Orla O’Brien

Orla -1s

I have decided that I need a project and I have called that project Street Pic…. not a very catchy name but to the point. The aim being to try and take some great, natural photos of people right on the street. When I say natural, I mean just bring along my camera (Nikon D40) and 35mm 1.8 lens and see what happens. No lights, no stylist, no nothing. I am also going to apply a 15 minute photoshop rule also. This means that a street pic can not spend more than 15mins in photoshop. Just enough time to make colour and exposure corrections and minor touch ups. No full on skin smoothing here.

The first example above is from a meeting with Orla. We me up to have a chat about a future shoot. I told here that I would take some test shots during the meeting. I initially started out going straight in to strobist mode, cracking out the flash and ttl cord for some off camera action. I have Orla’s boyfriend trained in after 5 minutes to be a fully qualified speed light holder ( Good job Rob). Took loads of frames with flash, and they were good but lacked something. I was shooting about F3.5 or there abouts.

Then we had finished up and put the flash away and I decided to try a few in natural light for the craic…. great decision it turned out to be. Lately I have been in strobist over load…. taking the lights out at ever opportunity. I have now seen sense. Flash photography is a tool, not just a style. You need to know when to use the natural light and go with it and when you need to nuke a scene out of it. Besides, at F1.8, there is more than enough light getting in there for a shutter speed in the high 1,000’s as ISO 200. Thankfully, I have this epiphany before the shoot with Lisa Nolan and most of the shoots from her shoot with all natural light.

Anyway, back to Street Pic. If you fany getting a street pic taken, then keep an eye on my twitter or facebook to see when I am about Dublin next and we will make it happen. The more the merrier

Max Fedorov

Max is a friend from college. He is into long boarding which is similar to skateboarding. I thought that it could make some some interesting photos so I asked if I could come along some time the next time he was meeting up with his boys to practice in Dublin. Max was also a model in the DIT Fashion show that I was at. I took some portrait snaps of him for his portfolio and also some pictures of lads doing their thing.

This post is about Max’s shots. The next post will be about the action shots, some of which came out great. For Max’s shots, I was using two Nikon SB600 flashes for the hour or two I was out shooting. I gelled one flash with a 1/4 cto gel to balance the flash for the ambient sun light which I was using as a back light / rim light for some shots. I was using another SB600 usually for a accent / kicker / side light etc etc. Both flashes were set off remotely via radio triggers.

The White Balance setting was set to sunny as far as I can remember. WB on the camera is not as important now for two reasons.

1. I am shooting in RAW which means it can be adjusted in post processing
2. I am experimenting with different processing techniques anyway. WB shift and tinting and split toning.

I was also using a shoot through umbrella to soften up the light. The umbrella was the key light (cto gelled) and generally less than a meter away from Max. All this combined with underexposing the background by about a stop gave the effect that you see. There was no skin retouching with these photos. There was 10 minutes spent in Lightroom setting up the first image and then the settings were copied over to the others with some adjustments for each.

maxfed -1s