Maybe it’s because I’ve spent half my adult life in hotel rooms, but I love to work close to home. It gives me a chance to play around with techniques I can take back out on the road, and if my wife Peggy has any say, to do something worthwhile. In that latter department, for the last few years she’s volunteered me to be a mentor for students from our high school working on their senior “culminating projects” in the area of photography. It’s fun to work with the kids, and I get a kick out of their enthusiasm.
My current student, Josh, is a great kid with boundless energy for the project (I’ve got him working on a multimedia slide show about the New Hope/Ivyland railroad. And just for good measure, I’m working on one myself, you know, like the rookie teacher who is one lesson ahead of the class in the textbook?) So I knew that when the cold December winds were blowing through the little railstation, but the train would be around at twilight, I could persuade Josh to come out and play with some SB 800 flash units in an attempt to channel our inner O. Winston Link.
Here’s another one of those wacky lighting diagrams (as weird as it looks, it’s better than my chicken scratching). The diagramming utilities are all based on studio shots, not location, so nothing is to scale here, but you get the idea. All three flashes were triggered by PocketWizards. I usually prefer Nikon’s CLS system, but you need a line of sight for that system, and the flash behind the locomotive was hidden from my view, so I decided to go “old school” and use the radio remotes to trigger the units.
Check out the full story (and there is a story behind it!) and what we did differently to get this second angle in color below, on Outdoor Photographer Magazine’s blog.