In Dubai, now, from Las Vegas, desert to desert, one kind of glitz to another. WPPI was fun. I was very honored to give a keynote presentation there, but mostly it was a gathering of friends I’ve known in this business for many years.
Also did a photowalk, which thankfully occurred on one of those beautiful desert mornings when the light was so crisp and clean it felt like it had been dry cleaned and pressed. I invited the lovely Charlotte O’Dowd, a dancer at Showstoppers, to come along with our group, and her statuesque presence, combined with the light, made our walk more of a skip. It also provided a couple of really good, simple, off the cuff, two frame teaching moments.
As I do, I was explaining to the class about the levers of control you have over the situation, which are, at the most basic level, f-stops and shutter speeds. We talked of how you could then add a third lever into your arsenal, by adding your own light, via the mechanics of a speed light and TTL. I did screen caps, below, of the frames in Mylio, with metadata off to the side.
Up above here is a quick snap with a Nikkor 20mm f1.8. Simple, available light, shoot it where you stand example picture for my fellow photo walkers. The f-stop shutter speed combo is 1/30th @f16, ISO 100. Charlotte is exposed properly, and the background is blown. Simple chip mechanics. Expose for her, standing in open shade, you lose control of the background. Expose for the background, she’s a silhouette. Solution, add flash.
She stays in exactly the same spot and I expose now for 1/160th @f16, ISO 100. Light source is Nikon SB 910 flashes, set up on a Lastolite tri-flash, firing through a Lastolite 4 in 1 umbrella rig, which is a big, versatile light source. All this sits atop a ShurLine paint pole, fitted with a Kacey Pole Adapter. One frame, TTL, no compensation. A quick two frame demo of light dynamics in the field.
Move the light to the other side of Charlotte, and come in tighter with an 85 f1.4. Try now to quickly eliminate background, again through the dynamics of shutter speed, f-stop, and flash. The below is also ISO 100, this time at 1/4000th @ f2.0.
Okay, the flash is working relatively well, but there is uncontrolled splashes of hard sunlight on Charlotte’s chest. And shadows from the feathers, now that she is standing in open, hard sun. Quick fix? Lastolite Tri-grip diffuser, hand held, to create a portable version of open shade.
Hard sunlight disappears, and she falls more under the governance of the speed light array. High speed sync technique at camera squelches the background both in terms of sharpness and exposure. All very simple, hand held, run and gun strategies, done in a couple frames, in minutes, while we walked.
A fun walk in the light with a camera. More tk.