For a while I have wanted to do a shoot with Broderick, and finally our schedules aligned. I had scouted out this location a while back and knew exactly what I wanted. Because the short notice of the shoot I wasn’t able to get an assistant, but I was wanting to do a much more natural light looking shoot this time anyway. It always helps to have another set of hands though, but I’m used to working on my own. I guess sometimes when I have help I’m not the greatest at delegating tasks to others.
We started shooting sometime between 4:30 and 5, just about perfect like for this time of year. The dried grass, the fall leaves, and the warm light really gave the feel of what I was wanting.
I love shooting into the sun. Gives a great quality to the photograph, almost dream like.
Broderick was a great model, running back and forth repeatedly so I get could all of the shots that I imagined.
I added a single speedlite on a tripod opposite the sun to fill in the shadow side. Since I wanted to be shooting at shutter speeds fast enough to stop the action my only choice was to use High-Speed Sync.
At 1/200th of a second, the flash sync speed of the Canon 5DMkII, you will have a significant amount of blur if your subject is moving at any speed at all. I was finding blur even up through 1/500th of a second. At 1/800th Broderick was sharp enough.
I cannot do High-Speed Sync through my CyberSync radio slaves, so I had to use my 580 EX II as a master and my 430 EX II as the slave (limiting me to one usable off-camera flash). I set my 580 to not fire, only to set off the 430. You have to make sure the Infrared Receiver on the slave unit is not pointed at the sun or it will not detect the signal from the master. There are ways to help it avoid the sun, like using gaffer’s tape to make a shield, but I, of course, had none.
Just as I was packing up because the sun was too low, I saw this opportunity. I set the flash almost directly in front of Broderick to fill in his front. With the shutter speed of 1/100th, I panned with him as he ran past to give the background some good motion blur. Besides some running technique that a few people have mentioned, this was exactly the shot I was looking for. That’s all you can ask for in a shoot.
Broderick stretching after his “strenuous” run.
It’s been great shooting this fall. I’ve got a lot more to edit and show, and I need to update my website pretty bad. But these frequent photo shoots are keeping my heart happy.