December 31, 2010

B&W Photo Project Setup and Execution

Well, New Year's is upon us and I've been off for a week.  I decided to start one of my New Year's resolutions early...more personal photo projects to push me out of my comfort zone.  So last night, Diane and I executed on a Black & White photo project I've been wanting to do.  Diane picked out the outfits and I already had the images in my head that I wanted to create.  In order to take pictures of ourselves, I had the D300 mounted on a tripod with the Nikon 70-200.  It was tethered to the laptop running Nikon Camera Control Pro 2.  I used the LiveView feature on it with the laptop facing us to compose our shots.  I then had our daughter push the Start AF and Shoot buttons.

Most of the shots were done with 4 lights...
two lighting the white seamless, one main, and one hairlight.  The two on the seamless (my Impact strobes) were set to pop the white at f11 with 250 shutter speed and ISO 200.  As you can see the lights have no modifiers.  I'm thinking this year I'll get some barn doors for them or some kind of flagging system that Kelby uses.  The main (Alien Bee B800) was set to pop us at f8 (I ended up setting the camera at f10 on some of the shots...think it's time to get a new meter...), and the hair light (Alien Bee B800) was set according to taste with a 10degree grid. The main light modifier was an Alien Bee PLM silver with black back and the 7"  7UR Umbrella Reflector.  I chose to go bare on the sliver as I felt that would go better with the black and white instead of more the softer look that the front diffusion fabric would have done....

One the D300, I set the camera Picture Control to monotone and set the Sharpening to +7, while leaving Contrast and Brightness at 0.

One of the shots was done with the seamless lights off to give a grey background.  Here's the basic setups:

 

I wanted to do a set on just Diane with a light shining from behind and then do one of us in a James Bond pose and then finally, one with her wearing a hat and me over her shoulder...this was the one I wanted the most and what started the whole project in my head.