Friar Photos in a Flash

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Photo © Bob Krist

You’ve heard me whine talk about it before; how travel photographers, unlike the portrait artists, often have to photograph people on the run with little or no control over subject, placement, or even posing. It’s a chronic situation, and it requires you to think on your feet.

This happened to be several times on my latest trip, a fantastic assignment in Slovenia.  This little country is full of great photo ops, and they’re all packed into a place a little bigger than New Jersey.  You want authentic old Europe, great scenery, and interesting people, you come here.

Among the better stops was the old Olimje Monastery in the northeast part of the country. Friar Ernest Benko was giving a tour of the facility, including the monastery’s old pharmacy, built in 1663. It’s said to be the third oldest pharmacy in all of Europe, and a good shot of the Friar here would be the “money” shot for this stop.

But while the Friar would agree to be photographed, he wouldn’t pose and he wouldn’t stop the tour. To see how I worked around those restrictions to get the above shot, plus some other tries, hit the jump. (more…)

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Give the drummer some….

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Photo © Bob Krist

My friend Tim gave me a call the other day…he needed some new shots for his website and promo material, and would I be interested? You betcha!  As James Brown used to say, you got to “give the drummer some!”

Tim is a great drummer and educator and I first met him in conjunction with a project he volunteered for through auspices of the Jonathan Krist Foundation. Tim spends a lot of time working with young guys in Trenton, making them better drummers and keeping them out of trouble.

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Photo © Bob Krist

We decided to do this in my cavernous, dirty, dank garage high tech home studio, and started with a pretty straightforward portrait with a couple of his congas.

I didn’t go Strobist on this, deciding instead to use my old DynaLites, the great, compact AC strobe system I used day in and day out during my annual report shooting days.

The units have to be about 20 years old, and these days, they don’t see much use, but when you need ’em, they’re there, compact and dependable as ever.

Simple light, as always. One head into a 3×4 Chimera lightbox from camera left, and a head with a grid spot hitting the background from the floor. Not even a white fill card on the shadow side.

We got our “safe” shots and then Tim, who played football at school in Tennessee and looks like he still could tear through a defensive line, jumped into a dashiki and pulled out his African drums.

When he started playing, you could feel the power and energy, so we decided to go for a little more dramatic light. This time, we’d have the light coming from overhead.

To see how it evolved into the above shot, take a look at some other shots from the session, and grab a peek at my drive-in disaster area swanky studio setup, hit the jump.

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Don’t neglect to reflect….

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Photo © Bob Krist

Regular readers of my column and blog know that I love my little Nikon speedlights for all the wonderful things they do so effortlessly. From fill flash, to slow synch to cordless off camera TTL control, these units have changed the way I work and have made me a flash maven.

But there are some contrasty situations where my first choice will be a reflector, usually one of the pop-open types like the Flexfill or Photoflex or Lastolite.  What are those situations and why do I like to use a reflector instead of flash when I encounter them? Hit the jump to find out.

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