Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Strobist lighting

The weather Tuesday morning was oh so typical crappy Pittsburgh -- dark, gray skies with little definition. Not exactly exciting to shoot under, especially when I planned to include a good portion of the sky in the frame. So when you're handed a lemon the only thing to do is make lemonade!

I started by setting my Canon 5D to a tungsten color balance. This way any daylight would be rendered as blue.

To light the subject I placed my main light, a Canon 580 EX at 45 degrees to subject on my right side. To balance the tungsten setting I place a full CTO filter over the flash, but since I wanted the main slightly warmer than normal I added a 1/2 CTO to boost the color.

The second flash, also a 580 EX, was placed low and pointed up at the Bonsai tree. The tree light was covered with a full CTO to bring it back to normal. The flashes were set to "slave" and triggered by a hot shoe mounted Canon ST-E2. Camera exposure was 1/200 at f14, about two stops below "normal" ambient exposure. The main light needed a 1 stop boost in exposure compensation to achieve the desired exposure. The lens was a Canon 16-35mm f/2.8 MK II L.

The only Photoshop work I did on this image was darken the edges slightly, run an overall sharpen and definition action, boost the blue a bit and tweak the facial color. As is my normal workflow, all PS work is done on 16-bit TIFF files, then converted to 8-bit Adobe 1998 for client delivery or JPEG, sRGB for web.

Lemonade from a lemon of a day. Gotta love it.

For many more super cool tips and tricks check out the Strobist blog.

1 comment:

David Burke said...

TC! I am loving the off camera lighting tips. I have been working it a lot lately to learn new ways to have fun and be creative. Lunch soon, "wifey" LOL!