Monday, October 3, 2011
A friend at work also sidelines as a state champion cyclist. His team just got a new sponsor (the bike shop in the photo) and new jerseys, so they wanted to show them off with a new team photo.
I went down the the shop the day before to see what the light and options were like. I had three options outside, one with the building in the background (and the shop sign) and another two with the lake. All had the same 2 problem: how do I get 50 people in a shot and still see everyone, and how do I light it?
I wanted to be looking up at the building so that I could get the sign in it, so the only option is to get everyone on something like grandstands or bleachers. Those are hard to find, and after a day of looking and calling around, I gave up. My normal solution is to limb a ladder (or a lift, like here.) In the end, that is what ended up happening because the team wanted to do the shot inside, so I guess there was a 4th option I didn't know about.
I started off with 2 strobes, one on either side of me, really high up on stands. The tricky part for the big group shot (and tight spaces) is that my strobes are twice as close to the front row than they are to the back. And we all know (yes you should understand the inverse square law) that this means the back row are 4 times dimmer than the front. So I used another set of strobes, higher up, zoomed, and aimed for just the back. I was afraid of the image being flat so I actually didn't put my strobes perfectly at 45 degrees, or even at the same angle, between me and the group. I added another pair to the back to add an edge to peoples faces. The total: 6 strobes (half of them were borrowed) fired with 3 different triggering methods. For the smaller group shots, I just used 2 strobes in front and 2 in back behind them for a kicker.