Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Strobist Lighting 102: Assignment - Balance

The assignment from the course Lighting 102 was technically supposed to be a shot which balanced ambient and flash lights that makes a difference to someone. I discovered that the church I attend here in Manila, Philippines, was in the process of redesigning their web site and needed photos of their administration staff to put on their website.

So during a talk with one of the Pastors here I offered to take the photos of the administration staff as a group and individual portraits to put on their website (and I'm also planning to produce print outs for each of the staff as a surprise).

This was my first 'portrait session' and I was very nervous, mainly because I was worried about wasting a lot of time getting a correct exposure (and making a fool of myself with the end results being a set of really bad portraits).

In the end I used a relatively simple setup for both shots. The group shot was taken from a balcony looking down on the group with three lights left, center and right of the group.

If I had more time I would have tried raising the lights more and putting them all on Stofen filters or umbrellas. The group were really fun to work with and were willing to try new things to get a fun group photo.

For the portraits I placed the main light center right of the camera with a Lastolite EzyBox soft box with a 580EX II set to @1/16 50mm. For the kicker placed camera left at the back I used a 580EX II set to @1/64 @105mm with a Honl 1/4" Speed Grid. Lastly I used a 430EX set to @1/8 50mm with Stofen filter and flag to stop it affecting the image. If I shot this again I would try to drop the background down a stop and may try and play with the kicker's position and power.

Of all the photos I took, the two groups shots above and the five portraits below are my favorites:

All the shots were taken with a Canon 30D with a 70-200mm f/4 IS USM lens and Pocket Wizards.

Please feel free to leave comments or questions below or email them to me.

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