Monday, July 25, 2011

How I Got The Shot #23 - Strobist Boot Camp 3 Assignment 2

I like participating with other photographers in industry events.  One such event is an off camera lighting "boot camp" where an assignment is given and then a photograph is produced within the guidelines given.  For this particular assignment we were tasked with coming up with an image that is an icon or iconic in your local community.

Reynoldsburg, OH is known as the "birthplace of the tomato".  Not because tomatoes were first grown here, but because Alexander Livingston developed over 30 commercially viable strains of tomato.  If you want to learn more about it, please feel free to check out this site, which has a lot of information.
Alexander Livingston's House is also a national land mark and a society tasked with its upkeep and education can be found here.

The tomato.   Reynoldsburg has a festival in its honor every year.

Check out the details after the break...
Creative Process:
I wanted to do a still life for this shot and concentrate 100% on the tomato.  I also wanted to add a bit more color, so I used green foam sheets as the base and then ended up shooting a snooted, 3 x green gelled flash into a diffusing panel as the background.

Reynoldsburg, Ohio  -  My home studio.

Nikon D300
Tamron 17-50mm f/2.8
Nikon SB-26(main light), SB-28(background light)
1/8" grid
foam snoot
Demb gel holder
Radio Popper JrX trigger/receivers
Flashpoint clamp with mini ball head, Frio cold shoe adapter

EXIF Info:
Shot in Aperture Priority, 1/250th @ f/7.1-9, ISO 200, ~50mm
JPG VIVID, auto white balance, shot in manual mode.

Lighting Setup:
SB-26 @ 1/16 power 1/8" grid to camera right.  I had it either laying on its side or upside down.
SB-28 @ 1/64th power. snooted and gelled green with 3 full cut gels, skimmed across a white diffuser panel to the rear of the subject.
Added a bit of fill to the back side of the tomatoes with a white clip board I had sitting around.

Lighting Diagram:

First shot out of the gate:
I like the snooted light, and the all black gives it some mood....but not the mood I am looking for.  Also, the tomatoes seem to fade into the blackness.  We need to do something to pop them out of the dark.

I added a white reflector to the opposite side of the main light.  This kicks back some of that light and fills in that shadow side.

That's great...but lets add a bit more interest to the image and put in a different background color.  I decided to go with green.  It is a complimentary color to red and also gives that earthy feel I think we are looking for.

See how much more interest the image now has with that extra pop of color?

It is very hard for me to decide which image I like better.  This last one or the first one at the top of the blog.  Any opinions on which one you like?

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