I’ve Had Better Weeks

What kind of week have I had? I spent two days driving through some of California’s most beautiful countryside with a giant bag of camera gear in the car, and I did not make a single image. I got within half an hour’s drive of Yosemite, and did not visit. But my frustration did not end there.

I came home to a very pleasant photo assignment, and I blew it. As regular readers know, I’m somewhat obsessed with the strobist philosophy. So when I mis-light a staged scene, it really stings.

I designed the image to focus attention on the Edirol machine, but I cannot take my eyes off the horrid shadow behind the monitor.

Roland wants to do a story about the Ojai Film Festival’s use of Edirol equipment this year. In addition to the previous images of Artistic Director Steve Grumette with some of the films converted to Blu-Ray, I was asked to make an image showing the converter in use. I composed a scene that puts the equipment in the foreground, shows Steve using it, and features a monitor onto which Steve (a Photoshop expert) will superimpose a colorful image. An SB600 with a Honl grid lights the machines. An on-camera SB800 provides fill light (and triggered the remote flashes), and another SB600 with an umbrella lights Steve.  Looks like I needed one more light, or just didn’t pay enough attention to placement, because there’s a hideous shadow behind the monitor, and that’s an unpardonable sin. I saw it while shooting, but I couldn’t even figure out which flash was casting it, although I’m pretty sure it was the SB800. I probably should have moved the umbrella-ed flash to throw accent light behind the monitor and boosted the fill light to illuminate Steve, but I didn’t…

Oh, well. As a friend once counseled me after a particularly humiliating corporate gaffe, “Declare victory and move on.” Tomorrow I’m back to shooting theater publicity. That should get me back on my game.

Edit: Here’s the image after Steve’s alterations. He’s really good!

2 Comments

Filed under Lighting

2 responses to “I’ve Had Better Weeks

  1. Mike Kichaven

    Might also have been more interesting if you had knocked down the ambient and lit the subject and the machine.

    • I thought about that, but when I don’t know how it’s going to be used, I get queasy about dark areas. You know what happens when others try to lighten them…

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