|Setup 01 F 5.6, ISO 200, 1/125 second exposure|
As you can tell from this first shot, a suitable exposure for the skylight would result in significant underexposure in the courtroom (Setup 01). I chose this angle so that no direct sunlight would shine towards me through the glass. I was able to get an even blue-sky exposure on the skylight, but you can see a highlight were the sun illuminated the recessed edge. But the details of the stained glass were preserved.
I wound up setting three SB-800s on a table and adjusting them to fire at the SU-4 optical slave mode. There was obviously enough light to properly expose the background, but the daylight-balanced light made the walls a little too "bright" (Setup 03).
I knew that the Adorama Flashpoints were up to speed, and I did have a fully charged spare, just in case. I also brought six SB-800 to use as SU-4 remotes. Today's strategy was to load two units and make a test shot. When it appeared I'd need a third, I broke out another set of batteries and prep my third unit. When I done, these "lightly used" batteries will be stored away for future use. Almost new, I like to say.
I started shooting my subjects, and was reminded of a old maximum: The more subjects you have in a photo, the greater the probability that something will happen to detract from the quality of the photo. Photo #1 at the top of the post represented the best compromise.
Four photos were consider for the final cut.The Upper Left photo shows my right subject squinting slightly, and an unidentified spectator in the seating area at camera left. It is the nicest portrayal of my leftmost subject. My rightmost subject in the Upper Right was rendered a bit too dark. In the Lower Left photo, the "hello" gesture was rendered too large due to lens foreshortening. The Lower Right photo was be best compromise.
I wish I could have submitted the Upper Left, since the subjects all mange to cover distracting objects in the background, but the "squint" killed the shot. But all in all, it was a good shoot, and the subjects thanked Cissie and me for our efforts during the session.