Strobist shoot of Eddie and a 75 Nova

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.

Brainerd Racing

I was up at the Brainerd International Raceway (BIR) to shoot some pictures for Pat Rounds, the Orange 27 car. It was a lot of fun. It was quite a bit different type of shooing than I was used to. I got to work on my panning again.

I found out which corners where going to be where the action was, and tried to set up there, but I always seemed to be one corner ahead of where something exciting happened. You really need to be paying attention too. At one point in the race, the start officials had to hit the deck when a car came straight at them. And I had been right there earlier in the day!

Panning consistently was key to getting a lot of the shots, but these guys are almost always accelerating or breaking or shifting, so it was hard to stick with them smoothly. I think I got some that worked though.

At the beginning of the day, I saw another photographer with a longer lens, and went to say hi. He was inside the “hot zone” where spectators were not allowed to be, but I had been put on the pit crew for Pat, so I was supposed to be allowed to be there. Anyway, this photographer wouldn’t shake my hand, and wouldn’t give me the time of day, other than to tell me that if I wanted to shoot there I needed a media pass. I told him I had a pit crew pass, and he told me that wasn’t good enough. Fine.

I headed over to the registration tent, and asked for a media pass. They said sure, I should them a business card and $15 dollars. I was now legit. I headed back to show off my pass, but he was gone. Didn’t see him for the rest of the day. It was helpful to have though. I would walk up to the race volunteers, say “I have a media pass, can I shoot from over there?” and I always got to go in front of the fence, but behind the concrete barrier.

Well, I think I will try to get back sometime, just not sure when. I have lots of the pictures up on photoshelter, and I trying to contact some of the racers. Here is a small sampling.