Tuesday, June 23, 2009



Settings: Ambient is properly exposed, but leaves his face 2 stops underexposed. Flash is at 2 stops over neutral grey, and is hitting just his face.

I did my first real photoshoot this weekend here in Cologne. I'd passed this location everyday coming home from work, and I thought the line of trees was a really powerful compositional element. I got a chance to use my new Elinchrom Ranger Quadra, with the Chimera softbox and 20 degree grid.

The softbox was originally placed far enough away to be out of the frame for this shot:


However once I moved closer for the main shot, I should have brought it in closer, so that it would have a softer shadow edge. I would also have put it up to full stand height, and brought it closer around to the lens axis, for a loop pattern, instead of a rembrandt pattern on his face. Even with it further away than necessary, it's definitely softer than a bare shoe mount flash would have been, and you don't get near as much specular highlights on his skin.

The compositional elements I really like are the light beam coming from the top of the image downward. I think it explains to the mind where the light is coming from. The tree line and path also leads the eye into the figure, and the lightness of the path helps make the pants silhouette pop.

The ability to adjust the flash power from my camera was really helpful. I got to keep my time all focused on the subject, and not have to worry about walking back and forth. I also liked the modeling light, but it only was bright enough when we went indoors, and when the evening got really dark.


Settings: Ambient is two stops below neutral grey. Flash is at 2 stops over neutral grey, and is hitting just his face.

Location two was much cooler in my mind, but I had discovered it while drunk. I still tried to make the best of it, but couldn't get the image I saw in my head. Mainly it was because the location didn't line up as well once compressed into a 2d plane, as the space "feels" when you're there. Also the path behind the booth was too dark to add to the composition. I still like the idea, so I'll be looking for a spot that better fits this impression for a future shoot.

So, first impressions of the ERQ while out on a shoot: The wireless control worked flawlessly. Setup and take down of the chimera softbox and grid was smooth and quick. Modeling light was great once it went fully dark, and while indoors. The 20 degree fabric grid allowed me to throw a softish light from out of the frame onto just the face of my subject. Overall I'm really pleased with the upgrade.

1 comment:

  1. Great.
    This seems to work very well.
    Very nice pictures.