Last week was quite a week. My thanks go out to the production team @creativelive for putting up with my highly caffeinated syntax, my unplanned wanders outside with camera operators chasing me, my authority issues with being told to stop (HA!) making frames, and the like. They tolerated my antics and produced a thoroughly complete three day primer on the life and light of a photographer.
It was kind of wild, being on video for three straight days. I just tried to approach each day as a location shoot type of problem to solve, and put aside the whole camera-recording-me deal. It was very gratifying, in many ways, because as a studio, we went all in on this. Annie was doing the social media from back at the studio, and out there on location was Cali, with me on set, as he usually is, but also Lynn, who prefers to be in the background of any equation. Lynn was wonderful and lucid, as I knew she would be, in explaining the role of producer and studio manager to the group. Bids, estimates, cautionary tales, client relationships all got addressed. She is such a wealth of knowledge, she could probably still be going.
We started at a bar. Sounded good to me. We lit the place with small flash and big flash, working a group of SB-5000 Speedlights at first and then mixing in Profoto B-1 units, along with the Speedlights, working both systems simultaneously via Air Remote for the B-1 and the ten pin transceiver, the Nikon WR-10. They work together seamlessly. We were blessed with wonderful subjects. Corina, above, became a lady at the bar as the late sun sets outside. A plastic-bagged B-1 stood out there in the rain, doing an admirable imitation of the sun. It was Seattle, after all. Ryan was portrayed as our bartender/owner, lit in distinctively different fashion, via small flash.
That bar was a tough nut to crack, especially on a dreary day, with nothing but boredom coming through the windows in the way of light. I struggled. I often light places like this selectively, as most bars, for character and atmosphere, creating tiny pools of accent illumination that are decidedly on the warm side. I followed suit, and as often is the case, I tried to make my light look like it could potentially just already be there. The first setup with Ryan met with middling success. It wasn’t till I moved away from a cool palette outside and warmed up the light all around that we started to approach something that could be called a picture. The above is lit with an Ezybox HotShoe Softbox, the 24′ white interior box. There are a number of other accent lights all around, picking up the dark areas of the bar. The bottles on the bar are lit warm by three gelled Speedlights, outside the bar, on a ratcheting tri-flash.
Corina was principally lit with the Ezybox Octa, powered by two SB-5000s, with the backlight being provided mostly by the outdoor B-1. Additionally, there was a 5000 unit skating along the upside down bar chairs, filling the background with warm tones. All were working remotely, responding to my commands at the camera, which was a D5.
All in all, pretty good day in the field. I managed to keep my sanity despite a rainy day, a smallish space, four video cameras, a class of about 18 wonderfully patient and forgiving photogs, and my least favorite lunch of just about all time. It worked out in the end, as they say. Check in on the class!