We had a great engagement session in San Francisco recently, we worked with a great couple! Carol and Greg love their City and took us to a handful of great places… Including Treasure Island. They like the view of the City from this location.
Because we wanted to be at the beach with the Golden Gate Bridge in the background at sunset, we did the Treasure Island photo much earlier. The light was not cooperating… The solution was to shade the subjects with a translucent panel. As you can see in the “behind the scene” photo, as Mirta is trying to cover them without flying away, there’s sun on their faces. The problem, now that they were in the shade, is that if we expose for their faces, the background would have been totally blown out, and we wanted to see the City scape in the background… The solution for that, was to set up a shoot through umbrella with 2 SB910 speedlights shooting into it (one did not give us enough power). Now we could have the exposure on their faces from the flash units match the exposure for the background.
Of course, we could have achieved the same “exposure” without the umbrella. In fact, the flash units would have been more efficient, but with a much smaller light source, the quality of the light would have been much harsher, not the wrap around quality the shoot thorough umbrella gave us.
In the behind the scene photo below, you can see the set up. It was a bit windy, so the lead bag helped. The white clamp-on diffusers are on the flash units. These cut down on the flash output, but, make the light cover a wider area of the umbrella resulting in a larger, softer light source. One flash was at full power on manual set off by a PocketWizard PLUS III and the other one was on TTL triggered by a Flex TT5. I had another Flex TT5 with an AC3 module on the camera. This allowed me to vary the power output from camera position. As it turned out, I ended up using both SB910’s at full power with the umbrella pretty close to the subjects for the best “quality” of light… Remember, the larger the light source in relation to the subject, the softer the light… The camera was a Nikon D3s with a 70-200 2.8 VRII lens. The ISO was 100, and the exposure was 250th @ f8.
I hope you found this post interesting. Please feel free to leave comments, questions and suggestions for future topics.