How far will you take in camera exposure? This is ‘as shot’ and those who know me understand why I never use a histogram or the highlight warning system in my camera. The screen on the 5D mk 2 is so good, fine exposure tweaks can be made using the picture alone.
This set of pictures was quite special to shoot. The weather was kind, Chloe Jasmine Whichello was in good spirits and some of our favourite photographers were with us as delegates. The day started at the worlds most expensive pebble…
One bare faced 580EX2 Speedlight on a stand was all we used for this sequence of frames.
Within 5 minutes of leaving Costa we were shooting. Flash in full sun and the Lovegrove exposure system were a perfect combination. Those of you who have been on any one of my Speedlight Mastery workshops will know exactly what settings I used just by looking at the shot. Repeatability is the key to my system.
I showed the delegates how I interact with someone to create a bit of fun. We had fun all day.
We took our single Speedlight round the corner and into the shade for this one light shot.
Crisp wonderful light from one 580EX2 Speedlight was what I used here.
By 11 O’clock the dark glasses were off to reveal Chloe’s beautiful eyes. My 100mm lens was still the only lens needed.
Hard light used well is wonderfully flattering. I was still thinking mono but the lure of the colourful pub walls soon to become too much.
One mention of Joanna Lumley earlier in the day and there she was, in a younger guise.
Every now and then the real world delivers wonderful light without the need for intervention. We quickly grabbed a few frames while the reflected sun played it’s part.
I managed to shock a few delegates with my seemingly cavalier approach to exposure. This is straight from camera.
The needle was off the meter at +2 stops and the pixels were screaming. This Manchester pub wall was now in Morocco in my mind. I encouraged the delegates to use their own settings and to choose an aperture to suit. I also ensure that all the camera screens are set up correctly. When sailing this close to the wind it is a good idea to use a Hoodman viewer to accurately asses what clipping is occurring.
Off came the 100mm lens for the first time in weeks and on went my 21mm prime. I had my white balance set to 8200k for all these shots to add to the hot look. I must admit I stole the idea for this shot from a delegate ;) We are all learning together.
An Orbis ring flash adapter provided the light for this frame.
I love concertina shutters like these. After our first break it was time for 2 Speedlights.
With the lighting set correctly the camera position can be really flexible. I was 90 degrees from the previous shot with identical lighting for this frame.
The same lighting rig was carried around the corner to create this next sequence of shots.
I used an STE-2 to control the ratio of the lighting between groups A and B in this shot.
Pink and blue – harmony.
Next it was white balance shifting time for this shot taken at 3400k with just a single on camera flash with Honl filter for illumination.
After lunch things got more complicated but we were all ready for it. A 58cm Lastolite ezybox hotshoe and a pair of Speedlights on stands were used to create 3 point lighting.
When you work with dynamic people or children it’s all about the moment. Capturing the peak of emotion, shooting with a rhythm and going with the flow are vital but not easy without practice.
I next showed how to shoot at 1/4000th and f/2.8 with the Pocket Wizard system. The transition to speeds above the sync speed are seamless and no effort or thinking is required. It just works. I lit Chloe with a 580EX2 in a Lastolite Ezybox.
This is my bird shit shot. After all, that was what provided the fabulous texture and tones in the background. The Ezybox was all I used for this shot too.
The sun had gone and Chloe went climbing. I put our own sun in the mix by using a 580EX2 Speedlight on manual mode at full power as a backlight.
I opened up my 100mm lens by 3 stops and went all dreamy with my shots.
This Ezybox shot is bang on the standard exposure. Softlight like this is often used for beauty shots but I do prefer hard light. Chloe looks fabulous here so I kept it in my set.
This delightful editorial style shot is a fusion of the high camera angle, Chloe’s distant relaxed gaze and the floral design of her top. The French manicure finishes the look.
I found some green glass that had been white washed on the inside to provide the background. I lit this shot with on camera flash. It doesn’t get simpler than this.
We finished the day with a Lovegrove slash of flash. One Speedlight and my trusty 100mm lens.
Please feel free to comment on these pictures or the workshop if you were there.