Thursday, April 2, 2009

Thinking on your feet

I did a commercial advertising shoot in Southern Arizona Monday March 30th. This was my first assignment with this client so I really wanted to do a great job. The assignment was to shoot a happy customer with his new car he recently purchased.

Totally excited to do the job and anticipated a great image for the client. With this optimism in mind I am quickly reminded nothing is ever easy. I'm foreever tested. My assistant and I arrive in Sierra Vista for the shoot and the wind is a steady 40 mph.

Thank God, my assistant brought his heavy C-Stands and couple hundred pounds of sandbags. I thought we might encounter some wind but I never imagined the extent of the wind. My Bogan stands would have crumpled.

My original plan was to use soft boxes and the shoot was to be at the subjects home. The location wasn't going to work out so we relocated to a local park.

As in photojournalism sometimes you have to think on your feet and adjust in order to have a successful outcome. It was impossible to shoot with the soft boxes, scrims or large reflectors. I decided to use a beauty dish on a c-stand with about 125 pounds of weight holding it done.

Did I also mention the shoot was at noon. OK, I have out of control wind and the strongest sun light imaginable. I needed to balance my lighting ratio ambient vs strobe. I need f-16 to 22 to over power the harsh sunlight. The subject was totally backlit with car gleaming with speakular highlights in the saturated sun.

I plugged my Comet 2400 watt power supply into the AC outlet in the back of my Toyota Tocoma and prayed. It took 10 seconds for the light to recycle but that was OK with me. I had a controllable light sourse and I didn't blow a fuse. I can handle this. One shot ever 10 seconds.

Fortunately I had a great subject that was a pleasure to work with and had the patients for the circumstance. Bottomline, we came away with great art for the client.

When it was all said and done my assistant and I looked at each other and agreed this was the hardest shoot ever.

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