I caught Sloan’s first of two sets tonight. I think this will be the first time I edit and blog show photos before the show is even over!
On the morning of the recent ice storm I had the pleasure meeting up with Kaitlin and Sean (and their daughter Alice) for an engagement shoot. We first had some fun indoors with some shots in the front window… thanks so much to Kaitlin’s family for letting me dismantle the entire living room (including all the perfectly arranged gifts) to make room. I shot natural light only and used the gold side of a large reflector propped up on a chair to add some fill against the extreme backlight.
After the indoor shots we braved the icy outdoors. These photos really don’t do justice to how absolutely treacherous it was and I give much respect to Kaitlin and Sean for managing to look so relaxed and natural while fighting to stay standing. Also for being so brave despite branches and trees falling in the near vicinity.
I shot with the D700 and made full use of the Sigma 35mm f/1.4, Sigma 50mm f/1.4 and the Nikon AF-S 85mm f/1.8. I even managed to squeeze in an icy Brenizer method pano.
I had a great time this past weekend at the Starlight’s 10th anniversary block party in the parking lot behind the venue. Seven great bands, hundreds of people, great food and probably some beer too. I had my camera with me all day and these are some of my favourites from the 800+ photos I shot.
D700 + Sigma 35mm f/1.4 and AF-S 85mm f/1.8 G
Scottish band Big Country rocked the Starlight in Waterloo a few weeks back. Lucky me got to photograph the incredibly animated 5-piece. The highlight for me was the HUGE sound that the drummer got out of his equally HUGE kit.
D700 (the replacement one) with Sigma 35mm f/1.4, Sigma 50mm f/1.4 and Nikon AF-S 85mm f/1.8 G. All shots were with the lenses wide open at ISO 3200-6400.
Last night I got to try out the D700 in a concert photo shoot at the Starlight in Waterloo. Danny Michel brought the Garifuna Collective up from Belize for a tour as his backing band. They were simply amazing and definitely a contender for Top 5 acts seen in my 14 years in Waterloo. Danny and band traded off between his songs and theirs every two numbers to keep the night flowing and dynamic. Coolest thing of the night was the turtle shell and donkey jaw percussion.
The D700 performed as I had hoped it would. Fast AF, low noise, great dynamic range at ISO 3200 and 4000. The photos below were taken with the Sigma 35mm f/1.4, Sigma 50mm f/1.4 and Nikon AF-S 85mm f/1.8.
Last Saturday, Mitzy, Ian and I had one last bowl at the Waterloo Bowling Lanes before they closed for good. Naturally, I brought the camera along. These shots were with the D300s and AF-S 17-55mm f/2.8. I used the SB-900 with Lumiquest Softbox LTz for the shots with flash (with this method).
Very sad to see the place go but at least we got to say goodbye properly.
This week’s oldie-but-goodie comes from August 2007, back when I was first learning to light with external flashes. Jeff and I were on a photo walk and came across this piece of public art outside of the Waterloo Library.
Being a bit foggy out I thought that backlighting the art would give a cool effect, with the metal plate becoming a dark aperture and the figure inside being lit from behind. I set a Vivitar 285HV behind the piece and triggered it with a cheapo Ebay trigger. The moisture in the air caught some of the light and gave a cool starry look.
Final settings were Pentax *ist DS (my first digital camera) with DA 16-45mm f/4 at 31mm f/5 1/50s ISO 1600 + lots of tweaking in Photoshop CS3.
Lighting a large scene with just one flash is something I’d wanted to try for a while and finally got around to it with this shot in today’s Oldie-but-Goodie.
This photo is a composite of six shots, stitched together in Photoshop CS5. In each, I lit a different part of the building using a single SB-900 flash with the standard diffuser cap. I fired the flash using the test button and in most of the shots I fired it multiple times. The camera (Nikon D300s wtih Tokina 11-16mm) was set to manual exposure (f/8 8s ISO 100) and manual focus and set on a tripod in the parking lot. The long exposure allowed the camera to capture the ambient light but also gave me the time for the flash fires.
Here are the shots that went into the composite. In the first four I lit both the concrete and brick walls.
At this point the images look like a mess with many points of light and many Owens. However, by choosing which part of each image I wanted to come through using layer masks I could clean this up considerably. Below I show a capture from Photoshop with each of the images and their corresponding layer mask. Notice that for the most part only a small area (the white region of the layer mask) is used in the composite.
In the end I did have to remove a few stray flash bursts and Owen limbs here and there using the healing brush and clone tools. Finally, with a curves adjustment to brighten the lower mid-tones, I ended up with this!
As this was my first ‘light painted’ composite, I did learn a few lessons. Most importantly, it was difficult in a few instances to remove my ghost from the image. Next time around I would use brighter flashes and stand further away from the subject to not catch as much of the reflection. Distance would also help broaden the spot as it falls on the surface. Overall though, I was happy with this first attempt!
On a few occasions I’ve had the opportunity to shoot the fake prom event at the Starlight in Waterloo… essentially a big night club party where everybody dresses up. My part has most often been by setting up a ‘photo booth’ where individuals, couple or groups can pose together and be as goofy or sexy as they like. Today’s oldie-but-goodie comes from my favourite of these proms, back in 2010. The theme was Horror, if I remember correctly. I’m a big fan of this photo of Celeigh, both for the lighting and for the pose.
For the photo booth I set up three lights. For the main light I used an Alien Bee B800 with brolly box (an octagonal softbox that opens and mounts like a shoot-through umbrella). The light was on a stand, cinched tightly to a post. For rim lights I clamped a Vivitar 285HV about 15′ away on each side, as close to the back wall as possible. The 285HV on the left was gelled with blue and the one on the right was gelled deep red. I triggered the three lights with Cybersyncs.
The settings were Pentax K20D with FA 35mm f/1.8 LTD (the lens I miss more than any other that I’ve sold) at f/2.8 1/80s ISO200.
PS – Some more from this shoot are here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/owencherry/sets/72157623424241780/detail/