I've always enjoyed working with available light. And yes, the translation of that is, working with strobes scares the heck out of me. I've dabbled with lighting over the years, but I've decided I really want to come to terms with it. Not so much that I want to "create" lighting looks or scenarios, but I do want to be able to manage it and get what I want from it when it's needed.
I often do a lot of my glamor shoots in the master bedroom at my house. The room gets a lot of northern light from a sliding glass wall. Typically, I can shoot with my Canon 5D MK11 at 3200 ISO and have plenty of headroom for shutter and aperture choices to accomplish the look I want. Especially in black and white. Or, given the ability to shoot my M9 at fairly slow shutters, I can get away with IS0 800 or 1000 with any of my Summicron lenses. The 90mm gets to be a bit of a challenge… but, like the 5D MK11, for the most part I'm where I want to be.
But with all that said, there are cloudy days where I'm on the bleeding edge. And I'm really tied into that window like a ball and chain. So… it's time to play with strobes and see if I can match the available light look while giving myself some headroom and get away from living on the edge.
The photo above is the result of my effort. To light Chelsea in this shot, I used a single Dynalight 400W strobe bounced into a 60" Photek umbrella with a front diffuser. The light was pushed up to the (12') ceiling on a 9' stand and angled about 15 degrees to the ceiling and set just behind the camera (my right) and about 7' back from my subject. With the strobe set at 1/8 power, I used my Canon 5D MK11 with a 70-200mm f/2.8 at ISO 160, f/4, 1/160 sec. at 150mm.
While I'm extremely happy with this as a starting point, there's still lots of work ahead. But I feel the overall look to the image is true to the style I'm after without any real tell-tale signs of using a strobe. And that's what I'm after.
More to come.