To me, the most memorable assignments are when I try some new technique. This assignment involved an art showing at a local coffee shop, and a local artist/realtor who contacted the Editor In Chief about the event. Like a "Catch and Release" fisherman, I had a chance to fish with a new lure.
Even for a straight forward shot like this one (Photo #1) there's room for adjustment. I had my artist arrange his four paintings where the could be seen, but placed there for a reason. As it turned out, he was signing each piece with a Sharpie Marker, so I simply told him to work very slowly. Unfortunately, his face was hidden when he looked down, so I had him look at the upper right hand corner of the painting. This raised his head enough to give the viewer the impression he was deep in thought, a look that helped move the narrative along. The shot was the keeper I ultimately submitted.
Looking back, you can see the effects of some serious foreshortening caused by the artist's right hand and his head being in two different planes. The super wide angle lens (10-24mm F 4.0 Fujinon) obviously exacerbated the situation. Having his forearm point more towards the upper corner would have fixed this. Illumination was provided by a speedlight bounced high and to the right. Camera was a Fuji X-T2.
One issue that did come up: The background flash's low angle created a shadow at the top edge of the picture's frame. In this case I simply cropped it out, but if I really wanted the photo to work, I might have had somebody actually sit in the chair and hold the flash directly behind my subject's head, in effect providing a shadowless ringlight effect. Unfortunately, I didn't think of it at time. Everybody was too busy, anyway. An adoring girlfriend could have been used, had there been one.
As I mentioned, this little flash, a Nikon SB-30, has a built-in optical slave, and even though it's hidden by the plastic bowl, it sensed the main light going off. As before, once I established the proper aperture for the background, I adjusted the hotshoe mounted flash output to balance the foreground with the background.