I don’t think that I’m cheating with this one and I hope that others agree that this is within the spirit of the group …
We had a professional photographer come into our office today to take some photographs for our internal systems and website and one after another we all traipsed into a meeting room, had our photos taken and walked out again. This is the second time that this has happened but at no point have I been introduced to the photographer and I’ve not spoken with him before other than being directed for the photo shoot.
Sensing an opportunity I kept half an eye on what was happening throughout the afternoon and finally we reached the point that it was clear that he was finished so I introduced myself and asked if I could make use of his studio flash and moreover take a photograph of him for my project. Johnny happily agreed to this and proceeded to plug the cables that were in his hand back into the studio flash.
I had an initial idea about the shot making use of an interesting background (a framed print) but this turned out to be fairly naive and unachievable with the setup and as the studio flash got turned further and further away from the intended scene (to avoid the reflection off the glass blowing out) I decided that I was losing sight of my initial purpose which was to take a shot with studio flash so we turned the stand back the way it was and I photographed Johnny against a plain white wall with the flash bounced of a silver umbrella. The flash was an Elinchrom 500 set to its lowest power output and was positioned to Johnny’s right and raised a bit above head height.
Johnny took a meter reading for me and told me to use 1/60 @ f/11 but as I wanted to use a wider aperture I adjusted those figures but then the shot was completely blown out – a bit of progressive adjustment and I ended up back at f/11 – funny that! When I thought about this afterwards I realised that this was inevitable given that the light source was a flash and not a continuous light. After I’d finished Johnny talked about tungsten lights with the lower power and continuous light that they provide being better suited to what I was trying to achieve. Flash photography definitely remains my biggest area of confusion. On reviewing the shots on my computer the f/11 shot was actually a bit underexposed because I had left the shutter at 1/320 so the aperture that seemed to be correctly exposed at that shutter speed was f/9. I think the biggest lessons that I learned though was that when a professional photographer armed with a light meter tells you to use 1/60 @ f/11 – do it!
My time with Johnny was a bit limited because the boss wanted to use the meeting room and it’s difficult to argue against that when I was undertaking a personal project during office hours. Did I mention that Johnny is a personal friend of my boss – "Hi Gary" ;).
Johnny, thanks very much for your time today and moreover for the use of your equipment – I hope that I made good use of it.
This picture is #50 in my 100 strangers project. Find out more about the project and see pictures taken by other photographers at the 100 Strangers Flickr Group page
This picture is also #17 in my October Challenge project. Find out more about the project and see pictures taken by other photographers at the October Challenge Flickr Group page.