I had the assignment to photograph nearly two hundred high school students who will be Cappies reviewers this year. Basically high school students reviewing high school plays in the Journal.
I wanted to make this task more exciting so I tried to light it as good as possible and get a three dimentional look so I used six lights. Diagrams below. As you can see, we really need to re-paint the grey wall in the Journal studio!
I made this mosiac using the free program MacOSaix.
Here is my lighting setup. The two keys to a three dimensional look are to have lights behind the subject to give separation from the background and to have a spot light with a grid on it spray the background. The background lights keep the image from looking too flat. Front lights – White Lighting 1600 @ 1/8 power in a softbox, White Lighting 1600 @ 1/16 power into a 22″ beauty dish, Alien Bees ABR800 at 1/8 power into a 48″ umbrella. Back lights – Two Canon 550EX’s @ 1/2 power into 8×36″ strip boxes and a 550EX @ 1/128 power into a Honl grid on the background. Even with all the lights turned down low I could get f13 @ ISO200. More then enough.
University of Alberta Pandas centre Alana Cabana has been hurt most of the season but is trying to heal up for playoffs. She poses for a photo at Clare Drake Arena in Edmonton on February 18, 2010. Photo by Ryan Jackson / Edmonton Journal
I was assigned to get a picture of a hockey player who has had many injuries over the last year. Rather than just getting a picture of her on the ice (which doesn’t really illustrate injury very well) I asked her to sit in the bleachers and set her gear beside her.
I placed two flashes behind her at 1/32 power with tinfoil barn doors on them so I could direct the light better.
I find tinfoil gives a nice shiny “harsh look” for rim light. The fill light is just a flash at 1/8 power with a 1/2 CTO “orange” gel to warm up the light and a small softbox.
I shot it with a Canon 5D, 1/125sec, 50mm f1.4 lens at f6.3, ISO100.
I built my DIY Ring Flash back in March by following this YouTube video
I couldn’t find a work lamp as big as his though so I used one that was 2″ smaller. After some testing I found the “ring look” wasn’t quite what I wanted so I started all over will a 15″ stainles steel salad bowl and a 6″-to-7″ air duct spacer. I bought two flexible plastic cutting boards from Le Gnome and cut them for diffuser. Finally I painted the whole thing black to add baddassedness.
The light works great and is powerful with two speedlights pumping into it BUUUTTTT…. it’s soooo heavy! And goofy looking. A kid once litterally asked me if it was a time machine! I think I’m going to eventually buy one of those Ray Flashes but for now I’m happy that this thing cost less than $30 to build.