Sunday, 21 March 2010

Off-Camera Flash - Canon EOS 5D MkII

There's a twice yearly event at the studio which deserves celebration - Ben's hair cut! So this this year I suggested that we (maybe) do a before & after photograph. The initial concept is simple, 2 shots of Ben with & without hair. The execution was quite different. I decided that it would be fun to add a twist. And with the help of Joe we achieved a great shot!


The lighting for the shot was relatively simple: 2 x Canon 550 EX Speedlites and 1 x 580 EX II Speedlite. The two 550's were warmed up with a Rosco 1/4 CTO and snooted with what we refer to as black wrap, but more correctly known as Rosco matte black Photofoil, attached with black hair elastics.


The advantage of the black Photofoil is you can shape it easily to create just the right amount of control. In this case the ends of the snoots were both flared out slightly to allow a slighter wider spread of light, but preventing any unwanted spill. The 580 had a Rosco primary blue and was placed on the floor directly behind me and pointed up at the ceiling.

The whole shebang was triggered via a long (10 m /30 ft) coiled ETTL lead attached to the Speedlite at camera left. This unit was set as the Master, with the other two as Slaves. No correction was dialled in so I was shooting +/- 0 exposure compensation.

Shown below is the chosen frame from the forty or so variations I shot, before post-production with ACR (Adobe Camera RAW) and Photoshop CS4.


This frame is pretty much as it came out of the camera. Can anyone work out how much work was done in Photoshop. No prizes, but it would be good to see some feedback in the comments below.

Camera was a Canon EOS 5D MkII with 24 - 105 mm f4 IS  L Series, focal length (I guess) 35 mm. Exposure was manual (M) f8, 1/100th second. Auto focus centre spot with Joe being prime point of focus. The whole shoot from start to finish took no more than an hour, including Ben being shorn in a more conventional manner.

My thanks to Ben for being a sport. And to Joe McCavana of Headmasters in Burgess Hill for going along with my hair-brained idea and helping to make it work.

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