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Shoot: Indianapolis Strobist Meetup

June 6, 2011

 Shoot: Indianapolis Strobist Meetup

Last Sunday I went to my very first Strobist Meetup in Indianapolis. It was all organized by photographer Paul D’Andrea of Indianapolis. Big thanks to Paul for putting all of this together for us. He was able to acquire an excellent location at Big Car Service Center with scaffold like storage platforms in the rear room. Perfect for some interesting edgy images.

The models Paul arranged to be there were all very energetic and fun to work with. Unfortunately the platforms we were working on were meshed, and the models had high heels. On top of that, some of the platforms were literally cracked in half (They were stitched together with metal bars, nuts, and bolts). But hey, when has that type of obstacle ever stopped any photographer from getting the shot they want? Thankfully, the models were also up for the challenge, and they were very good sport about it. : )

For the most part we all shared the same light setup in groups, but I wanted to also get a different image of my own so I created another light setup in a different corner of the storage room. I pulled one of the models (Bovary) aside and was able to create this image above.

Confession: Put On The Spot Light

It’s not often that I show up to a location that I haven’t scouted yet, or haven’t pondered about for a good few days. So when I decided to setup my own lights, my first attempt…pretty much failed miserably.

I thought it would be a good idea to use two speedlights behind and on either side of the model, each 20 ft back. I’m thinking, “Hey I can make them light up the scaffold bars AND have them dub as Rim light on the subject!”. It did light up the scaffolds…but it also casted bars of shadows all across the model…

I knew I had to change it up, and I eventually got there…almost by accident…and it took a considerable amount of time, and I missed a lot of great poses until I finally got to the setup above. Really a shame, considering I had missed all the great angles and moments due to my lack of lighting technique. But hey! Now I know my weaknesses.

After I got home that day, I spent a great deal going back through through all my previous shoots, including this one; making a list of all of the things that I did wrong and things I did do right. I’m learning to reflect on my previous images more and more, both the ones that made the cut, and those that didn’t. Hopefully overtime, I’ll repeat less of what I did wrong, and be able to reproduce more of what I did right!

The Progressive Setup

So aside all my failed attempts, this is a behind the scenes shot taken by our fellow strobist photographer Lori. Stacy helped me hold the YN560 with the Lumiquest LTP high and above. I originally had it on a boom arm that was stationed in the next aisle over, bridging over the top of the shelves. But I had to walk around to the other aisle just to reposition the arm, so Stacy was there to the rescue!

The YN560 in the Lumiquest LTP was the key light, and what’s not being shown in this photo is the rim light. The rim light (Vivitar285HV) is roughly 20 feet behind Bovary on a stand. It’s actually one of the “failed rim lights on either side” from earlier. I turned one off completely, and just repositioned myself so the remaining rim light was directly behind her. *Note to self: Go simple. Always first start with the rim light positioned directly behind the subject*

The rear light lit up the scaffolds in the back so it gave the image a bit more depth. It also miraculously acted somewhat decently as a rim light despite all of the layers of scaffold it had to shine through. I probably should have had another light behind her as a dedicated rim light to guarantee a proper rim lighting…next time!

The Meetup

For the most part, after this shoot I mostly observed the other photographers work on their light setup with their models. I didn’t get to work with the rest of the models that much, but I learned a lot more about how to clearly and effectively give directions to the models by observing the professional photographers. All in all, it was a very great learning experience and I hope we’ll be able to put together another one soon!

Models: DDiablo & Bovary
Photographer (on the bars): Ashley
Assistant: Paul
Behind the Scene: Stacy & I
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