was I right. While my trusty old SB-800 presented no problems, my brand new SB-900 was a very different story.

First, I still haven't found a swivel / cold shoe that will accept the SB-900's 'fat foot', so I had to use it bare, with no light modifiers. Bare light was not what I had in mind for this shoot, so I had to quickly think of a different lighting scheme.

Then I couldn't remember how to change the remote mode on the 900 to CLS and it wailed away in full power, optical trigger for about half my shots. This just blew out half the models' faces and was not particularly flattering.

Finally, as I was shooting, I realized that at least one of the flashes was not triggering. Sometimes it was the 800 and sometimes it was the 900. I had forgotten that CLS is a 'line-of-sight' triggering optical system and not an RF triggering method like the Pocket Wizards. I was using the D700's built in flash to control the CLS as well as provide a little bit of fill light. As I moved around shooting not paying attention to where I was relative to the two strobes, I frequently had the built-in flash pointed away from at least one of the flashes. Check out this shot, where the fill flash did not fire to the one following, where it did:

HPS Motorcycle Shoot (3)

HPS Motorcycle Shoot (2)

In the end, the laws of probability worked in my favor: I fired off enough frames that I was able to catch a handful of acceptable images:

Created with Admarket's flickrSLiDR.

1 comment:

Sherry said...

Wow I think I would of been way out of my league there...your blogs are very interesting, thanks for sharing.