Monday, March 7, 2011

Shoot Before They Are Ready

Zena & Lois
Copyright © Ron Martinsen – ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

One of the things my mentor Gary Parker has told me many times is that some of his favorite shots are the ones he took before the model was ready. I’ve found the same thing to be true so I always try to snap a few frames while things are getting set up for the shot. I call it shooting before they are ready, and many times it is the key to a great shot.

In the shot above of Zena & Lois that I took tonight I used a Canon 5D Mark II in manual mode at 1/160 sec at f/10 at ISO 160. To get this great shot, I used my favorite lens – the Canon 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II USM that I featured in my first look at the Olympics. This is super sharp lens, so the only sharpening was done when I exported it out of lightroom 3.3 and choose low screen sharpening option. This shot is out of the camera version with some minor skin smoothing using Portraiture and blemish removal using Photoshop. Total processing time – 10 minutes.

One of the keys to success for this shot was my lighting setup which I discuss in this article here. The main light was the Elinchrom EL Octa 74” (190cm) Indirect Light Bank  and the secondary light was the Elinchrom 39" Rotalux Deep OctaBox powered by 600RX monolights.

Great models, great light, and a little luck by shooting before they are ready can mean big success.

Here’s a few more examples where I applied this technique and I felt it paid off (some photos unedited):

Cleaning before the shoot (unedited)
Copyright ® Ron Martinsen – ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

Getting the correct exposure during pre-shoot
Copyright ® Ron Martinsen – ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

Photographing a bystander when preparing for a shoot (cropped, but unedited)
Copyright ® Ron Martinsen – ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

Happy Shooting,

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