Tuesday, 23 June 2009

Self-Made Postcards

Boot Camp II Headshot 1I have never done my own shoot in a studio so when I booked Aperture Studios to take maternity shots of Stephane and Maia followed by a session of high school prom photos with my daughter and her friends, I thought it would be a good time to take my 'self-portrait' portion of the Strobist Boot Camp II First Assignment.

Unlike the first portion of this assignment, this one went as planned and was pretty quick to set up. I had an old 4 by 5 camera I wanted to work into the shot, so I put an Alien Bee 1600 with a soft box for the main lighting on camera right and another AB on the left to fill in the the shadows on the camera. Now I only had to deal with the shadows caused by the big 4 by 5 blocking the light from the two Alien Bees. I put an SB-800 behind the 4 by 5, dialed it waaaay down to 1/64, wide throw and held it in my hand, aimed at my face. I used Pocket Wizards to trigger. Magically, everything just seemed to work. The posing, the lighting, and the exposure all worked on the first pass. I grabbed some shots of Stephane, who is also a photographer, then stepped into the set-up myself and let Stephane pull the trigger.

You can see where the lights are by looking at the reflections in both the lens of the 4 by 5 and my eye:

Boot Camp II Headshot 1 Detail1

Boot Camp II Headshot 1 Detail2

You may have to click on the photos to go to the Fickr page and run your mouse over the photo to see my notes, which highlight each of the light's reflection.

I can't say that the second portion of the assignment went so well. The Halifax Photo Society had set up a shoot with a local motorcycle club and arranged for some local models to come along as well.We've been doing these along the lines of the "Strobist Meet-up", where we book models in for a TF* (time for shots) arrangement, which allowed us to practice our shooting and in return the models get some shots for their portfolio.

I went in with a plan to shoot only CLS. No manual settings and no pocket wizards. Just CLS and it was close to a disaster. I've already blogged the gory details of my Motorcycle Babes shoot, if you want details on my learning. If you would like to see some of the other shots the gang at HPS took, click here. There are four pages and counting of some freakin' great shots.

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