Anatomy of a Photo

So after a week of constant practice with the mannequin (see previous blog), I finally had a chance to implement what I had been doing with live people. Last weekend I took my gear out to a popular bar that the bands I work with often play and I managed to get a couple of moments with everyone’s favorite bartender Carly and had her pose for me:

If you can get over the fact that, “Hey, it’s a hot chick. Cool, huh huh”, and realize that she IS wearing shorts underneath her shirt (ahem)…and look at the photo in my previous blog you’ll see right away I tried to implement the same concepts here as I practiced with on the mannequin. Below is a diagram of the lighting set up…although the print might be a bit too small to read the info.

So I have a 42″ umbrella with a Canon Speedlite 580 above and to my (Camera) left. Behind the subject and to the right of the shot is the small softbox, 16″x12″ with a Canon Speedlite 430. In order to match the relative guide numbers of both flashes, since the 580 is more powerful, I set the 580 to 24mm and the 430 to 28mm to achieve a base GN of about 92′ each. Unfortunately I don’t remember the exact power settings on each, but I think the 580 was set to anywhere from 1/4th power to 1/16th power, while the 430 was set anywhere from an 1/8th to 1/32nd, but generally less power than the main, key light of the 580. Shutter speed was 1/25th, aperture f4.0 and the ISO was 640, in order to pick up the background, which is lit by the bar’s houselights. 

Here’s another shot, this time with a very happy Matt (who helped me out setting up the light stands):

So overall I was pretty satisfied with the results of the live shot. I wish I had more time with the live subjects to fine tune what I was doing, but the bar was closing so she needed to get back to work counting down the cash registers, etc. (Oh, and it was a pajama-theme night, which explains her lack of, um, pants.)


One Response to Anatomy of a Photo

  1. Hey Brian, love the mannequin story, well told. I believe I met you in downtown Lees Summit when the U2 tribute band was on stage. I’m the bald guy with the Canon hardware. Welcome to the world of blogging.Jimmy