Date Taken: 2010.01.30
Photo Specs: Nikon D700 + 28-70/2.8 lens @ 70mm, 1/30 sec, f/6.3, ISO 500
Lighting Specs: Two un-modified Alien Bee B800 strobes in the corners of the large room – the rear left providing the backlight (you can see the flare at the top of the frame) and the closer one camera right and behind me providing the key light for the subjects. A Nikon SB-800 dialed way down on my camera provided some subtle fill. When using manual strobes in a room you have to constantly be adjusting your manual camera settings, depending on how close your subject is to the nearest light. And if you’re filling with on-camera flash, you have to make sure you’re not shooting from the same direction as a big strobe or it will overexpose your shot. Lots of stuff to think about while you’re capturing candids at an insanely fun event like this, but you get used to it after a while. So in a nutshell, this is a three light setup – two fixed room strobes at 1/8th power and one on-camera flash probably dialed down to -2EV or so.
Why it’s cool & how I got it: This shot is from a “Gods and Goddesses” themed party I shot at Illusions in Palo Alto. It was an 18th birthday for three friends so all the parents went in on the themed party. It was a lot of fun, and the “kids” had a blast. I love the shot below – I’m on the stage, but laying down to be at their level. Looking at this shot takes me back to that night – the energy, the pounding music, the kids having an insane party before they all go their separate ways to college or wherever. The two kids in the center are obviously the focus of the shot, and they know it. Their eye contact draws you in as no one else is looking at the camera, but it’s a split-second acknowledgment of my presence before I was once again thoroughly ignored. I love it.