Saturday, May 3, 2008

lighting boot camp

Now that I have gotten all the warm and fuzzy out of the way - lets dive in to some of the technique and photography that I learned.  Before I drop any photos I want to toss this disclaimer.  The room photos that show how things are setup are mine.  The actual photos of the bride that look good ... those are courtisy of David Ziser Photography.

I knew that David was a huge advocate of off camera flash; however, I didn't realize how intense the results would be.  David is a very practical person.  If you asked him ... so why do you use this, or why do you put the flash here?  His answer was always rooted in, "because it works."  Now he would then go into a more technical definition of why it works; however, he was very grounded in using the techniques that get the job done and not messing with the gadgets and off the wall techniques that don't do much (though he does bounce his flash off the wall :-).  The first setup he showed us is below:
This is a good wide shot of how David sets up his shots.  The flash is to his left (opposite the camera side of the nose).  David set this up to show us how to throw a loupe lighting on the subject - see below.

However, though the lighting is great here - there is a awful line bisecting the brides shoulders ... so what is the answer?
GET A LITTLE LOWER!  Lower the perspective and see what you get...

well illuminated subject and well composed image.  This was the first thing we learned.  The first battle you have to win is lighting.  Most photographers never graduate from the on-camera flash.  David very simply and elegantly set up a light through the umbrella.  The next battle is composition - let's not be lazy.  Move to get the shot you are looking for.  More to follow in the days to come...

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