Wednesday, December 14, 2011

50/52 Laura Woods

Once a year I take a journey to my homeland for one specific, spurious purpose: the Indiana State Fair. Tractors, bad food, smelly animals, LOTS of fat people, carnies, and ugly lamps. It's a tradition celebrating all the delightfully boring things Indiana has to offer. As per usual, we rallied the troops and made an outing of it.

Laura Woods is a graduate student at Indiana University. She is pursuing her degree in Japanese, in which she also has her B.A.. She attended the Inter-University Center for Japanese Language Studies in Yokohama, Japan. She was there during the recent earthquake, and was mercifully unaffected by the Tsunami as was the entirety Yokohama and the greater Tokyo area. Unfortunately her stay was cut short as her program was ended due to fears about fallout from the Fukushima nuclear meltdown. She has returned to the states and plans to graduate this winter. Laura is a dear friend of mine who I've known for a long time. We often split off our different ways in life for extended periods of time, but when we get back together we always pick back up right where we left off.

As for the shoot, I had been speaking to Laura about doing a portrait for quite a while. I think the timing worked out great, as it was the last portrait I did state-side, as well as lining up perfectly in time for the fair. Laura and I usually go together every year along with other friends, so I thought the setting would be pretty perfect. 

We killed time, saw smelly animals, and looked at ugly lamps until sundown. We then set up right in front of the midway sign, behind which the sun was setting. In my mind I was visualizing a background similar to a photo I had taken back in 2009 at the same place.

The key I used for this shot was a silver-over-white umbrella from high camera left. I had her face slightly away as to light her broad, reducing the risk of getting a reflection on her glasses. I gelled the key 1/2 CTO to preserve the warmth of the setting sun, yet to allow the background to be just a bit warmer than the subject. We probably shot for 10 minutes, which meant I didn't have to change settings around too much to compensate for the changing light levels. Here's an outtake featuring the ubiquitous tractors with carts "fair train" in the background.

Strobist Info:
SB-800 camera left through silver-over-white umbrella with 1/2 CTO gel

Camera Settings:
1/100 f/4.5 at ISO 800
Tamron 17-50 f/2.8

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