Keeping it Simple.

Written by: Glyn Dewis

Published: May 13, 2009

Category: General

Following on from the recent ‘Engagement / Pre Wedding Shoot’ with Mark & Samantha I thought I’d post a few of the shots here on the blog along with an explanation of the lighting technique and settings used on my Nikon D3, so here goes:

Samantha against Pillar

For anyone who knows Windsor, this shot was taken at the Civic Hall in Thames Street. This is at the front entrance where there is a covered area with concrete pillars and three open sides allowing in beautiful ambient light. For this portrait I set the D3 into Aperture Priority Mode at f/4.0 on my 70-200mm f/2.8 Nikon lens for a shallow depth of field with an iso of 400. This gave a decent enough shutter speed to hand hold and allow for a good quality file. To give a little more light onto Samantha’s face I just added 1 stop of Exposure Compensation.

Mark on Bench

This particular shot required the use of a Voice Activated Light Stand or V.A.L. as they are commonly known, which in this case was Samantha. Mark was sat on a concrete bench against the church but unfortunately the sun was shining through the trees quite strongly giving lots of specular lighting. To soften this I gave Samantha a 1 stop Lastolite Tri Grip Diffuser which she held up between the sun and Mark. Mark was then lit with an SB800 camera right which was fired into a reflective umbrella which I had ‘closed’ down’. By this I mean that rather than having the umbrella completely open which would have thrown light all over the place, I let it close which then narrowed down the spill of light. Ofcourse this could have been done using a Lastolite Ezy Box but this was an Engagement / Pre Wedding Shoot so minimum kit was the order of the day.

Settings for the camera were iso 200, 80mm, f/4.0, 1/250 sec and the SB800 flash head was on 1/2 power. The SB800 was triggered using the Nikon CLS which called for a second SB800 on the camera hotshoe set to Master.

Mark’s Profile Shot

This final shot of Mark was taken in a recessed part of the church wall with three walled sides and one side open. It was in quite a dark, shaded area of the grounds with light being blocked out by a thick canopy of tree branches. To light Mark I set up the remote SB800 and reflective umbrella camera left; this time with the umbrella being fully open to allow much more spill of light. I was looking to achieve a more ‘moody’ feel to the picture so feathered the light off Mark a little by turning the umbrella away from the camera; this reduced the spill of light onto Mark and gave a few more shadows.

Camera settings: iso 200, 35mm, f/4.0, 1/250sec with the Remote SB800 at 1/4 power, again fired using the Nikon CLS.

So, nice and simple with minimum kit: Nikon D3, 2 x SB800’s, Reflective Umbrella & Stand, Lastolite Tri Grip Diffuser and a couple of Lastolite Tri Grip Reflectors.

Enjoy ;o)

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  1. Kevin Mullins

    Great post and its good to see the diagrams. The images are cool too. I picked up your blog from Kelby’s blog – being Welsh myself, I though – Glyn Dewis, that must be a Welsh name. Turns out you are only down the road from me really. Will keep an eye on your blog. Cheers Kevin

  2. Glyn Dewis

    Hey Kevin,
    Thanks for dropping by.

    Re Scott Kelby, be sure to check back both on his blog and here on Monday 18th … big news coming ;o)

  3. Martin Saint

    Nice diagrams and some good shots. Keep em coming,


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