Category Archives: Lighting

Dr. Krist, you’re needed in the O.R., stat!

© Bob Krist---The night the lights went out in Senegal!

Wow, what a trip Senegal is!  Incredible place but tough on docs and patients using the less-than-ideal infrastructure. Take the above photo for instance.

My friend Dr. Al Ruenes and his colleague, Dr. Serigne Gueye, were doing a fistula repair on a patient in a remote clinic south of Dakar when the power went out. So they’ve got the patient opened but can’t see a thing.

Well, as much as I love my Nikon Speedlights, it was continuous lighting that saved the day because I pulled out my little headlamp flashlight and my Lite Panels Micro Pro LED on camera video light, handed them to the docs, and they were able to finish the operation with a nice main light and a broader fill!

The docs liked the light quality so much, they continued to use it even when the lights came back on (probably a good thing, since we lost power a couple of times that day!)

© Bob Krist---The fill is a little close to the main light, but for surgery, this is perfect lighting!

We’re wrapping up here today and hope to be home tomorrow. It’s been an incredible experience seeing what obstacles are faced and overcome here on a daily basis. Hope to have some video up (but, it’s going to take a while).

I hardly shot a still while I was here….video took up all my concentration, and I’m still making rookie mistakes. I’ll have more on that in another post.

New and Old Friends

I’ve had the distinct pleasure of catching up with some old friends, and meeting some new colleagues, on a couple of projects I’ve been working on these last few weeks. I’ve learned a lot from these guys and I recommend hitting their websites/blogs for some excellent inspiration and instruction.

Reznicki Rules–I’ve known Jack Reznicki for years and long admired his people photography, but I had never heard him speak until I caught him at a recent conference. Wow, his talk was funny, informative, and just loaded with terrific images!  He is one of those rare shooters who not only makes great pictures, but he’s able to break it down and teach the process as well. His books and website are highly recommended. http://www.reznicki.com/

Dynamite Dave–Veteran sports shooter and speedlight maven Dave Black is a delightful guy, major talent, and great teacher. He regularly runs  “Workshops at the Ranch” which are always popular. I had a chance to watch Dave at work recently. Although Dave is famous for his sports photos (and rightfully so) I love his feature work and the stuff he’s done with lightpainting and speedlights, especially at Arlington National Cemetery….haunting and beautiful. http://www.daveblackphotography.com/

Corey is Cookin’–I also recently met Corey Rich , and he is a one man visual dynamo as well as an articulate teacher. Long known for his outstanding adventure and extreme sports photography, Corey has made the transition to video and has made it with a bang. I admire him not only for his eye, but for what he’s had to climb (hint: El Capitan, for one) to get that eye in the right place at the right time!  http://www.coreyrich.com/

Friends in High Places

Photo © Bob Krist

I’m just putting together a stock submission of images from Buenos Aires  for a European magazine client when I came across the above pic of the Capitolio dome in Buenos Aires. It’s the seat of the government and notice how it’s nicely etched with light.

There’s a story behind that, and it’s another tale of who you know, not necessarily what you know.

My excellent friend and fixer, Bernardo Galmarini, knew the building manager of the Palacio Barolo building, an unbelievably beautiful art deco masterpiece from which we shot this view. It’s a work of art, and topped with a real working lighthouse complete with giant bulb and fresnel lens. That’s Bernando, below, checking his settings by the glow of the lighthouse.

Photo © Bob Krist

For the story of how we lit the dome of the Argentinian parliament without bringing the country’s Air Force or the Secret Service down on our heads, hit the jump.

Continue reading »

Buddhist Bhutan

Photo © Bob Krist

We landed without incident in Bhutan and that day, our group had a chance to actually photograph some chanting monks in a small temple in Paro. No flash allowed, and totally backlit. My histogram would have made a certified Photoshop guru weep.

But what can you do? You get the picture with the glow of enlightenment coming from behind them (yup, that’s what I’m calling it….you more technical types may call it “a ton of blown highlights”) or you don’t get the picture.

And of course, I had to shoot a couple of video clips too, so in the few minutes we had, I was busier than a one-legged man in a butt-kicking contest.

What is it about red (or orange) robed Buddhist monks that so fascinates us? Photographers, myself included, can’t get enough of them.

Photo editors, on the other hand, have had enough. My friend Dan Westergren, senior illustrations editor of National Geographic Traveler, says he just glazes over when he sees a preponderance of  monk pictures in a portfolio.

The thought being that these are often “how can you miss” situations, and don’t really illustrate your talents in tough situations. In other words, it’s easy exoticism.

That is a pitfall for us travel photographers, the tendency to rely on the exotic nature of the subject matter at the expense of working the situation for moment, composition, and all the other qualities that make can make pictures shot in Bayonne (the one in New Jersey) as compelling as those shot in Bhutan.

I’ve worked long and hard years (including a five-year stint covering Bayonne, Union City, and Hoboken), so I relish the occasional pitfall and feel I’ve earned my monk’s robes.

(So if you’re reading this post, Dan, I’m hoping you’ll remember me for my hard-working pictures of more mundane stories, like Driving Pennsylvania’s Scenic Route 6, and forgive me my exotic lapses:-)).

For more monks, though, hit the jump. Continue reading »

Jumpin’ in Jordan

Photo © Bob Krist

Cold, fog, and rain greeted us in Jordan, but the atmosphere was warm and welcoming at dinner the first evening. These musicians did a lot to warm up the reception when they broke into a traditional dance, complete with flourishing cutlasses (I’m glad they liked us).

The next day, though, was clear and sunny and most of our group headed off to the magnificent Petra. Having seen it before, I opted to go out to Wadi Rum.

Wadi Rum looks for all the world like the Cathedral Valley in Capitol Reef National Park in southern Utah…..except that it has camels and bedouins. like these guys below, serenading us with music and song in their tent while we took a break from the midday sun.

Photo © Bob Krist

Photo © Bob Krist

For a couple more pix and a quick discussion of the flash technique for the top picture, hit the jump. Continue reading »