Never work with children or animals. At what point did I forget that golden rule?? Well anyway I know I promised to do a little techie post on some of my more recent photos so here goes nothing.
So let’s start with the horse shot. The back story to this is that it was inspired by a mixture of Lord of the Rings and Drew Gardner. What I wanted to do was put Carys in the middle of a sunny forest with beams of light shining through the trees and her riding through them. Here’s the shot again, do you think I made it?
Hit the link for all the techie details behind the shot and some of the issues I had to overcome to make it happen.
Well OK here’s the story of what actually happened. This being a commercial shoot, time was tight. After makeup we had about 10 minutes to shoot the photo before the horse had to disappear. Unfortunately that meant that I couldn’t get Carys to ride out to a proper forest as I had first envisaged. Time meant we had to go with what we had around us and that happened to be a small clump of 5 trees in the middle of a very protective gardener’s lawn. With all the best will in the world sometimes it’s better to go with a shot which isn’t quite as amazing as you had wanted rather than with no photo at all. In this case though it meant sacrificing those lovely rays of light I’d wanted bouncing off and streaming through the trees. Not ideal but hey, you can’t complain since we got to do a very ambitious shot at all.
The second compromise is that Carys is stationary on the horse. I’d have loved to have had her galloping through the trees to get some real movement but alas it was not to be. Unfortunately as good as our four legged friend was, he just wasn’t used to flash and got spooked with every pop of the main light. Manageable while stationary but not something you want to be dealing with riding bareback and with no helmet. Turns out he also didn’t like the big wafters we were using to get the smoke going in the right direction. Apparently horses don’t like big bright things flailing around them. Who’d have guessed?
So there you go, those were the main problems. Here’s the techie details behind the photo (remember this isn’t like a recipe you need to add salt and sugar to taste. If you want to try living without the recipe try some freestyle baking ):
Shot on a D3, full manual mode.
Shutter and Aperture:
1/200 F/8. 1/200 was set since it’s the max sync speed my camera will do with big lights and we really wanted to kill the mid day sun. F/8 is the aperture which allowed us to do that.
70mm. Most telephoto I could get without hitting a fence. I wanted the tele in order to compress the background and make it look like we had more trees. In a big forest I’d probably have gone wider to make the scene more epic.
Elinchrom Ranger 1200 W/S on full blast. Needed as much light as possible to make the sun coming through the trees in the background. There is also a little smoke in between which helps give the ‘early morning sun’ look. If we’d had more trees I’d have put the flash further back and with that smoke we would have hopefully got the nice beams of light.
There’s an SB900 Camera left and behind the horse. This just brings up the back of the horse and provides a bit of rim light separating Carys from the trees behind.
Elinchrom Quadra (yes, the since-deceased one) on close to full blast in a small softbox camera left. Ideally I’d have gone for a larger light source here but due to the power limitations and having to overpower mid day light we went for a small softbox. This just helps soften the shadows a bit. It’s also gridded to help prevent light from hitting all the trees around.
Well there wasn’t much posing going on here other than stay on the horse and try and look like you’re in the middle of a forest rather than a small clump of trees with a man staring at you for taking a big horse over his perfectly manicured lawn. Oops…
Very little post production on this one; only minor aperture adjustments, a bit of contrast and saturation.
So there you have it. Any more questions feel free to hit me up in the comments.
More adventures soon!