Archive for February 2010


Working with Alicia in Frisco

February 21st, 2010 — 1:30am

This afternoon I spent an hour or so photographing Alicia in Frisco, a town north of Plano where I live.    Alicia has really beautiful facial features, and is very comfortable in front of the camera - I enjoyed working with her.  We started at Starbucks, where we did a couple of window light portraits.  Then we went to a shopping area on Main St., some of it still under construction.  We saw a very nice looking bar under construction, so we went in, chatted with the owners and took some pictures there.  The first two below are from the Starbucks, and the other two are from the bar.

Hope you like them!

By the window at Starbucks

By the window at Starbucks

Pensive

Pensive

Alicia facing large window

Alicia facing large window

Reflection

Reflection

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A day at home

February 7th, 2010 — 1:57pm

I am enjoying this book “America at Home” by Rick Smolan - I love the simple images of people inside their homes… some are done with ambient light, but many use flash so skillfully that it’s hard to tell it’s flash.

As I have shared in other postings, my photographic goals for 2010 are (1) improve my ability to tell stories, (2) use multiple planes in my photos to help with the story telling, and (3) continue to experiment and gain skills in using strobes on location. For every photo I create for fun I try to advance these goals above.

I decided to photograph my wife in the bathroom while she was doing some makeup stuff, and my daughter was on our bed reading a book. It looked like a perfect moment to capture with a candid snapshot. The problem was that the light coming from the windows in the bedroom and the tungsten light in the bathroom were different colors — and it wasn’t enough for it. I could keep one or the other, and then replace the other one with gelled flash. Or I could simply use flash and kill ambient - but the flash had to preserve the feel of the ambient light I could see.

I bounced an SB800 off an umbrella to the right of the bed and used that to fill the bedroom with light. I bounced another SB800 off the bathroom ceiling - I diffused it first with a small softbox and then bounced it. Just softer light. One complication was that bathroom is lined with mirrors and I didn’t want to see myself/camera and the softbox in the photo. I had to play with camera and flash placement.

Let me say that I am posting this not because it’s my best image, or is a perfect image. I am sharing it because I am inspired by other photographers that share their ideas and experimentation approaches, and I want to do the same. The hope is that some of you may pick up your camera and flashes and make some portraits at home inspired by this posting. I may also get lucky and get some insightful suggestions about how to tell the story better, or how to better achieve my goals above.

Here is the image, and a photo of the setup below it.

Day at home

Day at home

Lighting setup

Lighting setup

Comment » | Family

The tobacconist

February 6th, 2010 — 10:24am

There is a tobacco store, newly reopened, in the shopping center at Coit and Legacy in Plano. This store has a beautiful humidor where the fine cigars are kept. I love the look and smell of this place, even though I am not a smoker. Yesterday I stopped by and talked to the manager, Patrick, about making a portrait of him in the humidor. He kindly agreed.

I took my 7 year old assistant with me this morning and we took this portrait at 8:30. The lighting was provided by two Nikon SB800 flashes. The key light was an SB800 in a Xsmall Photoflex softbox to camera left, and the background light was an SB800 with a 20 degree grid to camera light, putting an accent light on the rich cigar boxes behind Patrick. The light on the table in front of him was spill from the key light.

Took 24 exposures in 5 minutes. I like his friendly smile on this one.

The Tobacconist

The Tobacconist

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