Monday, June 22, 2009

Father's Day Shoot

For Father's Day, instead of relaxing and watching movies, playing games, or just having some downtime, I spent the day prepping and shooting a set of portraits of my grandson (and his dad). First, I had to clean out the garage from all the yard items that were moved there the day before for my granddaughter's 3rd birthday party. Then I had to set up the backdrop, the fog machine and a set of gelled lights (one softbox with a flag, one gelled light on a boom with a 40 degree grid, another gelled light on a floor stand with a 30 degree grid, and the final gelled light on a floor stand with barndoors). Finally, I had to test and adjust the lighting.

The setup had to be right from the start, since I didn't want to unnecessarily subject my grandson to the fog, so I had my wife and daughter help me with the adjustments. Wanda was the stand in model, and my daughter operated the fog machine. I set the main exposure (the softbox) with a Sekonic L-508 light meter, then adjusted the gelled lights (height, direction and intensity) by monitoring the preview image on my digital camera (a Canon 1Ds Mark III with a 24-70 f/2.8L lens). The softbox strobe was an AB 800, the boom light was also and AB800, while the two floor lights wereWL 1600's. The softbox was triggered by a PW transceiver and the other lights triggered off optical slaves from the key light.

Here are the images with that setup:

For the remainder of the images, the gels and fog were removed, the black velvet backdrop was draped on a table, and the fire fighting gear was set up per Ryker's dad's specifications. I then added a large Photoflex reflector on the right side of the image to provide for more even lighting across the portrait. Ryker was getting a bit fussy by this point, but we cajoled him into some nice expressions:

For the final image, I pinned an American Flag to the background and lit it with a non-gelled AB800 with a 40 degree grid.

The lighting in the first two shots will be similar to what I will use for my Fire Fairy shoot.

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