Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Day 109 of 365 - I Don't Know Who I Am... Anymore

Photo by Andrew Kufahl

Today was a rough day for me... I had an early-morning dentist appointment that didn't go so well. The dentist had to re-freeze my mouth 3 times because it just wouldn't take... eventually the work just had to get done... it was painful, really painful. Throughout the day I struggled concentrating on things because my mouth hurt soooo bad. When it came time to start dedicating some thought to my photo of the day, I just didn't have the patience because of my sore mouth.

As I was leaving work, I think the aspirin I took had kicked-in and I was feeling a little better. I walked out to my car and noticed the two street lights in the parking lot. I've noticed them before, but today it was raining and creating a nice glistening surface to reflect all the light... and the gears in my head started turning. I had a couple thoughts in mind, but with the rain coming down still, and me with no good way to protect my camera, I decided to leave those ideas for another day. Instead, I moved myself closer to the entrance of the building to see what I could come up with.

The door of the building has two outdoor lights on it (located camera-left and camera-right in the photo above). I figured they would make good key lights, so I considered standing right between them to create an interesting double-kicker type of look. But, I had just kind of done a photo like that the other day, so I decided to try something else. I knew that there was some technical stuff I could do with the front lights and the street lights back out in the parking lot. So I grabbed my light meter and I found the spot where the front lights were 1-stop brighter than the rear lights. I wanted to manage that ratio closely (and technically) because most times I eyeball it wrong and end-up with problems post-processing (the rim light gets blown-out, or the rim light is too subdued).

Once I found the exact spot where the lights were at the ratio I wanted them to be, I marked the spot. Then I opened the door of the building so that I could put my camera inside (away from the rain), dialed in the settings, and did a couple test shots. Once I had everything looking the way I wanted it in regard to exposure and framing and composition, I setup the camera to do an interval shoot... with 1 picture to be taken every 5 seconds until it had taken 15 photos. This allows me to vary my pose to give me a couple different looks to choose from (without having to keep running back to the camera to set the timer).

So yes... no flashes/strobes used on this photo. It's all available light from the street lights in back (rim light) and the outdoor lights on the building (key light). Actually, technically, the light camera-right was acting as the key light, and the light camera-left was being more of a fill light on the camera-left side of me.

No comments:

Post a Comment