Group Portrait: Young Public School Trustee Candidates

Posted by ryanjackson on Sep 22, 2010 in lighting, photos, portrait |

Public school trustee candidates (left to right) Darryl Lagerquist, Heather MacKenzie, Michael Janz and Sarah Hoffman pose for a photo at McKay Avenue School in Edmonton on September 21, 2010. They are all under 30 years old or younger, and don't have kids. But all believe strongly that schools need to be more connected to the community and that school boards need to take that broader community into account when they make decisions. They are among a crop of candidates who break the traditional school trustee candidate model. (Ryan Jackson / Edmonton Journal).

I got an assignment to photograph four younger candidates who are running for school board trustee. (Read the story Young trustee candidates defy stereotypes )  Since they were younger I wanted to use edgier lighting and have more of a magazine look.

To light this image I used an Alien Bees ABR800 ring flash powered by a Pure Sine Inverter and an 18Ah Battery since there wasn’t a power source outside. I placed two 550EX flashes behind them at 45-degrees and zoomed the flashes to 50mm. They were set to full power. The ABR800 was at 1/4 or 1/2 power I think.  It was a cloudy day so I didn’t need much power to overcome the ambient light.

The first few images had bad lens flare from the side lights so I taped tinfoil to the sides of the lights to block the light from hitting my lens.  Tinfoil and tape is very handy to keep in your lighting bag!

On the camera side I used a 5D Mark-II and a Canon 24mm Tilt-Shift lens.  I had the lens tilted all the way to keep the lines straight on the building as well as the people since I was shooting from a lower angle. I shot at 1/60sec, ISO200, f13.

Typically I shoot at low apertures however, since the Tilt-Shift lens blurs the top and bottom of the frame when you tilt the lens you need to shoot at a small aperture to make the image sharp.  Notice how the legs and steps are a little bit softer and the faces are sharp.

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