Monday, 28 September 2009

Making the sunset


When out in Poland recently Olga, Daria and myself made a sunset...with only one flash.

having got myself some gels for flashes at last i decided it was about time i played with them. So off we went into the woods with the girls dressed up and looking good and myself holding a lot of camera equipment (as normal...).

Fist things first i found a nice dark area of forest that had a decent cold light in it:

Next i needed to create a warm glowing sun, so i used my helpful light stand Daria to move around and adjust the flash settings with a full CTO gel over the flash. The flash was zoomed in to create a strong directional light, but as it was a good 5-10 meters from the subject we needed all that strength even when shooting at higher ISO, as i needed to keep the shutter speed up so that the ambient didn't go all blury with my 70-200 f4 handheld. After moving the light around and finding a good spot to photograph from we got some great pictures of Olga in the sunset in the forest.



Now it was Daria's tern. She normally hates having photos taken of her, but she looked great and in a very short time we relaxed her enough to get a few nice shots. Olga took over as the lightstand whilst Daria did her thing and  posed for the camera.



Thanks for the help girls! It was a fun little shoot.

Sunday, 6 September 2009

Kingsbridge show

sleeping at the show

I spent the day at Kingsbridge show yesterday. this is a yearly event where farmers and locals come to show their animals produce and compete in events from horse riding and dog shows to the best chocolate brownie.

There's some lovely characters and a real sense of the strong local community around here. Its good to see people enjoying themselves so much. I decided to try and get some portraits fo the various people at the show and also catch some of the details of the event.

stranger at the show

surveying the vegitables!

stranger at the show

Of course the characters are not just people at events like this, there are many interesting animals too.




I decided as there was hardly any light and i wanted to really consentrate on the characters i was photographing to try and use my 50mm 1.8 at about f2-f2.2 most of the time, this made getting the focus in the right place in the shots very difficult, especially when the character was a very animated one. out of the 10 frames i took of one person only 2-3 were useable because the rest were so vastly out of focus. but with a depth of field so small when you get it right the outcome just looks gorgeous! (One major inspiration for this type of shooting was Benoit Paille on flickr who has some gorgeous shots of strangers that really stand out due their processing and lovely out of focus background.)

For more shots see the whole set from the show on flickr.