I’m back in The Doodle Bar in London, but this time was a payback time. Jasmin call me and asked me if I could take few photographs of the bar as any way I owned her a favour for letting me use the bar’s location for my last photo shoot.
I arrived in the early morning as I had to run for another job in a less than hour time. The staff just arrived and they started organizing the bar as they had very busy comedy night the night before. Jasmin didn’t see my email that was letting her know that I’ll be arriving that same morning at this early hour, so she was running late. But this was fine with me as anyway I needed some time to have a look around and find out what exactly I could do in order to come up with additional fine professional looking images.
The bar itself looks very interesting but for me, from photographer point of view, the whole lighting situation appeared a bit flat, and this is because there isn’t direct access for the sunlight to enter the bar so all of the available light coming through the windows is indirect illumination, which is good thing but I still needed to create some bright and pleasing highlights.
Now I need to say that all I took with me this same morning was my camera (Canon 5D mk I) wide lens (Canon EF 17-40mm USM) and two speedlits (one 430ex and one 580ex) with my bellowed colour gels.
Ok let’s examine the picture below:
This is how the image looks without any additional lighting, illuminated only by the indirect daylight and the cast from all the ambient lights inside the bar. The camera settings here are: F/5.6, ISO 400 and shutter speed of 1/6 of a second and AWB.
My next step was to set up one Canon 430ex on a stand dressed with full CTO gel and positioned outside the bar and directed through one of the large windows. On the image bellow you can see how now I’m starting to get the so desired highlights from the directional light I created (same camera settings as the previous image).
OK now finally it started to feel like an early morning.
Then I wanted to increase the contrast a bit so to achieve this I dragged my shutter speed up and increased my flash output (Camera settings: F/5.6, ISO400 at shutter speed of 1/15).
From the above image you can see that I have achieved quite high contrast scene so in order to decrease the contrast I dragged my shutter speed back to 1/8 and by doing this you can see that now I had better balanced image.
Now I was happy with how my image looked, well I could’ve done even further adjustments if I had more equipment with me, so I continue with my work of photographing the interior of the bar. Then, while I was exploring different angles for my compositions, Jasmin showed up and we decided to create couple of images with people within the frame. So as I mentioned I was happy with my light but when we decided to add people within the scene I wanted to create a bit more dynamic light so just to break the scene and to create a touch of contrast between my objects.
And honestly I didn’t have much left in my back, so I took my last Canon 580ex mounted it on a stand and dressed in full cut of blue gel. For the image below I also moved my 430ex with the full CTO inside the bar and positioned behind me bouncing at the wall on a full power and I placed my blue gelled flash outside the bar aimed at one of the windows from the back. The setup for the last image from this post was similar to the first one the only difference was that I used grid on my CTO flash from camera right which was directed straight into Jasmin and the board with the drawings.
So this is one good example of how two small flashes can dramatically enhance the quality of otherwise a quite flat location setup.