This Stuff isn’t Easy…

Lighting, People, Portraits

Continuing on my quest to become proficient at portraiture, I had the opportunity yesterday to shoot at a fantastic location in Lambertville, NJ. The chef and owner, Chris Connor, allowed a group of photographers access to his restaurant Antons at the Swan to shoot with whomever we could bring to model.

I have to admit I was a bit nervous. My skills are not quite as good as many of the other photographers but I figured I have to step outside the box to advance my skills. My daughter offered to go with me and I’m glad we did!

The restaurant is a building that was built in the late 1800’s and was filled with some great art work, mirrors, antiques and the like. This coupled with large windows with wonderful natural light presented quite a difficult scenario when dealing with flash.

I was equipped with every piece of studio equipment I had in my possession. I bit overkill in retrospect. Especially my 35lb. c-stand.

We took a quick tour of the different rooms (dining, lounge, and bar) I assume we were all staking out our shoot area. I choose a corner and stairwell that lead to the bar on the lower level.

This is the result. I used my beauty dish and the very low ambient light available in this area…


The low light was quite the challenge as I felt my camera was searching and searching but much to my surprise many of my shots were spot on focus wise. Also another challenge I encountered was the difference between the color temperature of the flash as compared to the color temperature of the background. In this particular shot the foreground was quite cool and the background quite warm. I did adjust the temp. in camera and that seemed to help. I then utilized the adjustment brush to fine tune the foreground.

Any thoughts? Would love to hear your input, put it into the comments section.

4 thoughts on “This Stuff isn’t Easy…

  1. No, it’s not easy and that’s why I’m amazed when guys like Joe McNally make it look so easy (though, if you take one of his classes, you’ll find to that he too has his issues. We forget not every frame out of the camera is perfect for them.). This looks great. I’d love to see more. And what a great opportunity. How did you hear about it? I work near Lambertville. Very photogenic little town.

    1. Never looked at it that way Mark, the keepers are probably always outnumbered… especially at my stage.
      A Google+ friend opened up his restaurant for us to shoot in.

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