59mm :: 1/125 @f/2.8, ISO 50
Meet Kym Petrie...
Kym is the Executive Vice President of the Downtown Greenville Development Initiative, ThriveDowntown.com. Their basic goal is to lure businesses into the downtown area... They've got a neat website, check it out.
One of the frustrating things about shooting for regional magazines is the lack of budget. If I need an assistant I've got to call in a favor or borrow a summer intern, so I am almost always by myself. Usually that works out fine... I shlep all my own gear, stand in for my own setups, brainstorm everything myself... it can be very satisfying... though to be sure, sometimes very frustrating. An example is the video below... you'll see me running around like a crazy-man, moving lights here and there during the shoot, when I could have just said "please" and "thankyou" to some poor unpaid intern. But all is good... I love it. I only have to buy lunch for myself.
BUT, one of the most wonderful things about shooting for regional magazines is the fantastic folks who hire you... you get to know them as friends, rather then just as voices on the other end of the phone or computer... you share a beer, a dinner, a birthday party... you hike in the woods, paddle on the rivers, play with their dogs... I'll take that over an assistant any day of the week.
Kym needed to be shot downtown, as that's her gig. It was another cold winter day, breezy but no rain or snow. I'd picked out a nice spot in front of the newspaper next to a hotdog stand... I thought that would work well to show "downtown", but the hotdog man got bored and left before our scheduled shoot time. My backup plan was the clock, so backup it was.
I underexposed the background by about a stop and used an umbrella with a Speedlite as my key: ETTL +1 stop to compensate for the white coat (your camera's meter will see that coat and try to underexpose it, seeking middle-grey). For some minor edge definition I set up two Speedlites as kickers, low power. Mother Nature handled the wind-machine and styled her hair with flare. I sat in the street and got low with the camera to emphasize Kym's "power" and to deemphasize the street. I took my shots between passing cars and pedestrians and dodged a few cars myself. If I hadn't been using my tripod as a sand-bag, and if I'd had enough ND to slow the shutter without losing my shallow depth of field, I may have gone for blurry pedestrians and cars instead of empty streets. I could have composited a scene in PS, but I wanted everything in-camera. The shoot lasted about 4 minutes (I had another shoot scheduled for a short time later), and Kym was a natural... never take for granted the fortune of having someone who knows what they are doing.