Cherri Lee In Jail (An Abandoned Jail)

November 20, 2015  •  Leave a Comment

If you follow me you realize I abandoned big lights a long time ago in favor of packing small. I followed that concept so much that I began doing the majority of my shooting with bare SB-910's. In fact i followed it so much that I called my class "Packing Small and Shooting Big" 

The quality of the light was good enough most of the time and I fell into the hole of good enough. None of my subjects ever seemed to mind and If it meant a few minutes of extra post to soften a little skin (and I literally mean a few minutes because I don't do very much post at all) so I found myself heading to most shoots with 2 SB-910's and a single SB-700 and even then most of the shooting was with one flash. In some ways it became an aesthetic - my small foot print. 

Recently I found myself trying to create a bit more complex lighting and that led to me checking out some of my mods for the flashes again. Still I tried to keep with my pack small and shoot big concept so the first ones that I explored were the Rogue Flashbender from Expoimaing. I always loved them and found myself loving them even more once I was able to try out the new sets which were lighter and increased the ability to modify the light while maintaining a small foot print.  They fit in my bag with my laptop and really added a different quality of light to my work without the hassle of an umbrella or softbox. The problem is that the quality of light at least when we are talking about soft light is dictated by the size of the light source in relation to the size of the subject. So while the Flashbenders gave me amazing light when I could put them close to my subject (since they were then LARGE in relation to a head or face) sometimes I needed to get the light a bit away from the subject.

Enter the Impact Hexi24. 

24 inch hexagonal softbox giving rounded catchlights and folding up and popping open in seconds rather than minutes without any kind of fight with the gear. Flash housed on the outside of the unit which is awesome because it doesn't interfere with my CLS system in anyway. Inexpensive grid which really gives soft directed light....

Enough with the commercial - 

Found myself in an abandoned jail with Cherri Lee. The ambient light for the jail was excellent but it was leaving Cherri in  shadows and not giving me the type of light on her that I wanted. that is the number 1 reason to use a flash or any other light source. When the ambient light bores you or just won't give you the results that you want....

By JC Carey for jcphotomedia.com

After deciding that i wanted to add flash to the scene the rest of the process is the same for every flash photo I take....

1. What ISO? Most times I'm going to go with the base ISO of my camera (in this case 64 on the Nikon D810) but there are reasons that i will change away from that. Sometimes It's just because I can't shoot the ambient steady at base ISO. For this room it would be around 1/60th to get the same exposure i have at 1/160th at ISO 200 so that wasn't a real issue. I didn't need tons more light so the power wasn't really an issue either. In this case it came down to the fact that I didn't carry batteries into the location and I didn't want to go gallavanting back and forth so I turned up the ISO to 200 in order to lengthen the life of my batteries since the flash had to put out less than half the amount it would need at ISO 64 to get the same exposure on the model....

2. how much depth of field do i want? in this case shooting with a wide angle lens which helps to maximize DOF i though F/4 was a good choice. The focus would be on the subject due to the semi-shallow dof but mostly because i was underexposing the ambient so much. For me the aperture is used only to determine how much DOF i want....

3. Shutter speed? This is where the art comes in. Science and technology are going to help give me a proper exposure on the subject with no regard for my shutter. The flash will light her independent of the rest of the exposure. If I choose TTL or Manual doesn't matter. What matters is that the flash will control how the subject is lit.... In this case i wanted the background to be darker than I was viewing it. This would make sure that the focus of the image would be Cherri.  The scene gave me a 0 exposure (meaning "correctly" exposed) of 1/40th of a second at f/4 at ISO 200 That was bland and boring and Cherri got a little lost in the background. Stopping down two stops to 1/160th made for more drama resulting in this....

By JC Carey for jcphotomedia.com

Here are a few other images from the shoot created with the same set up....

By JC Carey for jcphotomedia.com By JC Carey for jcphotomedia.com By JC Carey for jcphotomedia.com By JC Carey for jcphotomedia.com By JC Carey for jcphotomedia.com


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