Wednesday, June 20, 2012

One Light

Christopher Webster of Hogan's Goat Tavern for
I seem to be going through a phase where I like shooting with one light. And even then, only when the ambient doesn't give me what I want. I think part of the beauty of it is the simplicity. I do a reading on the ambient, I then set my ISO as low as possible so I can see the surroundings in their own light and still freeze the action, or at least most of it. In the above photo of Christopher Webster for,  I used a 1/4 sec exposure at f5.6 and 400 ISO. I used an Alien Bees B800 with a gridded soft box placed to camera left. This mirrored the light coming from the door. There is a slight blur when Chris moved to greet a customer (Look at his left hand), but the expression is priceless and the ambient in the bar is just what I wanted.

Hooper Nicole Wong at sunset at Warm Water Cove
Nicole Wong is a Hula Hooper. We wanted a shot of her at sunset and with the hoops in motion. Balancing the light at dusk is always a fun assignment. Here, we used my Alien Bees B800 with a gridded soft box, to the right of the camera. I wanted to freeze the hoops as much as possible, so I used 1/180 for the shutter speed, the fastest that allows me to sync with the flash. There is a little blur on the hoops, which I like. f5.6 gave me the right amount of depth of field. I used ISO 200 to help get there.
Bud Spangler at his Oakland studio. 
This shot for (InMenlo) of jazz producer, Bud Spangler, did not need any ambient. It was a tight space I could light with the single light. In this case I put the Alien Bees B800 with Octabox, right behind me. It gives me a ring-flash type effect, but with softer light. This was shot F8.0 to keep the acoustic material on the walls sharp. 1/90 was the speed and ISO at 100 for detail.