Busted: The cover image I described in the earlier blog was not as well received as I had thought. Perhaps the GED isn't something we joke about. But there were some objections that it wasn't apparent why the student was suffering so. I guess the tongue and cheek reference in the caption wasn't enough to carry the image. I was fully prepared to re-shoot the photo. It was cutting it pretty thin, because the files had to be submitted to the printer that very afternoon. And since there was as caption re-write, along with some yet to be written text still waiting in the wings, this shot had to be a keeper on the first take.
Photo 4 shows that the monitor is adequately protected from glare. The surface is nearly black. You can also see the light fall-off in the lower edge of the frame.
Once the photo was populated with real people and the proper display was transmitted to the monitor, the image makes a little more sense. It had been my intention to make the exposure with the widest possible aperture to blur the three subjects, but in my haste to get the exposure under control, I started to use smaller and small apertures, resulting in more focused detail in the background. So if anybody asks if I knew the background was out of focus, I simply say that that's what I intended. After all, it was the GED logo that was important, and that is sharply rendered. By the 10:30 transmission deadline it was on its way to our graphic artist who would combine the image with the cover text and tweak the file so it would print properly.
Feature Photo: After clearing my equipment from the set, I prepared another classroom for a quick head shot of a new staffer. It took an hour to get everything in place and adjusted for the shot, with most of the time spent just getting the equipment out of storage. This portrait was made in less than 15 minutes. This was followed by the creation of a caption and inserting the image and text into a blank page in our brochure. Eventually all of the pieces fell into place and the files, including the cover layout and the headshot, were electronically transferred to our printer. For the technically inclined, the main light was provided by a single SB-900 fired through a 24" Lastolite Ezybox with a white-surfaced Calumet Frame for a bounced fill. A small softbox was placed overhead to provide some separation for the hair, an a snooted speedlight, pointed directly at the background, gave a bit of "glow" on the background.
I must admit that the 15 minutes spent with my one last subject was much less stressful than the time spent getting the cover shot, and was the real high point of a well-spent day.