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Greetings from Frankfurt, Germany (well, greetings from the Frankfurt airport anyway, where I’m in between flights). I’m here with my brother Jeff, and my buddy Jeff Revell (of PhotoWalkPro fame), in route to Dubai, and I saw a number of comments about my post yesterday, so today I thought I’d answer a few, and post the photo above from the shoot.

When I started this series of shots, I did have a silver 30″ reflector just off camera to the left, but I thought it brightened the shadows too much (I could see really clearly because I was shooting tethered into Lightroom), so after just a few shots, we put down the reflector and just let the shadows add a little drama on the left side of her face.

Her hair is nicely backlit from the natural light coming in from the windows you see in the background, and without the flash she was pretty much a black silhouette (the flash actually fired in the shot you see here, but it was taken from where my laptop was at the time. When I did the shoot itself, I repositioned myself so I was standing in front of her).

Now, some quick answers to your posted questions:

  • The cord you see hanging from the lightstand is a Nikon SD-8A external battery pack for the SB-800, so it recycles faster (and it does—much faster), so you can keep right on shooting. Worth it’s weight in gold if you use SB-800s on location (it sells for around $139 on B&H Photo. Here’s the link).
  • The umbrella is a Westcott 43″ shoot-thru umbrella, which goes for around $20 (basically, the whole lighting set-up is the “David Hobby kit” David mentions on the Strobist blog).
  • How much post-processing in Photoshop? Very little. I started in Lightroom, then went to Photoshop for some minor blemish retouching, I brightened the whites of her eyes, added some Unsharp Mask, and I added a soft vignette effect around the edges of the photo. Took all of three minutes. (note: I was using Lighroom 1.4 during the shoot. Had I used Lightroom 2 Beta, I could have done all of it in Lighroom itself).
  • Yes, you absolutely can get the same effect using a tri-grip diffuser
  • My arm in the group shot is on David’s back. Nice try. ;-)

That’s it for today folks. Hope to have a little blog-a-roonie from Dubai, but I get there late tonight, so it’s hard to say when I’ll get to post. Have a kick butt day today! :)