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On Assignment: Archeologists

While driving back from an assignment in Western Maryland I noticed some archeologists digging near a zoning sign for a new intersection.

One of my favorite things about being a photojournalist is the "license to be curious" that comes with the job. So I stopped, got out, and ended up with a fairly interesting story.

The light was typical mid-day light for autumn, and it was coming from back right, which was the wrong direction. So I set up a strobe (pointed back at the sun) on the left, set it to full power and zeroed out my exposure at my camera's fastest synch speed (1/250, or 1/500, can't remember what body I was using.)

Then it was just a matter of moving the strobe forward or backward until I got a good balance with the sunlight, which acted as an opposing light in a cross light setup with the strobe.

I often do this rather than meter or dial down the strobe. Setting the camera to its high synch speed lets me use the least amount of strobe possible. Setting the strobe to full power (and moving it back until it balances) then gives me the greatest possible working distance.

One light, working against the sun, can give good shape and shadow detail to a whole scene if you shoot from the 45-degree angles from either the sun or the strobe.

Next: Cicada


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My current project: The Traveling Photograher's Manifesto