Meet Stella (Lessons Learned)

21 01 2010

I recently bought the Westcott Apollo 28×28″ soft box from B&H Photo Video.  About three weeks before the soft box purchase, I bought the Photek Softligher II 60″.  I tested it during a photo shoot with one of my college friends inside a hotel room with decent results.  Decent – not amazing.  This was my first umbrella modifier so I didn’t really know what to expect except for the general knowledge that ordinary umbrellas give off terrible light spill.  Well, it wasn’t an ordinary umbrella.  It doubles as  a soft box when the diffusion cloth is attached.  This is fine and dandy but I use hot shoe flashes and I’m dealing with a 60″ diameter umbrella.  I think it is almost mandatory to have at least two hot shoe flashes inside.  In case you are wondering what all this equipment talk have to do with the title, it is to, hopefully, hint that this was the test run for my newly bought soft box (and my previous photo session was when my umbrella made its debut).

After placing a phone order with B&H and having my friend drive in circles around the block as I waited in the pick-up line, I finally owned my first real soft box.  Sorry Lumiquest Promax III, I don’t think of you as my first ‘real’ soft box.  I hope there’s no hard feelings.  Fast forward a few days after the purchase and you have someone itching to try out his new toys.  I announced on Facebook that I would like to have a photo session with anyone interested.  I admit that I’ve announced this sort of thing before with no luck but, in this case, it’s good not to take a hint because someone replied!

With no studio access, it was another outdoor location shoot.  It was very cloudy and colder than we thought.  First, I used my Canon 85 1.8 lens.  I had Stella sit on the wooden park bench and shot with just natural lighting.  The first thing I noticed was the cropped feet.  I think the reason why I felt I had to frame her feet out of the shot was avoid including the park bench to her left.  I may have gotten a better picture if I would moved a few steps to the left.  I don’t know what it is but I quickly switched to my workhorse lens – the 17-55mm 2.8 IS.  And I don’t know what it is but I quickly set my soft box up and attached it to my new boom arm.  I guess I just love strobing.  Here’s one shot with that setup:  I played with angles for the first time in this shot.  If someone would like to critique the second shot, please feel free to do so by commenting on this blog post.  If you’d like to check out the other pictures for this photo session, you can check my Flickr account and look for Stella Paz’s set.  I think I am getting slightly better with directing (I was much worst when I first started).  I think the main reason has to do with a lack of posing foundation – something I am working on right now.  I’ve since bought and currently reading books related to this.  I keep forgetting to tell her to put her weight on her back leg or to adjust her hands to make it look more appealing.  I do remember certain tips I’ve read, though, for this photo shoot and, for that, I am happy to have invested in said books.

I wish I had a willing model who’d be willing to photo session with me once a week or so.  Wishful thinking, for now.

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3 responses

24 01 2010
Clarissa

You can get a model regular…. but then you’d have to pay them >_<

i love that your reading books to expand your interest in photography. and the photographs were photographed lovely. The first picture, did you take it horizontally or vertically? maybe next time take like several and see which one you like best? I'm kind of interested in seeing it in a variety of ways, even if it's in the same pose and background!

good work =)

26 01 2010
jusayphotography

By the way, that looks like a really cool picture of you!

26 01 2010
jusayphotography

Thanks for commenting!
I have to keep telling myself to take a lot more pictures. The first picture was in landscape so it’s horizontal.

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