I think at this point I am the last photographer at the Indianapolis Star Newspaper who shoots for magazine print. By that I mean the glossy paper magazine that you would find at your local Kroger, Marsh, Borders or wherever. Most of the magazines at the newspaper got axed a few months ago because readership was down, and they were a very high cost product to produce. Magazine paper isn’t cheap apparently, which I guess should be evident because you can’t quickly shoot for magazine. You need to take your time, shoot as low of an ISO as possible and by all means not waste the time of the people you are shooting; specially when these people should be saving lives.
(Canon EOS 1D Mark II, ISO 100, Canon 16-35mm F2.8L@16mm, 1/250th@F9. Single Canon 580EX Speedlight set to full power through a 60″ umbrella to camera right set to Butt Kickin Full power triggered by Pocket Wizard for fill)
The last and only magazine that we produce is the Indiana Nursing Quarterly magazine. It is a free magazine that gets mailed directly to nurses every quarter, and from what I can tell the nurses that read it; dig it. Most of the photo nerds who read my blog know that I attempt to shoot at the lowest ISO possible all the time. For magazine that attempt has to double, because the glossy paper isn’t very forgiving. It’s like when you’re a kid and you eat all the cookies in the cookie jar even though you were only supposed to have one…. Yea your parents don’t like it very much. That paper will show the zit or 3rd eye just as much as it’ll show the grain. Shooting at 100ISO outside is easy. All you need to do is give a little fill to pop the shadows on someones face. Shooting at such a low ISO at an indoor location is something that I love about photography. It’s the challenge of the shoot; the hunt to wrangle the light photons into the places that they need to be, in the colors that they need to be! (insert evil laugh here). Sometimes you have good days, and sometimes you have bad days. It’s just like playing a sport; some days you play well, and some days you just flat out suck…
The nice part about what I do at the paper is that I can stage things to look real. Lighting those things to look real gets quite a bit more difficult than you can imagine. Like i said before, 100ISO indoors isn’t easy, and a lot of people have no idea how much light that actually takes to give you a reasonable depth of field. It can get somewhat stressful for sure, it’s amazing that I don’t freak out while shooting every edition of the nursing magazine.
(Canon EOS 1D Mark II, 250ISO, Canon 16-35mm F2.8L@16mm, 1/40th@F7.1. Single 580EX Speedlight set to camera right slightly above subjects set to 1/4th power triggered by pocket wizard. Single 580EX set to 1/8th power to camera right set on a counter shot into one of those light up walls that you view X-Ray’s on triggered by pocket wizard)
I tend to try to shoot a lot of things with only two lights. Mostly because when I shoot for the newspaper I only have two lights… I guess necessity is the mother of invention after all. The Nikon flash system is about a billion times better than the canon system, but that’s what radio poppers are for right? Radio poppers and a little patience as I never get it right on the first 203 tries….
This shot was no different. Originally I shot this using a single light, which was my standard 580EX with an umbrella to the right of the frame on 1/4th power. The shot was missing something though. In a hair brained effort I covered the screen of her computer and used it as a reflector with a 580EX speedlight set to 1/64th power. You an see the difference in the two shots here, and you will probably agree that it makes all the difference in the world:
The Final shot that I ended up with was this:
(Canon EOS 1D Mark II, ISO 200, Canon EF 100mm Macro, 1/60th@F5. Single 580EX to camera right slightly above set to 1/4th triggered by Pocket Wizard. Single 580EX set to 1/64th triggered by pocket wizard on the desk in front of the nurses pointed at the computer screen which I covered in white copy paper.)
I was pleased with the shot over all. There would have been one or two other things that I may have tried differently after the fact, but these ladies save lives and I didn’t want to take up too terribly much of their time; especially with my Laffy Taffy Jokes… As a special request from a couple of different people I am also attaching a diagram of the light setup for that shot. Hope you enjoy my badly rendered rendition of the event as my drawing skills match that of a second grader who’s eaten too much glue. In other news, It looks like I may be getting a new Camera at the Star……More soon…