Ever watch Mystery Science Theatre 3000? Those guys are some tough movie critics if I ever saw any. No movie is safe from their judgmental eyes. I like to tell people that they are their own worst critics when it comes to either photos of themselves, or their photography in general. I am no different, and a good friend of mine made mention to me that it never seemed like I was happy with anything that I shot. EVER. I told him he had a good point, and reminded him of the previous statement. In fact however, last friday I had a shoot that I ended very happy with (except for maybe the travel time to shoot time ratio…)

(Canon 5D Mark II, 250ISO, Canon 16-35mmF2.8L@30mm. Single Canon 580EX Speedlight set to 1/8th power shot through a 42″ Umbrella to camera right fired by pocket wizard)

That’s John. He is an honorable mention in the IndyStar’s Salute to Nurses that I mentioned in the previous post. I drove 45 minutes to Anderson Indiana to take this photo of John, which required my simple go to lighting scheme. A single speedlight with a 42″ umbrella. Simple, effective, I like it. The Hospital liked it too, and that’s more important than what I think in the end, but I DID take 45 minutes to drive up there, so I wasn’t about to be done shooting after 15 minutes. It turns out that this particular hospital in Anderson is on the top of the list for Computers in the rooms at patients bedsides. These computers give the nurses tons of information about about each patient immediately at their fingertips. Plus it lets them update their facebook, or watch movies while at work….. ok well maybe not, but I did actually ask… This is the shot I came up with.

(Canon 5D Mark II, 320ISO, Canon EF70-200mmISF2.8L@70mm. Canon 580EX Speedlight snooted set to 1/16th power shot into the computer monitor fired by pocket wizard, Single 580EX Speedlight set to 1/8th power snooted with a FotoRosa Snoot and zoomed to 105mm set to 1/16th power fired by pocket wizard aimed directly at the patients head.)

This shot took a few more minutes to set up, as we had to find a nurse to volunteer to be the patient. I also used two lights, both with snoots to selectively light parts of the image. At the end of the day, I shot in the hospital for about 1/2 the amount of time as the round trip travel time, but at the same time I was pleased with the two setups that I ended up with.

In the end my buddy Mike was right. There are still things I would change about these photos, and I am a believe that there is no such thing as “good enough”. Despite that fact, I do like how these two shots turned out and can only hope that the more I shoot the luckier I get to where I’ll like a lot more of them right out of the gate. I can tell you one thing though, my best photo has yet to be taken, but I’m looking for it. More Soon.