by Damian McGillicuddy Published 01/06/2013
Seriously, it meant that my modifier of choice became the 'Classic' award winning McGillicuddy 19" collapsible beauty dish. I know lots of people like to use bare speedlights and there is a place for this, I personally prefer to have a smoother transition between shadow and highlight that is easily achievable with the right modifier. The dish marries up to lots of light sources but my illumination for these images came courtesy of Olympus FL50r speedlights, these are may favorites for simplicity of use. The speedlights were triggered by the very stylish and superbly performing Flashwave 3 radio triggers.
The camera was obviously my beloved OM-D EM-5 and the lens was chosen dependent on the effect I needed to create for the shot, cropping compression, etc.
My main aim for this Olympus 'Experience' day was to share some of my techniques with the delegates and show them that minimum kit is capable of oh so much more than most 'experts' suggest - most importantly, the mission was to bring fun back into photography. A good image has many facets to its success beyond camera craft; lighting technique, composition, subject direction and styling are key.
Now before you all shout out 'It's ok for you with your creative team and huge budgets', let's get the facts straight. Yes, I have an assistant but as an amputee I'd have a 'work buddy' whatever my profession and as for big budget my MUA/stylist put our Victorian adventurer look together for the princely sum of £44.99 from a charity shop...my advice always look for the opportunities and no problem becomes insurmountable.
Ok so here we go, the bit you all really want to know...
How was it done:
This was from the set just before we broke for lunch...yep the brightest part of the day! On a commercial shoot I'd probably choose not to shoot at this time of day but as I had 10 eager delegates in tow it would have been churlish not to.
I used the location to my advantage and selected the lobster pots as interesting background texture. there was also enough space to stand Mischkah away from the background to help with isolating her as my focal point. This also meant I'd be able to drop the background slightly out of focus if I could use a longish lens. This was shot on the 45mm f1.8 - a 90mm equivalent in full-frame terms.
The ambient illumination measured f5.6 6/10 so I knew that if I positioned the subject so the sun was the 'key' light I only needed about 3/4+ of a stop of artificial flash light to control the direction and shadow on the subject's face. I had Steve remove the outer diffuser or 'sock' from my beauty dish and tape a CTO (colour temperature orange) gel over the flash tube - but more of this later.
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