20 June 2007

My take on location lighting. Big & small...

*or the importance of knowing how to light. Period.
Rye HS Football team photos.  Aug. 2005.Operating Theatre. South Africa.  9/2006.
I'm old school. Brought up in the business shooting chromes, printing B/W on deadline, and finally years of scanning C-41 negs to transmit, before fully embracing digital systems. I truly believe that working photographers, especially editorial photographers, should know how to light. Even if it's not required (or expected) while on assignment or by a client, one should know how to drag in all the clamps, cables, power-packs, flash heads, stands, wires, Pocket-Wizard or other radio remote triggering systems, umbrellas, softboxes, grids, scrims, gobos, underpaid & overworked assistant(s), and all the other cumbersome & overpriced gadgets, gizmos, & whizz-bang toys we love to pack up & take on location. There's basically no end to the possibilities...

OK, this is gonna be fun...
Rye HS Football. Aug. 2005.
The team jokester took his seat in front of me during headshots for the Rye HS Boys Varsity Football team's program during "Hell-Week" at Rye High School on Wednesday, August 24, 2005. (I used three portable Nikon SB's triggered by Pocket Wizards; one in the umbrella to my left, one clamped to the bottom of the subject's folding chair pointed at the background to "wash out" the seamless paper background taped to the stone wall, and one about 3 ft. high on a stand to the far right with a Stofen Dome. Camera was a Nikon D-1X with a Nikkor AF-S f/2.8 28mm - 70mm) Photographed in the shade beginning around 8AM before practice.

"A good lighter will always get work..." heard at a Jon Falk 'Adventures in Location Lighting Workshop' years ago.

Lightweight. Inexpensive. Portable. Dependable. Lightstand, clamp or whatever you want to call this... Empangeni, South Africa. Sept. 2006.
*Working in a South African hospital operating room last year, I needed to put up another strobe where I couldn't attach a clamp along a bare wall and didn't have time to scour the hospital ward for an IV stand to attach a clamp, so I did the obvious. Don't try this at home with duct tape - Use Gaffer's tape, as it won't rip the paint off your or anbody else's walls... -cg.

I'll be adding samples & techniques of my images lit on location here, both big & small. Everything from small table-top set-ups, to temporarily installing four studio strobes in a college gymnasuim for a week long basketball tournament.

Here's a few recent favorites:
High School assignment.  Nov. 2006 Wild Salmon. New York.  Jan. 2004. *lighting a collge gym for high school basketball playoff tourney.  March 2007. *lighting a high school locker room for girls basketball team photo.  March 2007. Brooklyn, NY. chef. 0033.jpg High School Basketball Player of the Year. March 2007. (#1.)
Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.  12/2005.

You can check out some of my recent work that's lit on location here:

Check back often. Door prizes to be given.

"Go early. Stay late. Get the uniform dirty..."

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