Decent Week of Training, Ending with a Photography Trip

>> Wednesday, May 29, 2019

Here’s what my last week of training looked like:

Everything in there is very normal, except my “usual” Saturday run and Sunday ride were flipped around. That’s because I spent Saturday through Monday in a small cabin in northern Wisconsin paid for by my employer as I brushed up on my (photography) lighting skills. (I mentioned a bit about it in this post on my Photo Blog last year.)

I’ll have more on my Photo Blog over the next few weeks, but in the meantime, here are just a few of the photos I have fixed up so far:

2-point vs 3-point lighting.

I spent the first half day making all kinds of examples of different basic lighting set-ups with some strobes. The left photo is standard 2-point lighting with the brighter (key) light on the right. The right photo is the same exposure with the same 2 main lights, but with a third “hair” light off to the back left to highlight the separation of my hair and the background (upper left edge of my head/hair) as well as my left shoulder. Ideally (if I had more space in that cabin), that light would have been placed a little farther behind me as to not throw QUITE as much light on my cheek, and keep most of it as just a fine line of light to define me from the background (like on my shoulder).

Playing with some close-up filters as well.

Doing some work for my “4 a.m. series” on the morning of day 2.

Waves crashing creating a blurry fog effect over a 2 minute exposure.
That’s the reflection of a half moon in the water.

A foggy start to day 2.

Changing the set-up to a table top: 3-point lighting with the third light being a background light.

Lots of botanical studies like this that still need to be fixed up.
(This one might be my favorite of the plants.)

Some field horsetail.

I have a running list of “stereotypical or cliche photos that every photographer HAS to make,” and I made 2 on this trip. (I started that list for fun, and I mentioned it to my intermediate photography class a few years ago, and they would randomly come to class and say "Steve, I thought of another one!..." In fact, my profile picture on my Photo Blog is totally one of these photos on my list.) My first cliche photo every photographer has to make is this one in a milky tub:

And the 2nd cliche photo is a long exposure while spinning/swinging something that creates light. Here’s me spinning some burning steel wool by the edge of a river over a 30-second exposure:

Day 3 started with more studio experimenting. I placed an LED light horizontally, placed some fogged plexi over that, and did some food studies (with another LED light to the right, and a bounce to the left):

A different softly-lit set-up, also hit with a ring flash.

I’ll have more on my Photo Blog in the upcoming days and weeks. I shot some film too (as part of a different requirement for the grant that paid for this all), so I’ll share that once I get those rolls developed and scanned. Back to training!...


SteveQ 10:45 AM, May 29, 2019  

Checking the photo blog, the real "picture everyone has to take" is the Stone Arch Bridge shot. I may be the only person in Minnesota to never photograph that bridge (took some from it, though. Yours at least was taken from a slightly different angle than most.

Steve Stenzel 5:30 PM, May 29, 2019  

Yep SteveQ! That's a MN staple. Also, downtown St. Paul from Harriet Island. I had 2 students almost get into a fight when I taught at a community college because they had the same shot from there - 1 thought the other ripped him off. I had to tell them that Harriett Island (at least partially) exists because of the nice views of downtown St. Paul. And that everyone has made that photo. Also: frozen Minnehaha Falls (I share a good story about that in every Photo I class).

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