Wednesday, November 11, 2015
The Lovely Alexia
So I'm still learning my way around the world of speed lights. For the uninitiated, these are the external, hot-shoe mounted (or remotely fired) flashes you probably associate with wedding photographers and such. They have their downside, especially for street photography, a big honkin' flash on top of an SLR just screams 'photographer' to anyone who's camera-shy and camera-aware.
On the other hand, they really allow you to take charge of the light rather than just playing the hand you're dealt. For years, I shot with nothing but available light and I got some great images that way, but there were those other times where I was just hoping it would work this time but of course it didn't. And I guess I could practice on still life subjects, but so far that hasn't interested me. So that leaves me trying to find willing subjects for portrait sessions. Fortunately for photographers who are shooting for fun, there are models who will pose for fun.
It's called TFP, stands for 'trade for prints' a nod to the days when you'd typically provide prints from the negatives by way of compensation. These days it's generally a digital file handed off. I print my pictures some, but much more the appear on this blog, on Facebook, and lately Instagram.
I met Alexia at the Sirens shoot last summer. She's very easy to work with, has a good vocabulary of poses, and obviously she's gorgeous. And, as it happens, she was available when I was, so I trekked up to Liberty with my lights & camera Sunday afternoon. Partly I was wanting to get some more experience with the SB-800s, partly I was wanting to apply stuff I'd already learned. And partly I had been riding my bike to work marveling at the fall colors, the leaf litter on the ground, and thinking, this is a limited time offer.
The weather was spectacular, and the William Jewell campus was picturesque. We started shooting a little after 3:00, finished up around 6:00 when it was getting dark and cooling off.
I still feel like I need to get better about picking my moment, looking through the viewfinder and not pulling the trigger until things are perfect. But I'm definitely getting better on that front. These are the low hanging fruit, there are a few other shots that I think can be winners if I do some work on them. But as a percentage of 197 shots, this is a lot better haul than what I got out of over 2400 frames at the Sirens shoot last summer.
And sometimes there's happy accidents. For all the shots where I didn't quite get her in focus or caught her in transition between facial expressions, there's this gorgeous high-key shot. I've seen this effect before, I've just never achieved it. Two speed lights off camera, sun behind her, fiddling with the exposure compensation.