Wednesday, July 20, 2011

43/52 Katrina Zimmerman

I've recently acknowledged that as a people shooter, I need to brief my subjects before shoots. It sounds obvious, but simply telling the sitter what's about to happen can go a long way to make them feel more comfortable. There have been some shoots where chatting with the subject leads them to do really interesting looking things, only to raise my camera and have them immediately stop.

This shoot is certainly not one of those.

Katrina Zimmerman is a freelance animator from Chicago, Illinois. She has spent time living in the middle east, having attended high school in Dubai. She graduated from the SAIC in 2010 with a degree in animation, and has been busy with freelance animation and design work ever since. To lend a degree of stability (as all of us creative types must), she also hosts at Logan Square's Lula Cafe.

So, back to the "I should tell people what I'm about to do" sentiment. I definitely did NOT do that this time around, and I'm very glad I didn't. Every five seconds Trina was doing something completely different. For example:

Normal Trina.

Inexplicably happy.



A particularly disturbing nightmare.


As for the setting, Trina spends as much time as she can outdoors, loving camping, hiking, and the like. We originally set out to shoot by the beach. How foolish we were, believing that we could find parking around the beach in late June in Chicago. We ended up driving down to Hyde Park, where we found a tree relatively conducive to climbing.

I've never tried to light a subject in a tree before, and an assistant would have been really handy. My compact light stands only extend to 6.5' max. I ended up cheating the stand up as high as I could and then leaning it up against the tree branch. The flash was still lower than the subject's eye-line by a good 8 inches. To counter this, I dialed the flash down and used it to only illuminate one side of her face, rather than using it as a proper key. This way I avoided casting a weird shadow from the nose on the other side of the face.

Strobist Info:
SB-800 back camera left through silver-over-white umbrella

Camera Settings:
1/100 f/5.6 at ISO 400
Nikon 17-55 f/2.8@ 55mm

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