Pushing My Boundaries - and Equipment. Part II

May 01, 2013  •  Leave a Comment

So, when we last met, I had just learned the bad news about booths only, which really threw off my composition. I initially wanted to have the couple - on a nice, romantic dinner-date - interacting across a table corner, with the dessert plate, flaming fondue pot, and waiter in a nice square composition, rotated 45-degrees to the table. The lack of a free-standing square table threw that out the window. Luckily, I had thought about that just that morning, and had been thinking of an alternative composition all morning long.

As I was setting the shot up, I harked back to my schooling, mainly the lighting classes, of course. I figured it was going to take three to four lights to accomplish what I wanted to do for lighting, but I remembered my first lighting class, and the idea that you should add one light as needed, and keep things as simple as possible. With this in mind, I added a fill, bounced off a piece of white foam core I gaff-taped to the ceiling. After that, I put a flash on a light stand with a grid spot to light up the food, and only the food. I got that light, looked at the image, and knew I was starting something good! Next up was a snoot (I hear the laughing Kevin and Howard...) for the happy couple. Luckily, my Rogue Flashbender is able to open up just a bit at the end of the snoot, which allowed enough light to fall on the couple to light the front of them completely. That's when it all started going downhill for a while.

As I was trying to change a setting on the snoot, I clumsily kicked the leg of the light stand that had the (brand new) flash responsible for the plate of food. The flash - and the wireless trigger it was on - went crashing down 6' onto a hard floor. The flash was still in working order. The wireless trigger, however, wasn't as lucky. Since I was using three flashes, I needed four wireless units, which I had. Exactly. That left me scrambling for what to do next. I tried everything I could think of with the built-in wireless trigger, but to no avail. Then, for kicks, I started looking for a light-sensitive trigger that may have been built in (this was my first use of the flash, remember, first time it had been out of the box for more than a few minutes, in fact). I found it in the menu system, and was back in business!!

Then, as we were shooting the first round of photos, I heard a "POP" that I thought came from a large clump of cinnamon practically exploding from the fire. Then I noticed the flash responsible for the couple had stopped working. I tried changing the batteries, but that didn't work at all. As I felt a fair amount of heat coming from the back side of the flash, I realized the "POP" came from the flash, as it decided it was done working so hard.

I had one flash in reserve, so I quickly swapped them out and started back to work. Travis had the flames going; the cinnamon frying, and the couple only had eyes for each other. I snapped away for one final flourish of flaming chocolate fondue, and...

The Melting Pot, taken to another level with the addition of people!

Got the shot!

OK, it wasn't exactly what I had in mind. However, it is exactly what I thought I was capable of! After pushing myself like this, I know I am ready to keep this level of quality in my assignments, and, with luck, move onto the next challenge in my photographic life!


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