This past weekend I’d had a personal project shoot arranged but due to an unexpected down pour, it has ended up being put on hold for another day.
However, I did still get to catch up with my friend John (who’d I’d intended to be photographing) and ended up taking a quick portrait of his gorgeous German Shepherd, Vyka…
Since posting this portrait of Vyka on social media as well as the many ‘Likes’ (thank you for that) I’ve also had a few folks asking what my set up was.
Well, to be honest it was yet again my Anytime Anywhere kit that I mentioned in an earlier post [LINK]
For the actual set up, although Vyka is incredibly well trained, I thought it best he be on a lead with John stood next to him BUT John also holding the Phottix Flash with the Lumiquest Softbox III attached. Then all it took was for me to give John a rough position to hold the flash i.e. in nice and close, to the front and off to one side of Vyka, and then just give him a little direction once I started taking a few pictures so that the position of the light was just right. (John was holding the lead in his left hand and the Phottix flash in his right hand).
This worked incredibly well and best of all was quick to set up and took no more than a couple of minutes to get all the frames I wanted.
For some of the shots whilst Vyka was staring at this bald guy pointing this strange contraption at him, he did open his mouth a little, sometimes let his tongue flop out and so on, but I wanted his mouth to be closed, and to get him to do this was a heck of a lot easier than I expected.
Tip: Vyka is motivated by toys so rather than me simply hold the ball just above the lens with one hand and take pictures whilst holding the camera in the other as I had been, I just started to move the ball around in all directions. This made him concentrate on the ball more and when he was concentrating he closed his mouth…unlike me who seems to do the opposite (sticking my tongue out) when I’m concentrating. Simple little tip but it worked a treat.
As for my Anytime Anywhere kit, this is it below but note that with the Phottix Mitros+ Flash, the Odin Receiver isn’t needed as a wireless receiver is built in to it. Also, the black cardboard wasn’t used because of the space we had around us and the settings used below.
As for settings, again this was taken using my Invisible Black Background technique and in this case I’d set the camera to 1/160sec, iso 100 and f/22 and with this and the combination of the light source being in close to Vyka (Inverse Square Law), the light fell off incredibly quickly…hence why you can see none of the house interior or John’s hand and Vyka’s lead.
Oh and if you’re a regular reader of this blog you may well have seen the picture below of John and Vyka, taken when Vyka was around 7 months old; such a wonderful dog…makes me wish time away to when Mrs D and myself will be giving a forever home to a dog (or two) early next year…can’t wait 🙂
Oh one extra thing before I forget…as always when I know I will be doing a black and white conversion of the picture during the retouching, I set my camera’s Picture Style to monochrome so that I get a good idea as to what the final image will roughly look like and if the light I’m using (position) works well.
Anyway I hope that was useful/helpful in some way and as always if you have any questions/comments then please feel free to make use of the comments section below.
In the mean time though have a great Tuesday and I’ll catch you back here tomorrow.
•CLICK HERE to check out a LARGE version of this picture of Vyka over on my 500px portfolio page