In the middle of working on the previous wedding photographs, I get a frantic call from a mother who wants her son photographed before the hired gown goes back the following day. Hmmm, ok I say and chuck my gear together and head out west. Well, across the valley, anyway.

Rameez has just gained his degree in Law, and his family are justifiably proud of him.

So, I set up as per usual. Two brollied SB-800s and another at the back on a short stand and gel’d.  All this is set to use Nikon’s CLS via an SU-800 and it all goes nicely up until the lighting test shot.

Rameez’s skin tones, coupled with the black of the gown, is throwing the metering way off and badly underexposing him (almost two stops, would you believe). I also didn’t have enough distance between Rameez and the background to isolate it completely.

Now, I’m basically lazy. If I have to faff and generally fart about, I get bored. If I get bored, I get into mischief and that’s a whole new story for another day!

So, rather than just start faffing shaving a third of an EV off the light here, raise two thirds there. I dropped the lot to manual and dialled in my guesstimate and bingo! On the button first pop.

Nikon D3 ISO200 1/200th sec 24-70mm f5.6

Main light camera right = SB-800 1/8th power and shoot through brollie slightly above Rameez’s eye level

Fill light camera left = SB-800 1/16th power and shoot through brollie just below Rameez’s chin height to lift his chin and eyebrow shadows.

The two brollies together are often referred to as a clamshell setup.

Back light behind Rameez (on the floor) = SB-800 1/32nd power, Stofen’d and pointing almost upright.

Sometimes, the guy sat in front of the computer a couple of years ago, writing the firmware that deals with flash interpretation and management, just had no idea as to what I’d be doing on this particular day   🙂