Saturday, September 10, 2011

45/52 Brian Sorg

So, good news and bad news. Good news is all 52 portraits have been taken, on time, and are accounted for! Bad news, I've used this as a serious excuse to slack on updating this blog. It's not over till it's over, kids. After this, seven more updates to go.

Brian Sorg is a freelance photographer from Chicago Illinois. He has a B.F.A. from Colombia College and does commercial work, assists, and has several ongoing personal photo projects. One of which chronicles Davey, in which he befriended and has subsequently followed a suburban teenager through his process of coming of age. The project has been underway since 2005, starting with Davey at 13 and most recently encountering Davey again at the age of 18. That project and his other work can be found at his website,

This shoot was a composite, doing two very different exposures to (hopefully) create one natural feeling image that would be otherwise impossible to shoot. First, I shot Brian alone and ignored the background portion of the image.

This is an unedited version of an alternate take, which I've deemed "Happy Sorg." This take has a totally different key angle than the one above, as I tried a couple different things. We were at a fourth of July party at a friend's rooftop, and I wanted to show both the Chicago skyline in full regalia as well as Brian, well lit and exposed in the foreground. These exposures were short, at 1/125 at f/6.3, and almost entirely flash lit. Then came the background:

For the background, I did a series of long exposures. It's surprisingly difficult to catch fireworks on the fourth of July in Chicago, as there is no official display. Each neighborhood does their own, simply firing off fireworks whenever they like, pretty evenly spaced across the evening.  These exposures were done at f/8 for 15 seconds. Shooting the background and the foreground seperately allowed me to independently color balance each, and lord only knows that Chicago at night has a lot of conflicting temperature light sources.

In order to get the shot to line up, as well as to have a consistent depth of field, I locked the focus on Brian and shot the background at the same focal point. I also used a tripod for all the shots, insuring that they'd all line up perfectly.  Here's the strobist info for this one:

Strobist Info:
SB-800 camera right through silver-over-white umbrella with 3/4 CTO gel

Camera Settings:
Foreground exposure:
f/6.3 @ ISO 800
Nikon50mm f/1.8

Background exposure:
15' f/8 @ ISO 200
Nikon 50mm f/1.8

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