This is a typical snack for me at night while I am away from home and staying in a hotel. These vegetable gyoza are relatively healthy and low in calories. They are also quite colorful. I decided to try and capture them in a photograph tonight. I used a single, remotely triggered, flash bouncing into two of the white pillows from the bed to light the scene.
My fiancee was given some flowers on her last day of work by one of her coworkers. I decided to put the flowers in front of the portrait backdrop and snap some shots with the softbox and reflector. I am really impressed with how the shots came out. This photograph, in particular, has some great tones and sharp details. The purple flowers and the yellow rose are my favorite parts of the photograph. The gray background does appear in frame as it was off to camera right at this angle.
I am still trying to perfect the setup for my company’s corporate head shots that I will be taking in a couple of weeks. For this trial shot, I used the softbox at camera left and a reflector on camera right. The background was lit up with a second strobe with a gird placed on it. I am thinking that I will need to order three more pieces of equipment. One to get the exact look that my CEO is looking for and two others to make the setup flexible enough to use in even the most unprepared locations.
The first piece I think I will be buying is a third flash. I have not been able to get the ratio of light on the dark side of the face using the reflector. This may be because I do not know how to use it effectively yet. A third flash will allow me to get the exact ratio I am looking for more easily.
The second piece will be a background light stand. The stand will make for quick setup and adjustments of the background light flash.
The third piece is a posing stool. I would love to get an adjustable one, but they seem a bit pricey. I will have to do my research to see if I can get something effective, but cheap.
Today my fiancee and her nephew made a ginger break house together. Upon coming home and seeing it on the dining room table, I knew it was going to be my subject for today. It was practically in the perfect place too, right in front of the tree. In order to get the star bursting effect on the tree lights, I knew I would need a small aperture and a long shutter speed.
I set the camera up on the tripod and placed an Apollo softbox at camera right. I then set up the white disc reflector on camera left to open up the shadows on the left side of the house. I took a few shots to determine the best flash power settings to light the ginger bread house. I quickly determined that I needed to modify the light from the flash with a CTO (color temperature orange) gel to more closely match the ambient light from the tree. After getting the ginger bread house lit to the way I wanted it to look, I started to slow down my shutter speed little by little until the exposure of the tree was spot on.
In hind sight, I should have corrected the white balance during post processing. It seems that there is an abundance of yellow in the final picture. My guess is that the 7D auto white balance chose a flash setting instead of a tungsten setting. I should have manually set the white balance to match the color of my gelled flash to avoiding having to make an adjustment during post.
Today I wanted to put the new gear to the real test. I decided to add a background and reflector to my gear so that I can use them to take corporate head shots for my company in February. I left myself plenty of lead time to iron out any kinks in the setup or my technique.
I set up the background and paced off eight feet to where I would be standing for the portrait. I placed one of my light stands on the spot to mark it for the time being. I then paced off eight more feed and set up the tripod. I used the light stand place holder as a focusing point. Next, I placed the background light on a small table a foot behind where I would be standing. The Apollo softbox was then placed at camera left and in close. The last piece of the puzzle was setup up the new reflector and stand. Once it was all hooked up and angled properly, the reflector was placed camera right and in close. (I have included a setup shot at the end of the post.)
For the first few frames, I had the circular reflector with its white side exposed to the softbox. The result from this setup was a heavy shadow on the subject’s left side. Mid-shoot, I flipped the reflector over to expose its silver side and reflect more light back into the shadows.
I like the way the final images came out of the camera. I did, however, open up the exposure a bit more in Lightroom during post processing. The next time I practice these shots, I have to remember to open up the exposure more in camera. What looked great on the back of the camera turned out to be a bit too dark on the computer screen.