Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Photo of the day: A valentine portrait

For Valentine's Day at work, we set up a photo booth and invited individuals and couples to pose for photos. As you can see in these photos, people had a great time posing both for relatively traditional portraits and also dressing up with costumes or striking fun poses. You've got to love the creativity of park rangers!

It was an interesting challenge for me, as a photographer, to try to get good pictures with only the limited light resources I had available, i.e., a single 430EX off-camera flash shot through an umbrella to soften the light. Yes, we had a big picture window with indirect natural light, but it was far too dim to be of effective use, and the lights in the community building are notoriously low for camera work. I think we mostly succeeded in spite of the difficulty, though I had to switch out batteries early on because they weren't high powered enough, leading to too much variability in the flaash power, and were dangerously overheating when I took them out. The Enloop rechargeables got warm but did a much better job of keeping up with the demand. In future, I would want to improve this lighting setup in two ways: first, with a second light camera-right to balance the one we had camera-left, and to help with the lighting load; and second, with a bit of a hair light to provide separation between the dark hair and the dark background (though some of this was helped by having the subjects stand farther in front of the backdrop, thus providing greater differential between the lighting of each).

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