Sunday, October 01, 2006

Operatic Footlighting

If you have read my previous posts on Gary Fong's Light Dome you know what an unabashed fan I am of the effects it can produce, when used off camera axis. This last week I shot three evenings for The NY Times for a story called "Fame at 72 Proof." I worked with the tremendously talented and charming Allen Salkin, who is among many other things, the author of the book Festivus. Our assignment was a story about owners of boutique liquors and how they promote their product by donating their branded booze to hosts of high profile parties and events.

To take this shot of the maker of African Starr Rum, Jeffrey Zarnow, I used Gary's Fong's diffused milk-white dome instead of the translucent version over my Canon 580 EX flash. This cone-like covered dome really produces a nice soft white light. But don't count on using it for subjects far away. The fall off is incredible.

I held the flash with the light sphere low, using the flash to emulate a footlight at the opera. I call this my " Magic Flute"effect...sort of like when Pappageno ( sp?) plays his flute.

Careful though. Doing this can cast wicked shadows. Check your screen " chimping" after each shot to make sure you have it in the can. Try to get the subjects away from walls where shadows' " hash marks" will land. Or if you do have a wall, place the flash so the shadows become a crafted part of the photo.

No comments: