I know it has been a while, but we are back with another episode! This week, we are looking at mixing flash exposure with ambient. Our subject is the Director of Parks and Recreation for the city of Reynoldsburg, Jason Shamblin.
I wanted this portrait for many reasons, on of which is for the Visual Ohio story I did on him.
Read further to see how we took a potentially challenging lighting situation and turned it into a winning portrait.
Check out the details after the break...
It was a hot, bright, muggy and sunny day here in Ohio. The time I had to work was 5pm - which is great daylight - but not generally the best for photography. The sunlight is very intense and tends to give very contrasty and harsh shadows on a subject that is lit directly by it.
So, we changed up the location a bit. I wanted to have the fields and trees show as this is what the Parks and Rec department manages, bu I did not want to have to try and blast Jason with tons of light to fill in any harsh shadows.
The Reynoldsburg City Hall, Reynoldsburg, OH - Athletic Fields in the back lot.
Nikon 80-200mm f/2.8
Luniquest Softbox LTp
Light stand/umbrella adapter
Radio Popper radio triggers
Shot in Aperture Priority, 1/250th @ f/5.6, ISO 100, 80mm
JPG VIVID, auto white balance
SB-26 @ 1/4 power through the SB LTp
This is our setup shot:
We are working one light to camera right. I wanted more of a strip light from the softbox, so I turned it sideways to it was longer than taller. It was roughly 5-6 feet from the subject.
First, I wanted to make sure that the background was properly exposed, and 1/250 @5.6 - ISO 100 did that for us. However, what does that do to the subject in the shadows? The setup shot above was purposefully over exposed to show more details in the shadows.
As you can see, Jason is way too dark. We need to fix that and we can do that with the off camera flash.
Since we can work within our sync speed of the D300, we did not have to work with any HSS/FP flash technology.
I set the camera to manual mode, with the shooting info described above and we now get this shot:
You can see that Jason is nicely illuminated with the fall off of light happening past his eyes. (see the first image in this post for the final picture)