Shooting in a small booth at a crowded trade show with lots of other photographers is not the ideal lighting set up.
But wait, that's exactly what photographers did at the Westcott booth at the recent Photo Pro Expo, where I had the honor of being one of the instructors.
My main gig was speaking to 500 or so enthusiastic photographers in the main hall. My presentations, Exploring the Light and Social Media Marketing, were sponsored by Canon USA as part of its Explorers of Light program.
Light is a favorite topic of mine, as is composition. If you can't get to one of my seminars, check out my on-line seminars.
After my main talks, I gave two presentations on HDR, and illustrated the benefits of the built-in HDR feature of the Canon 5D Mark III.
Always wanting to keep busy, I swung by the Westcott booth were I helped photographers make good pictures, again in a challenging situation.
Our gear, listed below: Westcott TD6 Spiderlites - which provide continuous, daylight-balanced light.
Basically, I talked about one of my favorite topics: using shadows. I suggested that if a photographer wants an interesting and dramatic photograph, he or she should work with shadows. I also reminded everyone of a basic lighting tip: the larger the light, the softer the light; the closer the light, the softer the light. The opening photograph for this post illustrates that point.
I used a Paper Toner filter and an Image Border filter in Nik Color Efex Pro to enhance the image.
The picture below is a behind-the-scenes shot that shows the tight, but cool, set up.
Both of the lights in the photograph were turned on when I took the opening image for this post. Not bad for "trade show" lighting. :-)
For even more dramatic lighting, I suggested using only one light. One of my favorite shots is below, accompanied by a black-and-white version of the image I made using Nik Silver Efex Pro. Whenever I get a shot I like, I try a black-and-white conversion.
Below is a behind-the-scenes shot that show just how close the model was positioned to the light.
Note the grid over the soft box. A grid is an essential accessory for serious portrait photographers. It lets you shape and control the light for dramatic portraits.
Hey! If on-the-fly shots like this are possible at a trade show, just imagine the kind of images you can create in your home or studio with this easy-to-use gear.
Gear used for this shoot:
Canon 5D Mark III and Canon 24-105mm IS lens
Westcott Spiderlite TD6 7-foot Parabolic Umbrella Kit
Westcott Spiderlite TD6 and 12x36-inch Strip Bank
Westcott 40-degree egg crate 12x36-inch grid for Strip Bank
Nik Color Efex Pro and Nik Silver Efex Pro (info on my Save On Plug-ins Page)
Explore the light,
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P.S. Here's another behind-the-scenes shot, one of me shooting at the Westcott booth. Yup! I'm using my favorite lens: Canon 24-105mm IS.
Thank you Nelson Charatte for the fun photo!