Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Strobist Boot Camp II

Strobist Boot Camp II - First Assignment

David Hobby of the Strobist blog has fired up the Strobist Boot Camp II. Since I was a late discoverer of the Strobist blog and didn't get to participate in the first Boot Camp, I was chomping at the bit to participate in this one.

For the first assignment you were required to shoot a headshot (using off camera lighting of course) of someone, then have them take a headshot of you. Ideally, the headshot you take would help someone else out and also give you a chance to hone your off camera lighting skills.

I've been Strobist nutz over the last few years learning how to maneuver my Nikon speedlights and now I find myself looking for shots that would require a little off camera lighting love. When I first started shooting, many moons ago, I hated on camera flash and would get the fastest lens I could so I could get enough light to do the shots I wanted. Now that I've got a pretty good handle on off camera lighting, I've learned that I don't necessarily need the latest and greatest, fastest lenses to get good shots ...although they certainly don't hurt.

I digress..

For this assignment, I asked a friend of mine and his wife to pose for me as they were needing new headshots for their business. This was a double bonus for me as it gave me subjects for the assignment and I got to work with friends if the photos turned out like poo, they'd still like me. =)

All of these shots were taken with a three Nikon speedlights and a Botero #23 Collapsible background. The key light was an SB-800 camera left in a 36" shoot thru umbrella in close. For the hair light I used an SB-600 in a Lumiquest SBIII about a stop or two lower than the key and for the background, I used another SB-800 at the same power as the hair light and sometimes used a blue gel.

In this shot my friend took of me, you can sorta see the setup. This setup works great in close quarters and in my opinion gives you just as nice of light as if you were using big monoblocs. Plus, this setup tears down in minutes and you can carry it over your shoulder.

I'm a fairly creative guy, but I like the Strobist assignments because they usually give you a specific set of parameters to follow which for me is a bit more of a challenge. I'm definitely looking forward to the next one.

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