DanD commercial photography and video in Leeds on Twitter
DanD commercial photography and video in Manchester on LinkedIn
DanD commercial photography and video in West Yorkshire on vimeo
DanD commercial photography and video in North West on facebook
DanD commercial photography and video in NorthWest on google+

School of Materials Science Manchester University graduation 2011 by DanD photography

NOTE – buy photos from this event:  here (contact me for a password)

I still keep my hand in with the odd event here and there, and today saw the first of a few graduation day jobs I’ve got lined up. Today’s students were from the School of Materials at the University of Manchester, and a very pleasant bunch they were too.

The shot above is the final big group one that everyone wants, but the one that photographers often dislike or even fear, and with good reason some might say….

I’ve titled this post ‘Fighting the sun, the shade, and mums and dads’  for a couple of reasons.

1. Fighting the mums and dads is quite literally (well, sort of) what I had to do to get myself and my gear in the right position for the shot. As we know everyone has a camera these days and everyone wants to use it, but when little Jimmy is the star of the show some of these parents can put the paparazzi to shame. Stern instructions to back off growled through a wide grin soon sorts them out mind 😉

2. The main reason for this post though is to highlight how photographers often find themselves in very difficult lighting situations that technically they would run a mile from – if they could.  However, when you have to do a big group shot and the location you have is literally your one and only option, then you have to work with what you’ve got so it’s tough titty. If I repost the pic above with a bit of annotation you start to get the idea…

It’s 11.30am, and breaking with tradition for Manchester the sun is pretty strong and high in the sky.  As seen above (look at the floor especially) about 2/3 of the group itself on the left are bathed in really strong sunlight, the rest are in shadow on the right courtesy of a tree and building. This is technically what’s known in the trade as a ****** nightmare.

Below is what my trusty D3 is serving up to me with a standard matrix metered exposed shot. Oh dear…

Totally blown out on the left and underexposed on the right. As we know the dynamic range of digital cameras still isn’t great so I’m going to need some help here and fast. The solution – row out the Elinchrom Quadras! I knew I’d bought this badboy of a portable lighting rig for a reason and today made me very glad I did. I was planning on using them anyway, (assuming it might be cloudy) to add some extra punch. However, today they were used to essentially save the shot. If you look at the first pic this is taken with one quadra head on full 400W whack at camera right about 10-15 feet from me,  30 feet from the group directed to the right side that’s in shadow.

With this lighting setup and a bit of Lightroom fine tuning in post, I’m pretty pleased with the final result given the circumstances. Anyway, that’s a tiny insight into the working life of a northern snapper,  hope you liked it.

NOTE – buy photos from this event:  here (contact me for a password)



Subscribe to comments Comment | Trackback |
Post Tags:

Browse Timeline

Add a Comment

XHTML: You can use these tags: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>

error: Content is protected !!