|1/15 second, F 5.0, ISO 800, Incandescent White Balance, CTO on Key Speedlight|
I was a little nervous about making this shot. Last year, the photo was a little easier to make because I only had three subjects and was working in the historic courthouse in Redwood City, and the venue was much less cluttered. However, I chose to make the photo in the actual exhibit area because of the relationship between the actors and the exhibit, which focused on the lives of these women during the turbulent years of World War II.
I decided to "do as I say" and work from the background forward. I wanted as much background as possible, so my initials shots were with a 17-35mm 2.8 Nikkor on a D600 full frame. I also had my 24-70mm F 2.8, which I would have preferred to use if it was wide enough at the short end.
|1/8 second, F 6.3, ISO 800, Cloudy White Balance|
Base Exposure: This test shot told me that I could potentially hand-hold the shot with a wide angle lens. For now, I decided to leave the ISO alone, and make exposure adjustments as needed. The composition was a little rough, but I cold refine that later.
Controlling The Ambient: Next, I asked about the lights. If I could eliminate the light on the foreground, I could control the foreground with a softbox. Luckily for me, the lights in display area behind me could be turned off, while leaving the background lights on.
|1/8, F 6.3, ISO 800|
Shots Evolve: When I found out that I'd be working with a group of five, I quickly arranged them as best I could. For this first shot, I wanted to include the ceiling lights I worked so hard to arrange. As a consequence, my subjects were "cut off at the legs".
The Final Compromise: With all of the competing visual features in this photo, I recomposed the image to include the legs and eliminate the ceiling. Those "blue" lights were really neat, but the longer skirts of the 1940's added to the suggestion of the time. My fourth subject tipped her hat to the side and eliminated the distracting placement of the feather, but I lost the smile from my fifth subject.
|San Mateo Daily Journal, March 20, 2017|