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Sunshine, Sunflowers and A Country Rocker!

And now, a quick blog from a jet-lagged photog awaiting the Games in Tokyo. During quarantine, this hotel room is my world, and I noticed a couple questions on a recent Instagram we put up about the talented country singer-songwriter Stephanie Quayle.
How about a light sketch “on a napkin”?
It’s difficult to imagine your setup. Three, two, or one in the umbrella. Two in umbrella and one as highlight. Do you have a video on where you place the Speedlights?

Sadly, no video or napkin exists. But, just quickly, the light source is a biggish, sort of around 50″ umbrella, used in a shoot thru mode. It is just to camera left, out of frame and as close to Stephanie as I can manage, given the wide, horizontal framing.

Why Speedlights and not a bigger flash? I was on assignment for Nikon, so Speedlights were the go-to! The advantage of putting three hot shoe flashes mounted on one bracket into a big umbrella like this, is that their tiltable, maneuverable heads allow you to direct the flow of each individual source into the whole umbrella. With say, a monobloc unit, the source is in the middle, done deal. With Speedlights, you can crank them around, filling the whole umbrella.

Same approach below. Same source, camera left, super close.

Now, one can argue, with someone as lovely and talented as Stephanie in a field of sunflowers, how could you go wrong? That’s pretty much true. But even the most amazing of subjects needs a light that is appropriate, a light that works for them. In this case, big, soft, wrapping light, produced out there in the otherwise harsh Tennessee sun, was the way to go.

And, high speed sync all the way on these! The wide shot is 1/100th at f/4, and the long-lens shot above was done at 1/2500 with a 200mm f2 lens wide open. ISO 100 on both.

Thanks to the amazing Stephanie, and the equally amazing Jane Ellen, of Cookeville, Tennessee. Jane Ellen, to put it mildly, has connections. Whip smart and savvy about the country music scene, she arranged for the various artists to pose on this project. It’s been a while, maybe thinking another Cookeville trip should happen!

More tk….

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