Friday, May 16, 2008

Austin, Texas Photo Round-up

Last weekend I had the pleasure of teaching a Tamron workshop with Precision Camera in Austin.  And, in true Texas form, we had cowboys, horses and even a couple traditional bar-b-ques.  Not to mention a model, and all the expert assistance from the very savvy staff at Precision

For one of the demonstrations, I wanted to get a photo of cowboy Bill and his trusty horse, Dusty.
Not just a picture, but a nicely lit portrait, using an off-camera soft box as a light source.

So, before the session started, Bill wanted to make sure that the bright flash from the Metz wouldn't spook ol' Dusty.  So, I handed him the unit, and he simply showed it to the horse....and then we fired the flash a couple times to get him acclimated.  The end result was a pretty nice shot, with an almost studio quality light on Bill's face.  We also added a second, slaved camera to the left to add some sparkle and detail to the saddle.

The next session had Bill galloping along a trail as our group shot with slow shutter speeds to record an intentional blur.  After a few test shots, the consensus was that a shutter speed of 1/30th of a second was perfect.  And panning the camera during the shooting further blurred the background, while keeping the subject fairly sharp.  In most cases, you'll need to set the ISO to the lowest option, and the aperture to the smallest f/stop possible.  Doing both of these things will force the slower shutter speeds needed for this effect.  And, if that's still not enough.....which may be the case on a bright day, adding a polarizer or a neutral density filter will further reduce the shutter speeds.

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