Saturday, February 9, 2008

San Jose Strobist Meetup

Strobist San Jose-3

Met up with a bunch of Bay Area Strobists today, we took over a church gym graciously procured by one of the members, and proceeded to shoot pretty much everything in sight. The group convened about 10am, and after a few introductory words by Allan Chen, (Kaiyen) the group spread out and built several very cool lighting setups. Click through for more shots and details.

One of the coolest, in my opinion, was an elaborate still-life setup for Greg's black, almost perfectly reflective guitar, with white trim and brass metalwork and details. Overall lighting was achieved with a 300ws head into a 3'x4' softbox overhead, a huge reflector panel opposite, a snooted SB with a deep purple gel for the background, and a snooted SB gelled yellow to bring out some color in the brass. Controlling reflections on this guitar was quite a challenge, as it's basically a big contorted multi-colored mirror. Greg's selling it on eBay if anybody's interested.

Setup #2 started out simple enough, a basic little softbox overhead.
Strobist San Jose-1
Then we added some rim lights. Then colored the background blue with another gelled flash. Then a reflector below. Then we switched from blue to orange on the B/G. Then we added about five more CTO's,because one just made it look puke-y and cranked up the B/G flash. Then switched the softbox for a shoot through umbrella, moved in closer, added an assistant holding another Vivitar 285 on a boom for a hairlight, and shot the whole thing with the 70-200 from about 30 feet away through an 18" gap under the umbrella. Simple, really. Five separate strobes, four lightstands, a boom, a reflector, and an assistant. Everybody's got that in their camera bag, right? Several others used the setup, with different colors and adjustments, to good effect.

It was decided we needed a group photo, of course, and Evan (ECPhoto), my unfortunate model above, proposed a truly nuclear setup, essentially utilizing EVERY SINGLE LIGHT we had in attendance. I'm pretty sure the total was somewhere around 40 speedlights, and a couple of 300 w/s heads. We were running in the vicinity of f/22 on the main lights, and my eyebrows are still smoking...It came out looking like this:

IMG_3500, originally uploaded by ecphoto.

Of course, with that much light to throw around, we couldn't let it go to waste, so Allan (Kaiyen) kindly offered to jump off a chair repeatedly while doing his best "Guitar Hero" pose until a moment before he landed. But enough words. Here's Allan Chen, lookin' like a rockstar!
Strobist San Jose-7
Had a great time all. We're definitely going to be doing this one again. See ya soon!

And thanks to Bill (StockPhotoJourney), who registered for us! It just links to the Flickr page for the group right now, but how cool to have our own URL. Plus it's a lot easier to type than

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