Friday, March 6, 2009

A three minute shoot for a busy man...

For almost the past month I have been working on a project.

Each spring, my University hosts a contest between the social clubs (read: fraternities/sororities or Greek organizations). They are given a general theme and they have to come up with a song and dance number using real, pop music with their own lyrics.

Well, I'm simplifying it quite a bit, but its a pretty big deal to all the members of the clubs. Seriously.

These guys and girls are given the better half of a semester to work on their 10 minutes or so of allotted time to be performed 3 times. How hardcore? Like, hours of practicing multiple times a week for months.

On top of that is the main cast of four song and dance performers and their back-up extras. So... its a big deal here.

Anyways, I got the job of photographing for the program. I'll have some tearsheets of the program closer to the actual performance (which I think is still almost a month away), but...

The director/producer's name is Dr. Steve Frye. I tell you: he's a super busy but super cool guy. To rescue him from having to use a 5-year-old PR photo, I set up a quickie in the recital hall. Literally... 3 minutes quickie.

This is the outcome:

Very basic setup.

The ambient light was reading around 1/15th @ f/5.6 @ ISO400 and I wanted to kill it, so I spun it up to about 1/100th.

I knew I wanted the shot to be tight, but I also wanted to make the light fall-off fast enough to make it look like a spotlight (director/producer... spotlight... auditorium seats... get it?). So I choked up on the umbrellas a bit (especially the main light to my right) and zoomed the heads to their farthest and got things tight.

The first few shots, Dr. Frye was sitting back very relaxed, but looked a little uncomfortable. And the composition just didn't work very well. It could have been anywhere because his head was too far above the level of the seats and the light fall-off was too great.

All he had to do was lean forward and the photo worked. The lights stayed as they were (main: 1/4 - fill: 1/16) and his hands low balanced the composition nicely.

Well, that's that. I enjoy quick shoots like this. Things that aren't extraordinarily taxing on the mind and body but have good photo outcomes and satisfied clients. Smiles around.

Stay tuned,
-Noah D.

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