Monday, May 25, 2009

Waterfall shoot

Did a short photo session with Mandi, a model I met through Model Mayhem. We went to Twin Falls for the shoot but due to time constraints, tourists, and lots of mosquitos, we didn't quite have enough time to do a lot of different looks.

I first attempted to do natural light, using California Sunbounce reflectors. Since the sun kept going behind the clouds, I ended up having to improvise. I setup a SunBounce mini on a lightstand, and fired an SB26 with a 1/8 CTO gel into the reflector. I setup another SB26 with a 1/8 CTO gel on the rocks behind and to her left to give a little separation from the background. Didn't really need to, since there was some sunlight coming in that lit her hair quite nicely.

To get the smooth look of the waterfall, I used a slow shutter speed, somewhere around 1/8th I think. Had to try several times, since my tripod head wasn't cooperating with me and I had a lot of blurred shots. Think I might switch to a Really Right Stuff ballhead when I can afford it.

The light REALLY started to get good just before we had to leave. The sunlight coming through the trees was sparkling off the water quite nicely. Only had time to fire off a few shots so I'm going to have to try this concept of a model in the water with fabric again someday.

Friday, May 1, 2009

Seeing the light

Photographer Irwin Yamada once taught me that photographers need to learn to "see the light". Look around you to see what the existing light is doing and think about how you can make it work for you. You don't always need strobes and reflectors. It's an idea that I try to constantly remind myself to do everyday wherever I go, even when I'm not shooting.
I did a shoot at the Cove Beach with TJ from Model Mayhem this past Monday, and I had the opportunity to put this idea into practice.

We shot in the early morning, so the rocks on one side of the beach were shaded by some palm trees. I walked TJ to that spot and had her stand in the shadow of the trees. I had her maneuver around a bit until I got most of her face in the shadow and some of the sunlight hitting the back of her hair. The bright sand and sky behind me provided all the fill we needed and also put some nice detail in her eyes.

I took a few shots, then noticed that the background was rather dark, since it was all in shadow. I moved TJ to another spot up on the rocks where there were still some shadows from the trees, but also some sunlight hitting the bushes behind her.

TJ- Headshot, originally uploaded by Mizomi Photography.

For these images I used a Canon 5D with an 85mm 1.8 lens with no flash and no reflectors.
Shot at ISO 100, 1/60@ f5.6