mercredi 23 mai 2012

Getting in shape in DC!


Graham King is personal trainer in Washington DC. Cross fit, boot camp and other physical training has no secret for him.

We had the chance to meet in Washington DC during our last trip in the US. He maried Carolina, good friend of us already subject of this blog. They gently hosted us during our stay in DC.

We had the courage chance to train with Graham one day, early in the morning. He was so motivating during the training that we only understood the next day that he killed our arms, legs and abs. No, realy, it was fun training with him, the guy trully knows his job and how to make people pushing their own limits.

Not only to thank him for hosting us but also because he realy is an interesting person, I asked Graham to take the pose for my canon G10 and my new lumopro LP 160 speedlights.

I only had twoo speedlights, one camera stand, an umbrella and a snoot to shoot Graham. When in travel you always have to make cruel decision by leaving most of your gear at home. Actually its pushing your creativity behind his limits. You can't prepare your shooting either. In a journey you have to take the opportunities and do it with the material you have with you.

For the top post picture, I used one LP 160 on stand with an shoot thru umbrella and 1/4 CTO as main light. The other LP 160 is placed behind Graham camera right.

The walls of the gym gave a lot of reflections and that's not always a bad thing. You just have to handle specular light. In this case, the umbrella's reflections alowed me to have a separation between the background and the right side of the wheel. I also used specular light to light the hudge wheel. To do that you just need to pay attention to the reflection angle of the light. Most of it has to be sent right to the lens. The other thing is to flag the flash to avoid any flare.

This second picture has kind of the same setup with the same attention to the specular light. But for this one I wanted reflection but no burned highlight, I still needed details on the weight disc. You see at the shadow that I'm not right in the flash's direction. I kind of moved to the right to avoid direct reflection.

For the next picture I asked Graham to sit on the floor, holding a kettlebell in front of him. The kettlebell is one of the emblematic gear crossfitterq use. I wanted him to hold it like a precious object. He's looking at me like "don't even think about touching that bell, you don't know what I'm capable of"!

A blue gelled LP 160 was placed behind him, zoomed to 50 mm to light the wall with the right triangle shape. The main light still is an LP160 soot thru a wescott umbrella.



Here is the setup shot in the gym:



Some other pics can be seen here on flickr.

More to come ...


vendredi 4 mai 2012

Kinga on the rocks.


Going to hollidays is always full of dilemmas for a photographer. What camera, wich lenses to take with, speedlights or not, how much, wich gobo's, tripods,... I always take more time to fill my photobag that to choose and put clothes in my travelbag.

This time I took my G10 (again) and two speedlights with the minimum gear coming with the flashs. Umbrella holders, gels, shoot-thru-reflective foldable umbrella, lumiquest soft box III, tripod, monopod and honl snoot. A bunch of gear tough. An thid time I did used all of this gear at least once during the journey.

I will post a few different posts about this trip because the pictures I took where realy too different to use them all in one single post. And some realy deserve their stories to be told. More to come, stay tuned.

This top of the post picture of Kinga was taken almost at noon on a full blue sunny day. The kind of moment you tell yourself "take the picture for the souvenir but it will stay deep in the hard drive like forever..."

To take an "worth to share" picture I had to make it special. One solution is to make the light better. Actually, in those situation you have to improve the lighing! The use of speedlights is an easy and fast way to light your subject in most of difficult ligthing situations.

I used a lumopro LP 160 on a hand hold monopod. If a tripod is easier to use for a shoot on location, a monopod is lighter and take far less space in the bag then the first one. At the end of the day you realy feel the difference in your back! Told you: travel photography is full of dilemmas!

On the flash I putted a 1/4 CTO gel to avoid having a ghostwhite lighting on my subject, who would like sick without a warming gel.

Then I placed a small lumiquest III softbox. It's small but when placed very close to my model it can smoothen my light enough to give a softer look.

To trigger the flash I used pocketwizzards plus II. Lightweight powerfull and very versatile.

The last secret is the use of my travel friendly canon G10. This camera alows me to sync my speedlights up to 1/500 sec, very usefull to darken ambiant light.

The picture below shows how underexposed was the ambiant.


More to come...