Monday, March 21, 2011

mock 'product shoot'

I asked Steve and Mike if they wanted to go up to Devils Lake over the weekend because I just needed to get out...but Steve had other ideas; he wanted to create some "outdoor lifestyle product shots" similar to what you may find in an REI catalog or in a Trail Running magazine. (I secretly look at the photography in such publications just as much as the gear...and I have wanted to do something like this for a didn't take much convincing.) So that’s what we did, we went for a hike with our cameras and stopped at intervals where we thought great 'athletic lifestyle' photos could be made. We even took flash gear, and since this is a little bigger than the normal minimalist gear I now take on hikes, it presented some challenges in carrying a light stand up the mountain.

The first 3 are my attempts to use that light gear, filling in the shadows with a flash at about 90 degrees to the subject. I have done many outside portraits with off-camera-flash, but never like this so i was playing with flash location just as much as composition. Curious that the subject was always Steve, but he was more than willing to try out his new trail shoes and micro wool clothing.

Below is a setup shot without the flash to show just how much it is doing.  I was hoping that the above shots would not look like flash was used.  I learned that placement and not just power settings are key to this.

To set up each shot, I had Steve stand where I thought the best composition was and check exposure and flash settings, then had him run through the scene and I waited until he was in the ‘sweet spot’ to fire.  I only had one chance at each pass so I had to make sure focus and timing for for the 'sweet spot' and timing for peak action we right.

More fun "product shots" as we walked around too:

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