A wallop of Speedlight combined with a low angle viewpoint gives this frame it's character. The flash was running at full power, zoomed right in and it just about kept up with us. I changed the flash batteries just after this shot and they were burning hot as a result of the continuous firing and recycling. I use 7DayShop 2800 mAH NiMh cells at under £5 a pack and they perform well in arduous conditions. I shot all of Monday's pictures on my Canon 5D mk2.
Monday’s shoot started in a downpour. Costa coffee cafe was uncharacteristically closed, and 20 minutes before shooting our model was stuck in traffic. What else could life throw at us?
Nothing really, because we had a great shooting experience from the word go. The Ibis hotel down the road supplied the cappucinos and we shot in areas that were undercover. It was wonderful to see the reaction on the delegates faces when we started shooting great shots that looked sunlit whilst it was dark, wet and cold. By the end of the day we had experienced all weather types and captured some magic frames. Here is a small selection.
We took cover under a covered drive through between two buildings. I shot this frame using natural light and added a healthy increase in exposure to create this bright picture in dismal weather conditions.
The rain soon stopped and we studied reduced contrast backgrounds as abstract picture elements. All these shots were taken below Florie's eyeline to make her look tall and statuesque.
This looks like a bright space but it was far from that. The walls were mid grey and the location was dark. Perfect for a high key shoot session then. Low light but beautiful light with a soft kicker from over Florie's right shoulder.
A brushed stainless steel column as a background gave this picture an interesting twist. High key pictures in dark dingy surroundings are just my bag.
This frame was so simple to shoot it was criminal. I asked Florie for an angry look and she obliged. I used an on camera Speedlight zoomed in to provide the illumination. I chose to shoot in Manual mode from this moment on and I shared my repeatable formula techniques with the delegates. Shooting several hundred frames using these advanced exposure and lighting techniques really gets the information to stick.
After lunch we shot some cafe interiors. A simple bar top reflection was too good an opportunity to miss. We shot into the light on a wide open aperture. We did shoot happy pictures too but I love this frame.
Marko gave this frame a simple low saturation tinted look in Lightroom. I chose to use a forced composition to add drama to the shot.
A flash and burn technique was next on our agenda. I used a 1/10th second exposure combined with a flick of the wrist and a splash of on camera flash.
A great bit of graffiti gave us an interesting background and Marko gave the graffiti a blue hue. I used a single Speedlight on a stand as a key light. I triggered my 580 ES2 with a ST-E2 trigger. In May we will be stocking the new Pocket Wizard TTL units that will offer the convenience of Radio communication combined with Canon's light measuring technology.
Then we went onto to the railway wagons with the sun as a backlight and a stand mounted Speedlight as our key.
One of the final frames of the day used the same lighting as the shot above. We were shooting with a good 7 meters from trigger to flash in direct sunlight and the ST-E2 did the job. I used a 200mm lens for this compressed perspective frame.
As you can see we had a variety of weather, and lighting situations on Monday. This gave me the opportunity to share a wide range of shooting techniques and virtually all my shooting secrets with the delegates. If you want to be part of an urban portraits shoot, see here for details of the next available workshop.
Please feel free to comment on my pictures and techniques used. – Damien.