Thursday, October 03, 2013

Shooting By The Light Of The Silvery Moon: More Budapest Images

Good Morning Everybody,

Today is our last day in Rovinj, Croatia.  We’re planning a short day trip to Porec, Croatia to check out a few of the sites then it’s back to our home away from home and packing the bags for an early departure tomorrow.  Before we head to Salzburg, Austria  I thought I’d take a chance with the internet and share with you the last day’s shoot from our Budapest Master Class. 

Shooting By The Light Of The Silvery Moon

Well, not really the moon light, but some pretty blanketed daylight.  Most of the day was overcast and the clouds were pretty thick in the sky making for a really gray (and dim) day.

The images are quite a bit different from the others I’ve posted so far from our class because today’s images are mostly made with just the available light present in the locations featured in this day’s shooting session.  I’ve got about seven favorites so lets get right to them.

Photo 1: Ballroom Dance

This first image was a quick grab shot.  The ballroom was off limits to all hotel guests because a wedding was taking place in the room in just a few short hours.  As we walked past the ballroom, I asked our model to step in so I could get a quick photo.  We quickly set up the off camera flash, posed the bride and shot away.

My only regret is that I didn’t have a wider lens on the camera.  The room was beautifully set and the wider optic would have captured the grandeur all the better.  But hey, we were going to get kicked out any second so I grabbed what I could ;~) In about 60 seconds I had the image I almost wanted.


Camera specs: Canon 5D Mark III fitted with my Tamron 28-300mm VC lens at 28mm, 1/50 second at F6.3, ISO 800.  Lighting camera right, Canon 600 EX-RT speed-lite through my Zumbrella. 

Photo 2: Stained Glass Fantasy

I loved how the stained glass windows lined up the stairs of the hotel and had been eyeing them all week hoping to capture an image or two with one of our models.  This one is probably my favorite.

My technique is the same as what I’ve described in many photos from the week’s shoot – off camera flash through my Zumbrella and balance the light with the ambient.  I did tweak the image in Lightroom 5 for my final result.


Camera specs: Canon 5D Mark III fitted with my Sigma 12–24 mm lens at 24mm, 1/50 second at F6.3, ISO 2000.  Lighting camera right with Canon 600 EX-RT speed-lite through my Zumbrella.

Photo 3: Dancing In The Clouds

I love this image.  Or maybe it’s the fabulous bridal gown I love.  I have to say, it was the most unusual and beautiful gown I have ever seen.  It was a hit with all the other models and the class as well.

The photograph is just a simple window light image.  What I like about the composition is how I positioned the bride against the relatively plain-looking, rectangular wood paneled shapes in the background.  I had to be careful with my camera position that her profile fell in between the rectangular shapes you see on the back wall.  Had I been less careful and caught one of the shapes on her face, it would have completely distracted the viewer from my main subject. By stepping back and really using a longer focal length lens I was able to compress this mundane background into something that looked quite pleasing.DAZ_4448

Camera specs: Canon 5D Mark III fitted with my Tamron 28-300mm VC lens at 119mm, 1/40 second at F5.6, ISO 12,800 – yep, that’s right – super high ISO. 

Photo 4: Line Dance

This is another straight available light photograph.  From the second floor of the hotel LaDawn spotted the arrangement of the outdoor furniture below and thought it might make an interesting setting for a portrait.  It looked compositional interesting to me so we went to work.  I carefully positioned Clara among the pieces of furniture till I had the composition I wanted.

Notice that the only vertical element in this image is the model.  Everything else is a diagonal line.  I think it’s that “contrast of line” that makes the image. The lines seem to frame up our subject perfectly.

The original monochromatic feel of this color image created by Clara’s black jacket and the very dark rattan furniture led me to de-saturate the image completely for an interesting black & white photograph.


Camera specs: Canon 5D Mark III fitted with my Tamron 28-300mm VC lens at 135mm, 1/100 second at F5.6, ISO 3,200. 

Photo 5: Beauty Among The Ruins

This is a very simple, straightforward portrait made once again with the existing light of the scene.  The light was coming in beautifully from camera left and really defined Clara’s facial features splendidly.  Notice too that with the very broad light source how beautifully her eyes are illuminated.

Compositionally, I wanted to pick up the repeat of the architectural elements you see in the background. By positioning our subject opposite the vanishing point of those elements your eye is easily drawn directly to our lovely subject.


Camera specs: Canon 5D Mark III fitted with my Tamron 28-300mm VC lens at 260mm, 1/100 second at F5.6, ISO 3,200. 

Photo 6: Evening Beauty

I’m wrapping this series of images with my second favorite image of the day. (My favorite was the image I posted in yesterday’s post.) This structure is right of the entrance of the Gellert Hotel. I’m told by one of the locals that it is not everybody’s favorite piece of architecture in Budapest.  It design seems incongruent with the historical surrounds of the city.  Hey, what can you say – some like it - some folks don’t. I happen to like it for this image especially.

I think it offered a very cool background for this photograph.  The sun had long since set but I was still able to pick up a little sky color with my exposure.  I like that the sky did not go deep black.

I knew I needed to add my off-camera flash – Zumbrella/speed-light combo – to get the dimensional lighting I wanted. The initial test shot needed something else though.  The subject was blending into the background too much.  I needed a back light.  And, my little speed light did the trick nicely.

The combination of center symmetry composition and by “go-to”  lighting gave me the shot I was looking for.  Hope you like it too.


Camera specs: Canon 5D Mark III fitted with my Tamron 28-300mm VC lens at 28mm, 1/160 second at F5.6, ISO 400.  Lighting camera right, Canon 600 EX-RT speed-lite through my Zumbrella and Canon 600 EX-RT speed-lite pointed at the subject 12 feet away at 1/2 power.

Photo 7: Gellert Girl

This image is a variation of yesterday’s image.  I just shot it with a much wider view.  I do like how I pulled in most of the Gellert Hotel for this composition. This image is without the added backlight of yesterday’s post [link] but still looks pretty cool.


Camera specs: Canon 5D Mark III fitted with my Sigma 12–24 mm lens at 12mm, 1/25 second at F5.3, ISO 1600 Lighting camera left with Canon 600 EX-RT speed-lite through my Zumbrella.


Hey gang, that’s it for me today.  The sun is shining bright (finally) and the air is cool.  It’s a perfect day to take another exploration around beautiful Croatia.  Check back again soon and I’ll share a few more of our travel experiences with you.

See ya’ soon, David

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