Thursday, April 24, 2008

Computer Repair Dude

Computer Repair Dude
Originally uploaded by carltonsoohoo

Ted is the savior, well, not in the religious sense, of course. The tag line for AAA (American Automobile Association) is "sooner or later you'll break down and call AAA". The same is true for computer and technology repair. Sooner or later, you'll crash a drive, lose data, etc., and you'll call Ted.

Ted has saved me and numerous others and more importantly, he not only "gives me a fish", but teaches me "how to fish", and be more proactive about backing up and maintaining proper procedures for computer longevity.

But enough about Ted. You want to know how I lit him up for this shot. I always think beforehand about what the shot looks like. I envisioned this shot in my head that he would be surrounded by computer monitors, the room would be generally dark, and his face would be lit with snooted hot shoe flash. When Heather and I arrived at his office, it was full of equipment in various stages of repair. There was full sunlight coming in through the two windows, one directly behind him and the other to his right, camera left.

After we pulled down the shades to darken the room, we set the camera on a tripod so we could frame the scene by bringing in the monitors until they were visible in the screen. All equipment in this shot is arranged, including the desk lamp and the computers in the foreground. We had a blue blanket in the car and we brought that in as a background. Fortuitously, the blanket was thin enough that the sunlight coming in through the window it was covering provided some light just behind Ted.

We set up an SB-800 flash with snoot, camera left, and aimed right at Ted's face and chest, 1/4 power. We put a Vivitar 285, camera right, 1/4 power, behind and to the right to provide rim and hair light. Finally, Heather stood next to me with her Canon 580EX, that had the handmade grid, 1/8 power, and put a little more fill light to Ted's left side of the face because the light from camera left was leaving some shadow.

We also saw in our test shots that the lamp was provided nice reflected light onto the foreground laptop so we positioned it until it was pleasing to our eyes. Ted's right foot is resting on a bucket of cat food, but we left that dark so you couldn't tell. Here is the test shot with me sitting in, gosh I look awful.

Nikon D200 camera exposure was 1/10 sec, f/5, ISO 100. The slow shutter speed helped to provide the ambient light to a level that was pleasing. Lens was Nikkor 17-55 mm f/2.8.