Sunday, June 9, 2013

Designer Showcase In Woodside - Part 2

This is the shot that was selected to run in the Daily Journal. The woman on the right was the lead designer on this room, so I was not inclined to attempt to move anything for the sake of a single photo.

The main light was the same Zumbrella with twin NIkon SB-800s, triggered by a third unit mounted on camera. The accent on the pinball machines was provided by the same Calumet Wireless/SB-800 combination I used to accent the garden sculpture. It was being held by the event publicist, who had some difficulty understanding my directions. The speedlight did provide the highlight I wanted, but also put a nasty reflection in the mirrored wall in the background. Ditto the Zumbrella, which can be seen at the right edge of the mirror.

Would, Coulda, Shoulda. I do love tripods. I just wish they weren't so cumbersome to use. If I had used one, I might have noticed the left glare spot and been in a position to do something about it. Now if the camera were absolutely stationary (as only a tripod can make it), I'd have had the left hand designer move to the left until her head effectively covered the hot spot. Looking at the final image, I would like to think that the glare spots make the shot "edgy". The final exposure was 1/15, F7.1, ISO 200, which allowed me to extend the exposure to add a glow to the two end table lights.

Time Gets Tight. More and more guests were starting to arrive, so I had to work faster. I left the Zumbrella behind and decided that any photos made from this point forward would be ceiling bounce from an on-camera flash. I still had the Calumet transceiver and carried the speedlight with me for this shot. Ceiling bounce was giving me the overall illumination I wanted, but I was having trouble with the glasses and Scot's deep set eyes. I decided to do a "Hail Mary" and aimed the radio controlled remote flash directly at the floor, hoping to bounce some light into the eyes. After some experimentation, I was able to get some small catch lights in my his eyes. I couldn't up the exposure because the bounced light started to seriously overexpose the chair.

Gotta Go. The place was starting to jump. This had to be my last shot, and as it turned out, it was more challenging than the rest. I wanted to include as much of the room as possible, so I stepped back as far as I could. I used three light sources. The on-camera speedlight bounced light off the ceiling to give the overall illumination. A second light, triggered by the Calumet Wireless Transmitter, was wearing a snoot and was placed on the floor and directed towards the chandelier made of broken plates. I held a third light with a makeshift snoot in my left hand, and aimed it directly at the designer's face. I couldn't be sure that the ceiling bounce would create a catch light, so this last flash, dialed down to 1/64 power, would hopefully do the trick. As with the first shot of this post, the shutter was kept on the long side (1/40 @ F 5.0, ISO 400) so the lamp in the background could add some color.

I had allocated 30 minutes of setup and 15 minutes of shooting time for the single planned shot. By my calculations, one hour, maximum. I had scheduled the first shot for 6:00 pm. But I wound up leaving at 7:30.  And while my planned shot was finished on schedule, the additional shots were just too irresistible to pass up.