On Location Indoor Group Shots with off camera lighting, at CHIJ

Category : Photography

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I was invited by my associate, Azmeer, whose wife teaches at CHIJ, Our Lady of the Nativity to conduct a shoot for her group of students. I was told that the initial photographer/s wasn’t allowed into the school because of the H1N1 Flu virus going around.

After the brief, it was then that I realised that the photographer/s, which was from the US, were specially flown in by Microsoft to take photos for a publication, of which that I’m still unaware of.

Long story short, I took on the job at a very short notice. Good thing there was the two of us, it’s useful to have an extra pair of hands around.

From the initial brief that I received, it was laid out so simple for me that it led me to think that all I need was my D300, SB800 and TTL sync chord. In fact, I even asked Azmeer (he was the liaison officer for the day) if I needed to bring my lightstand and light modifiers.

He thought for a while, and said…. “nah, think its gonna be a fast one”

Well…. we were both wrong!

I was lucky to have brought most of my lenses that I thought would be appropriate given the scenario that has been playing in my head, 1 lightstand, 1 umbrella and multiple strobe units.

Still with me? Lets get it on then

1st location is the computer lab. Rows upon rows of fluorescent lightings, not so dim and yet still not that bright. After eyeballing for a good composition, I then mapped out the lighting setup in my head. Quickly and methodically try to decide which angle looks best, and which light flatters best.

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The initial difficulties I had with this particular angle was to eliminate the dark shadows under the teacher’s headscarf. The second difficulty was when a solution was implemented, but even at 1/128ths of a sec, the flash output was too strong. Since distance was on our side, a makeshift diffuser had to be put into place to make the lightsource bigger than it actually is.

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After we’ve established the lighting formula and ratio from the first shots, the rest were relatively setup with ease, following the same formula.

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View the larger images at my Flickr Set here
Stay tuned for the Outdoor Session at CHIJ.

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