Friday, January 30, 2009

Life Imitating Art

Boy Sleeping Below Painting of Himself SleepingThis photograph combines two concepts I have been thinking about for quite a while. The first is the composition; for a long time I have wanted to take a photograph of Shannon sleeping below the painting of himself sleeping. The second is the lighting setup; using a blue gelled strobe outside the window to create the affect of moonlight pouring through the blinds.

Strobist Info:
One gridded and CTB'd SB800 outside window high and camera-right fired 1/4 power using CLS
Two snooted and CTO'd SB900's camera left fired 1/64 power using CLS (one for the painting and one for the subject)

To see more of my work visit my commercial photography website.

The Morton Trident

Custom Strobe Bracket - 3 Strobes (1 SB900 and 2 SB800'sI have been struggling lately with some of my outdoor lifestyle photography because I didn't have a good solution to 'overpowering' the sunlight. This was not because I didn't have enough power in my strobes, but because I didn't have a way to gang them up on a single light stand to generate the power I needed. As a result I was using terrible temporary solutions like bungee cording strobes together and using multiple lightstands and such (as was the case for the portrait in the post immediately below). Then a solution was born . . . the conversation went a little like this:

Me: Hey Morton Photographic, I want a Brewer Bracket.

MortonPhoto: No you don't - you want a Morton Trident.

Me: Oh, I do? What's a Morton Trident?

MortonPhoto: I don't know - come over and we'll build one.

And then was born this bracket. I am stoked to go do battle with the mid-day sun using this little tri-fecta. And what is cool is if I shoot portrait orientation, the whole bracket will swivel 90 degrees and be vertically arranged instead of horizontal. Or if I wanted to put this baby behind an umbrella or similar diffuser, I can hang the two end strobes from the underside of the bracket creating a sweet strobe-triangle.

Strobist Info:
3 strobes in photo fired w/ CLS at 1/128 power
2 strobes (one left, one right) fired w/ CLS at full power

Monday, January 26, 2009

Free Portraits on Top of Camelback Mountain

Portrait of Hikers on Top of Camelback Mountain - Phoenix, AZI have been brainstorming recently on ways to increase the visibility of Darren Stevenson Photography to generate more business. One of the ideas I came up with was to offer a free portrait session on top of Camelback Mountain - but there was a twist. I carried portable lighting equipment to the top and shot straight into the sun (you can see the sun behind the clouds left and down from the copyright symbol in my watermark ). The weather was beautiful - clouds rolled across the sky all morning so every portrait came out a little different. I underexposed the sky to create a more dramatic background and used 4 strobes to illuminate my subjects.

It was a great success and I look forward to the two more sessions scheduled for February (let me know if you want dates/times).

Strobist Info:
Exposure was 1/800 at f/16 to underexpose the sky
Two SB800's fired full power using CLS high and camera-right
One Vivitar 285 fired full power using PocketWizards low and camera-right
One SB800 fired full power on-camera to provide on axis fill light

To see more of my work visit my commercial photography website.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Hiking In The Superstition Mountains

Hiking Superstition State Park approaching Siphon Draw to summit The FlatironA few friends of mine and I went hiking in the Superstition Mountains over the weekend. We hiked up Siphon Draw to the summit at The Flatiron. It is a great hike and will undoubtedly provide you a good workout as the trail ascends 2,000 feet over a distance of only 2 miles (read 'steep'!). The Superstition Mountains are a great desert gem with a long history and shrouded in mystery (i.e. The Lost Dutchman Mine - lots have gotten very very lost searching for this mythical mine).

Because this hike was not a 'photo expedition' I didn't want to labor my hiking companions too much fiddling with camera gear and taking lots of time to set up shots. In fact, I only took 3 photos the whole day and this was one of them.

Strobist Info:
N/A - All ambient light

To see more of my work visit my commercial photography website.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

A Visit to the Lowell Observatory

Alvan Clark Telescope at the Lowell Observatory in Flagstaff ArizonaIn an effort to find something a little different to do during winter break, I decided to head up to the Lowell Observatory in Flagstaff, AZ with my son Shannon. This is a very cool place if you are a science-y type of person.

During the visit we looked through a few telescopes and were able to view a constellation, a galaxy, and a nebula.

The photo to the left is of the Alvan Clark telescope. It is over 100 years old and was used to discover Pluto.

Strobist Info:
None - this was shot all ambient. The key light on the left side of the telescope is from the sunlight filtering in through the door of the observatory while the dome is lit by tungsten bulbs.

To see more of my work visit my commercial photography website.