difficult directioning

After a week of enforced inactivity the weekend proved an opportune time to practice long ignored lighting techniques, many of which I had re-watched during the week (I watch how-to -videos like other people zone out with TV, it staves of boredom without requiring any input) via YouTube.

Originally I began using only speed lights, but batteries wear out fast and as a consequence I reverted to studio flashes for purely economical reasons. The major motivation for practicing with both speed lights and small portable flashes in contrast to the much easier/controllable studio variety of flash, is for the obvious reason that you should never practice on a paying customer and innovative lighting is a matter of understanding the process and what’s going to happen in advance.


If there’s a difficulty with this type of exercise it’s that stuffed toys don’t take direction very well, so you need to put in a lot of extra effort with camera angles, which is again, good practice.


I think if I was pressed then I would have to admit that the very most favorite pictures I like to make are portraits. I’ve done some very good ones over the years, and I’ve done some very poor ones as well. But then the risk factor is part of the excitement I experience when shooting portraits, and when you get a great shot, you can lean back contentedly and say to yourself, ‘I did that.’


Two lights were used for this shot, one with soft-box on camera right side and the other also on CR, with a homemade honeycomb grill that was directed at the white wall behind the toy to give separation. It may look like a studio shot, but it was done during the day, at home in a cluttered room with white walls.

24-70mm, f9, 1/125sec, ISO100.


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