Lighting geekery alert: I don’t typically get much into how I took a certain shot, but the mood struck today. Over the weekend, I received what I think will become one of my favorite accessories: a 24-foot long “off-camera” ETTL cord for Canon flashes. Basically, this means that I can place a flash that is hard wired to my camera over 20 feet away from me when I’m shooting. I didn’t even know they existed until Syl Arena mentioned it at a workshop I recently attended. So, for this image…I shot with a Canon 5D Mark II on a tripod & a Canon 24-105 Lens at 35mm, f/4, 1/200s, ISO 640. The key light, a Canon 580 EX II, was connected to the 5D hotshoe via the new cable and attached to a light stand at camera left, approx 12 feet from the subject. The key light was also gridded, gelled with a 1/2 CTB gel, and half-snooted (to prevent the wall from being illuminated by the key light).. all with Honl flash accessories (also worth their weight in gold). The key light was manually fired at 1/4 power. A second 580 EX II, gelled with a 1/4 CTO gel, was placed low, camera right to create the shadow on the wall and fired manually at 1/132 power. The whole thing took about 15 minutes of shooting and a little tweaking in Lightroom/CS5.
This image of a woman lit by votives was taken in Stephansdom, a cathedral in Vienna, Austria. Although I was a bit conflicted about disrupting her moment of reflection and invading her privacy, it clearly wasn’t much of a deterrent. I took this image about 18 months ago but didn’t really think much of it until I was doing some image library housekeeping (which is never-ending) this weekend. Yet another example of something that really appeals to me now but not so much back then. Or maybe I’m just rationalizing the fact that I’m horrible at deleting images that clearly won’t ever see the light of day.
People who have seen my work before know that I love to experiment with stitching. And HDR. And split-toning. So why not all three at once? For this image, I used a Canon 16-35mm lens. The final image is actually a stitch of 6 images taken while swinging the camera in a rainbow arc to create the severe distortion (pausing for each exposure, of course). Trinity Church stands in stark contrast to its much taller lower Manhattan neighbors. Its also surprisingly peaceful, despite its proximity to Wall Street; just entering the courtyard felt insulating. I worked a few blocks away in the late ’90s, but never set foot inside until this year.