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By now I should have had my studio set up in our garage but flash flooding and the resultant mess in the garage has stopped this for the time being.

So rather than just let the new lamps rust through a lack of use, Nathalie suggested this weekend that we make use of the dark grey wall in the living room to take some pictures of the family and also practice set up before potentially using the lamps at our friends clothing line launch on Thursday in Hong Kong.

The wall behind is way darker than mid tone and in these shots looks more blueish than Squashed Mouse (the grey has a little red in it).

Although I used a DSLR to set up the lights, the shots here were all taken on my Nikon F5 using Kodak Portra 400 (too fast but I didn’t have a single roll of Ektar in the house) and the Nikkor 135/2 DC.

Every shot was at 1/250th and f11 with a shoot through umbrella on the left at about 30% power and a reflected umbrella on the right at around 50%. Both strobes are 800W and the shoot through was probably set a little too high and too close.

I had a reflector on the right too to cover a wooden book shelf that was giving off a nasty yellow glow.

I haven’t retouched these as the exercise was about getting exposure and lighting right and I personally think by wife and kids all look fabulous in these images and don’t need me to fiddle with the pictures.

I could improve them to remove the glare and shine and this is something that the next set up is going to concentrate on.

I had Nathalie look directly into the umbrella on the above shot too so that you would get the stars in her pupils (although I have a lot to learn about framing from the fact that I managed to get the reflector into the picture).


And these two are the kids being monkies and not following direction….although asking Lola at just under 5 years old to shake her hair was probably pushing things a little too far.

Every time I push film a little further than I have before I am amazed at just how good it remains with the pictures always retaining some of the reality the digital removes.

Posted by simon on April 16, 2012

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