Sometimes a girl just needs to get away, to ride off into the sunset on her loyal steed, even if the sunset is decidedly fake and the steed happens to be a stuffed lion – you have to make due with what you’ve got.

As you may have noticed, the posts has slowed down a bit around here. One of the reasons is that it’s been very busy at work, so I just haven’t had much energy for shooting and not much time for writing, since I mostly write at work (don’t tell anyone). However, I’ll try to always have one post every week at least, hopefully with an extra one thrown in from time to time. Anyways, time to have a look at today’s photo shoot.

We got the little one a lion to ride on (she needed a mount to suit her personality) and I had an idea of a shot with her riding off in the sunset, classic western style, with a lion…and a raccoon hat. I have some mixed feelings about the result. On one hand the girl is very cute and I guess the light is at least decent, but on the other hand it just doesn’t live up to what I had envisioned. Let’s have a look at the setup (you really should be impressed that I’ve remembered that so many times now).

This is straight out of camera and if you’re wondering why everything is orange it’s because that YN560 in the softbox has a full CTO get on it. That’s my intended sun, coming in as backlight. Unfortunately my sun didn’t work out as well as the real sun would have. My new softbox keeps doing a good job though – here it gives a soft backlight while keeping said light away from the background. We then light the background separately with a gridded LP160 with both CTO and yellow gel on it. Finally we add the key light in the form of a LP160 with small softbox.

Riding with friendsSo, what do you think of the result? Personally I’m still torn and I think one of the reasons is that I’m trying to do too much in a confined space. If you look at the setup shot you can see that there really isn’t much space to play around with. The subject is close to the background because the background isn’t very wide. Had the subject been farther from the background I wouldn’t have been able to fill the frame with it. I still had to shoot this with a 85mm lens from the other side of the room to compress everything enough. It’s kind of difficult to convey a grand sense of open landscape in the living room. Had the weather been better (i.e. not close to storm winds and rain) I might have waited for a real sunset and dragged my family out for a photo shoot instead. It would have been even better if we lived close to the rocky mountains or something like that.

Hmm, we're at a crossroad...What can we learn from this? Stop procrastinating and get your ass out the door to do some real world shooting – at least that’s my goal once summer sets in again. You can do a lot within the restrictions of a living room but I’m really looking forward to getting out more and shoot in more interesting locations. However, until the time of better weather I think the lesson to learn here is that it’s good to have a vision but sometimes you might need to rethink it instead of trying to shoehorn it into a situation that won’t do it justice. I might redo this shot with that in mind, or at least keep that new idea I have in my mind until the time is right.

A new year is approaching and this will in all likelihood be my final post until then. I’ll see you all back here in 2012, hopefully with some good photos to kick off the year.


There's a long journey ahead Riding with friends Hmm, we're at a crossroad...