My friend Eddie and I headed up to Mounds View Park in St. Paul for a little evening photo shoot. I wanted to let you know how I took this shot.
First, we are in the twilight hour, just before the sun goes down. I decided not to meter this manually. I set the camera on aperture priority, with -1 2/3 exposure compensation. This is what is controlling the background exposure. For the lights, I used manual. I usually shoot in TTL, but I both wanted to experiment, and I knew that for the light on Eddie it was going to need pretty much full power.
I started with a SB800 speed light toward the front of the car, that is skipping across the side. I had one SB900 mounted on a stand to the left of the car in a 24″ lastolight softbox. This was pointed at Eddie. My 3rd light was on the camera, a SB900 acting as a commander. But, the back of the car was too dark, and as the light went down, I was able to switch to just the popup flash on my D7000. I was surprised, but happy that I had another light. I was out of stands, (only 2) so with only the foot, and pointed up at 45deg at the car, I lit up the back end of the car.
So, if you caught that, I am using the pop up flash on my camera to trigger the flashes in manual mode. The cool thing about this, is that I could change the power of the lights without going over to the units themselves. I would have had to do this in SU-4 mode. Instead I was able to adjust the power and settle on 1/4 power while staying at the camera.
The next issue was that I didn’t get enough power out of the flash on Eddie. I had it zoomed to 200mm, but it was fairly far back to stay out of the frame. (Shooting at 55mm if you were wondering). So, to fix it, I upped the ISO from 200 to 400. This gave me the power I was looking for from the flash, and we were good to go.
The rest was all composition. I think some of the best shots came from the low position when I was kneeling on the ground. The only issue is that you can’t really see the city in the background this way. Anyway, there are some other pictures on my portrait site.
I’m a fellow strobist as well. I shoot with two nikon speedlites and two canon speedlites so, unfortunately I have to manually select the power. I shoot with a 7D and have used the commander function from the pop up flash. Pretty cool stuff!
Maybe a little dodging in photoshop to further that cool skipping light affect from the font further into the car. Would have like the overall image a tad brighter especially on your friend to bring out some more detail in his clothing. Black is tough!! Nice work! Thanks for sharing. Check out my blog here…. http://nakean.wordpress.com
Yea, I would have liked more separation on him too. A hard light gridded on him photo right would have done that. I do have other images that are brighter overall, but I liked the mood of this one. I was out of lights, but colored gels under the car would have been cool too.