POTW - 2/2/7

Yeah, I am a little behind. It's like they say: Some days you're the windshield, and some days you're the bug.

This week I was the bug.

What I need is a long, protracted - but not too severe - illness to give me time to catch up on all of the little things I seem to be a wee bit behind on. About three weeks in bed with a laptop, wi-fi and a CD burner would do it.

But it's Friday, and Friday means POTW. Even if it is late Friday night.

And before I start, a little reminder: This is just one guy's opinion. Nothing is gospel here, and any other person might choose an entirely different set of photos. My goal is to highlight cool pix, kickin' light and/or different techniques.

As Dave Letterman would say, it's only an exhibition, not a competition. So please, no wagering.

Leading off this week is a beautiful white-on-white flower shot.

Art decided to go the counterintuitive route by matching the subject to the background and separating the delicate subject using total control of two almost identical tones.

The trick, of course, is lighting on two planes. Setting the background at blowaway white left the photographer the ability to separate the slightly off-white flower with ease.

Okay, I'll grant you that this next one, by Jeremey, is a very simple photo.

But take a moment to look at how subtle and three-dimensional the lighting is. He happened to do it with a few Alien Bees, but there is no reason that it couldn't have been done with SB's.

Soft light from upper front right, with two gridded side lights. A background light finishes off the look.

But the key here is as much the relative levels of the light as it is the softness and directions. The light does not call attention to itself so much as subtly reveal and define the subject.

Looks like the foundation for a high-end European advertising shot.

And finally this seemingly ordinary group shot, which I will admit is not a show-stopper. But I simply wanted to stick Chris Parker's photo up as an example of just how big a group shot pair of SB's could pull off.

No, it ain't a majestic tableau. But it is a reminder to let yourself reach out a little further than you might think to take advantage of what a couple of speedlights can do.

Like, say, lighting fifty six people in a big room.


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