Monday, February 22, 2010

Tripping the Light Confusion...

 Saturday’s session with new model Megan K was the first time I’d been in studio in several months and I must admit; I was surprised at how rusty I was. Nonetheless, it was a good session and several good images will come from it. I’ve managed a cursory first edit, but with the work-week starting, the day job is rearing its ugly yet reasonably well-paying head. Please be patient for a few days.

In the post preceding this one, I mentioned that when working in studio I feel I have more control over the environment. Perhaps I jinxed myself by writing about it beforehand, but rusty or not, this shoot started with more confusion than anything else. It wasn’t an issue of the environment not being under control, but one of me not being in control of the environment. In reality, the difficulties were minor and easily resolved; for example, there was the overhead and somewhat hard to access monolight that wouldn’t power-up, which turned out to be unplugged. Most frustrating though, was in the first few images light was coming in from an unknown source and knocking down shadows on the model. It wasn’t an overpowering light; in fact, I would have been hard-pressed to create a more precise fill.

My assistant and I tried all sorts of remedies to no avail; among them turning off all lights in the building, even those in rooms isolated and away from the shooting space. I began to question the accuracy of my light meter and camera settings. Finally, my assistant realized a monolight head tucked away in a corner behind my shooting position had been left on, but with the modeling light turned off. It was close enough and in proper orientation to slave off of my main light, and fired each time I pressed the shutter.

Once these little things were behind us, we pressed ahead and did good work.


A Systems Crash Update…

Things seem to be going well. No new quirks have surfaced and I’m getting caught up. I’ve switched from IE to Mozilla’s FireFox, which I like tremendously, though it’s taking a bit of getting used to.

My office and ‘darkroom’ upgrade will happen this fall. Generally, my idea is to use an inexpensive laptop or ‘Netbook’ style system for the day job stuff and assemble the best, most powerful desktop system for my photographic work. I was hopeful to switch to a Mac; however, many of the day job clients require me to use proprietary software, which is of course, Windows based. For that reason, I’m afraid I’m stuck with Windows. The upside is Windows 7 seems to be a stable platform. Still, it’s a new platform. That’s the main reason I’m delaying until late fall to make a move.

My research for the upgrade will begin soon. I’ll write about it aplenty, I’m sure.


Here’s another from Michelle R’s shoot for The Bolton Street Sessions, silvery and soft.

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