Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Embrace the Weather

One of the truisms of working in Whistler is that often you're not dealing with the best of weather conditions. The top photo was probably the hottest day of the year, while the bottom photo had to be the coldest and wettest of the summer season. I like to emphasize the weather in my shots, as it's a big part of day (it was raining and really cold when I got married).

In the top shot, the guys had picked up a box of the worst sun glasses I'd ever seen at some dollar store. The lenses were like polished mirrors, and I thought that they might make a cool looking photo.

The lower shot was totally the opposite. It had been raining hard all day, and the temperature was nearly freezing. We had been running from one covered location for photos to another all day. I don't know where the umbrella came from, but the flash of red against the green background really made things pop. The couple was literally running from the photo location to the lodge for dinner, and I was able to grab one frame that worked from the sequence. Since I was out in the open to get the correct angle, I was completely soaked by the time I made it back to the lodge.

Tech Stuff:
Both shots are fairly simple, with no extra lighting added, and really not a lot of planning either.

I used my fisheye for the distorting effect on the top photo, and asked all the guys to look straight into the sun. I was at a right angle to the low afternoon sun, which gives the guys a real chiseled, macho look. The glasses were so crappy that they could only look into the sun for a few seconds at a time.

The lower shot was done with my old Nikon D2x camera at ISO 800, which is right at the end of the line of how far you can push the camera sensitivity (with the D700 I'm using now, it can shoot nearly perfectly at ISO 1600). Even then, the shutter speed was still about 1/60th of a second, with the lens wide open at f/2.8. The 70-200 telephoto zoom has an image stabilizing feature that I hardly ever use, as it costs you some image quality. However, at the time I figured there was no way I was going to get anything without the stabilizing, so I flipped it on. The shutter speed was so slow that the rain in the photo has turned into long streaks.

Camera: Nikon D2x (both shots)
Lens: 10.5 mm DX, f/2.8 fisheye (top), 70-200 mm AF-S f/2.8 (lower)

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