I'm not a full time professional photographer but take on 2-3 paid jobs per month. It keeps me sharp and I find it rewarding to work with other professionals on a specific task.
My latest assignment was to shoot a video for a 20 second commercial, that will run on regional TV in January 2014 (my 2nd TV-commercial). Some stills where also required for printed adds. I won't be doing the final retouching of the raw files, but the photo above is my post processing.
The two aspiring models (Philip Stangebye to the left & Alexander Behrang Keshtkar to the right) where really nice to work with. They required nearly no instructions and fell quite naturally into the role as "silly fishermen". Thanks guys!
On the technical side I faced a small set-back when setting up the Speedlights. The PocketWizard Mini TT1 had run out of battery power. So without my trusted PocketWizards for light control, I had to revert back to standard Nikon Commander mode and IR-control the two Speedlight SB-900/910 I was using. The Speedlight got extra power from Nikon SD-9 battery packs, which I recommend for longer shoots, where you need fast recycling time. We worked in a square living room with white walls and ceiling, so there was really no need for the PocketWizards. But they are part of my workflow, so....
The room was lit with natural light from a large window behind me. We drew the curtains to dampen the sunlight and get an even spread of the ambient light. A Speedlight SB-900 on the left and a Speedlight SB-910 on the right - both with diffusion dome - pointed to the ceiling facing backwards (to avoid shadows on the wall behind the two models).
The Speedlights was set to full power and I still had to bump up the ISO to 320 to be able to use a f/5.6-6.0 aperture.
For the video I used a LED light rig built of three Metz MecaLight - LED 480, LED 320 and LED 160. Video was shot in 1080p/24 fps at a shutter speed of 1/60 second. No sound was recorded as music and speak will be added in post.
1/4 sec at f/6.3, ISO 100, -1/3 EV
First are foremost you are alone. For me photographing is a reflective process where I focus on the image and think abstract thoughts - letting my mind flow. While in this state there is nothing more disturbing that other human beings. So when the sky is all grey and its raining softly, then its time to grab your photo gear and head for the forrest, beach or open landscape to escape the every day life.
An all grey sky (the lords big soft box) and a bit of rain is perfect conditions for shooting black and white photos. With me today I had the following equipment:
- Nikon D800
- Nikon Coolpix A
- AF-S Nikkor 28mm f/1.8G
- Nikon MC-36 remote cord release
- Velbon GEO N830 tripod and QHD-72Q Ballhead
- Crumpler backpack
- Holebrook WP sweater
- Stetson Herringbone Hatteras
The AF-S 28mm f/1.8G lens is a nice and not so heavy lens that fits perfectly on a D800. It is sharp and delivers a soft bokeh wide open. A bit of vignetting, radial distortion and green CA is visible wide open, but is easily corrected in Lightroom.
Here is one more photo from todays walk in the forrest. I shot maybe 25 different scenes, but only two made it through my final selection.
1/3 sec at f/14, ISO 100, -1 EV