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From time to time I would like to start featuring case studies by photographers talking about an image or series of images that they’ve taken. My hope is that in doing so they’ll shed some light for the rest of us on how they work, what techniques they use, what lessons they’ve learned and what they see themselves being able to improve upon.
The following brief photographic case study was submitted by Grant Dopson from GMD Photography. Thanks for Grant being willing to be our first featured case study. If you are interested in being featured in a future case study simply contact us via our submissions page with details of your idea. Here’s Grant’s tip.
Location: Vulcan Park – Birmingham, AL
Date: Thursday, August 24, 2006
Time: 7:30PM – 9:00PM
This was my first time shooting with Jordan. I had met her a few weeks ago and she had already had some head shots taken a while back, but mainly just for fun. I want to start off now and say that the equipment and location are just a small part of making a great shoot. What really makes the difference is the model. Their attitude and commitment to the job is what makes good pictures. Jordan was one of these great people.
We went to Vulcan Park in Birmingham, AL. I really like it up there because it over looks the city and is never crowded. We got there a little late and the sun had already set. I would have liked to have gotten there sooner but I forget that fall is coming up fast and the sun sets a lot earlier. I set my camera to aperture mode and set to 1.8/f.
I was able to get in a few shots with out any flash but then they started getting blurry. Once you hit slower than 1/60th of a second, the exposures will not be sharp without a tripod. I attached the PocketBounce to my flash and started shooting again. I really like this device because it really lessens the harshness of the flash by bouncing the light and it has a gold or silver insert to really change the look. I bumped up the flash exposure a bit when using the bounce because it sometimes lessens it too much. We took a few more shots outside then went to the staircase inside the statue’s pedestal.
I then switched my camera to Auto for these indoor shots and the flash exposure value was set back to 0. I took off the flash bounce and started to shoot with the flash aimed head on. This caused some overexposure and harsh shadows due to the white marble walls. I then decided to move the flash head to bounce off the wall next to her.
I was amazed at the results. The flash really brought out her hair and skin color without losing any detail in her dress or the coloring of the walls. The light looks so good in some shots; it almost looks like I have a softbox setup next to her. She was a lot of fun to work with and I plan on doing more shoots with her in the near future. If you have any additional questions about the shoot, please let me know.
Thanks again to Grant Dopson from GMD Photography for this case study. If you have a question, comment or suggestion relating to Grant’s photos – please feel free to leave them below in our comments section.