Year Two (86) – Water Play

Toddlers are fun, two little boys playing in a paddling pool is great fun, but as I had no choice over the setting and we were in bright sunshine with a bright pink paddling pool, the shoot cause for some creative thinking – a reflector put the pool in the shade, adding some fill flash brighten up the shadows and turning the images into black and white created a timeless feel.

Paddling Pool Fun
Boys having fun!

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Day 299 – Studio with Teens

Part two of my Old Bakery workshop, and we were photographing teens. One of the teens is mine and she brought along a couple of friends.  As I mentioned it was a busy session, the teens were not as popular as the new born, but they were very co-operative, none of them had been models before or in a studio – but they took direction well and had fun during the evening.

My first challenge was to set up the speedlites – I had not done that before, and with a couple of new photographers asking me questions it was a steep learning curve and really made me put my brain into action. It was then a challenge to get the girls to relax and to give them some idea of how to pose (I really don’t have much clue on that) and I wanted to capture some fun images of the three of them together.

There was three set ups…

  • Black background lit by speedlites
  • White infinity curve lit with strobes
  • Black background continuous light with the reflector.

Black background and Speedlites

ISo400, F8, 1/200 sec - adding props helps the shoot feel fun - but it is not sharp enough as my focus is off.
ISo400, F8, 1/200 sec – adding props helps the shoot feel fun – but it is not sharp enough as my focus is off.
ISo400, F8, 1/200 sec - one stop less light
ISo400, F8, 1/200 sec – one stop less light
ISO400, F8 1/200 sec - flasg behing (rim light) flash to the right softbox and red flash inside pumpkin.
ISO400, F8 1/200 sec – flasg behing (rim light) flash to the right softbox and red flash inside pumpkin.
ISo200, F8, 1/100 sec - using a prop gives the model something to do! Speedlites
ISo200, F8, 1/100 sec – using a prop gives the model something to do! Speedlites

A close light was softer light, the back light had to be kept of the background and as the light was so close you had to be aware of the shadows they created on each other. I shot slightly from above as otherwise the background was cluttered.

During the evening there were also lots of discussions going on.

  • I got a great tip on how to improve my pumpkin photos – by either fixing the problem area with lightroom filters in a way I had not considered (it worked!) on in camera on another shoot by including a reflector – and what to look for to get it right. To take comments from face to face photographers was a bit nerve racking… but really positive and I know if I can’t get it right I am going to ask for help.
  • A demo was given on the use of light and what different lighting effects are called
  • A demo was given on reflectors
  • A light meter was introduced and it’s use explained – I own one … and I learnt more about using mine … so am going to bring it along in future,
  • It was so lovely that some of the photographers were willing to share their ideas, their methods and teach others.
  • I also got to try a  EF8-15mm F4L fisheye lens – lovely quality of glass, and on the crop sensor zoomed in there is no vignetting, but zoomed out there was, it was a great opportunity but not something I think I would currently use often.  I think next time I am going to see if I can have a go with a ef24-70mm F2.8 markII – as I think that is the next lens I would like to have.

Black background and Continuous Lights

ISO800, F3.5, 1/100sec - experimenting with continuous lighting
ISO800, F3.5, 1/100sec – experimenting with continuous lighting
ISO800, F3.5, 1/100sec - experimenting with continuous lighting
ISO800, F3.5, 1/100sec – experimenting with continuous lighting
ISO1600, F5, 1/125 - experimenting with changing settings and angles. Not in foucus enough.
ISO1600, F5, 1/125 – experimenting with changing settings and angles. Not in foucus enough.
ISO800, F3.5, 1/100sec - experimenting with continuous lighting
ISO800, F3.5, 1/100sec – experimenting with continuous lighting

A light to her left, sometimes a reflector to the right – changing the angle she was to the light and the angle I photographed from made a real difference, the better shots are when I positioned on the same level. I wish I had more time to observe this area, and it was fascinating to see all the fine differences when they were pointed out to you, the photograher explaining this was very patient!

At this point thought I was slightly disappointed that some photographers did not seem interested in the teens – they just wanted babies. It meant there was more time for those who did want to photograph them, but I think photographing any subject is worth doing, you realise how building a relationship with the model is important, how showing them the image on the back of the camera helps with the interaction and you also realise how incredibly brave this young ladies to sit in front of the camera, I admire all three of them … and I hope they will choose to model again for me.

White background and strobes

Shooting groups - ISO200, F5, 1/125sec
Shooting groups – ISO200, F5, 1/125sec
Three models - ISO200, F5, 1/125sec - not as easy as you think....
Three models – ISO200, F5, 1/125sec – not as easy as you think….
Another selfie - ISO200, F5, 1/125sec - watch for backgrounds! i left these in as it is a behind the scenes shot!
Another selfie – ISO200, F5, 1/125sec – watch for backgrounds! i left these in as it is a behind the scenes shot!
Having fun - ISO200, F5, 1/125sec
Having fun – ISO200, F5, 1/125sec
ISO200, F5, 1/125sec - white backgound and strobe lights - some poses just don't work, but the models are relaxed and having fun!
ISO200, F5, 1/125sec – white background and strobe lights – some poses just don’t work, but the models are relaxed and having fun!
ISO200, F5, 1/125sec - white backgound and strobe lights
ISO200, F5, 1/125sec – white backgound and strobe lights
ISO200, F5, 1/125sec - selfie, high key shot!
ISO200, F5, 1/125sec – selfie, high key shot!

I may have not got the perfect posed photo – but I captured the girls having fun, they relaxed, they enjoyed themselves and they wanted to do it again…. so hopefully I can convince them at my house….  posing is something I need to learn more about … I keep saying that – but it is true! However I was impressed with how much more confident I was with my camera and how much more I understood the exposure pyramid.  I cam away thinking…

  • I need to take control of my lights (read more)
  • I need to learn how to pose people so they are comfortable – but the most important thing is to relate to them and value them… they are not props!
  • Glasses are a nightmare – I need to watch for glare and reflections….
  • I need to get level with the model, and make sure the eyes are focused and I capture catch lights in them
  • I need to experiment more and more ……

Day 270 – Morning Reflectors

Today I went outside to enjoy the morning dew – it was beautiful. A sign that Autumn is on its way, my grass needs cutting and a great reason to get close and look at the details with my macro lens.

Today’s set up:

  • Canon 100mm macro lens
  • Tripod – with the centre pool reversed and the camera hung underneath
  • A shutter release cable
  • A reflector

I focused on some toadstools in my lawn Continue reading