|1/250 second, F 6.4, ISO 200|
First Some Flash Fundamental: When shooting outdoors, you should remember that flash can be used either as key light, or fill light.
- Key Light: Casts the primary shadow on the subject. Its position determines the orientation of the shadow on the subject's face,while the quality (soft or hard) plus the light-to-subject distance determines the quality of the shadow's edge.
- Fill Light: Ideally, it casts no shadow of its own, so its proximity to the lens axis is important. It needs to be balanced with the ambient key light to prevent overexposed (blown) highlights.
Staged or Candid? One must remember that when photographing any First Responders, your photo shoot could end abruptly should a local crisis arise. Therefore, you really can't count on getting your subjects too far off track should an emergency come up. The good folks at the station told me they'd roll a more "photogenic" engine into the back lot, which they did. Since the sky was overcast and I had plenty of flash power available, I had them park it so that it could be easily deployed if necessary. After that, it was a simple matter to move the food barrels, open the doors, hand out the foodstuffs, and ask for a smile. Shooting done in just a few minutes. I purposely chose to shoot from a slightly lower perspective so that the emptiness of the barrels wouldn't be obvious.
If your a head counter, you'll notice that my composite only shows six heads. I did this just to make the point, as I had business cards for the missing two.
Per the Journal's policy on the pre-release of any photos taken under their auspices, I normally create a variation of the final image, with the words Not For Publication prominently printed across the face. Certainly not as subtle as a watermark!
And nobody's squinting!