October 19, 2012

Nicole—Part 3

As I said in Nicole—Part 1, our original purpose of this shoot was to rip-off Joe McNally’s photograph of a woman playing a saxophone on a beach at sunset.  I forgot to say that I think this is a great photo, especially when in comes to mixing ambient and flash exposures.
We started our shoot just as Joe did—having Nicole in the water with the ocean and sky in the background.  Unfortunately, I did not recognize that our backdrop was not the same.  We did not have the sun setting behind Nicole and we did not have the rich colors in the sky behind.  Yet, we still set-up the shot as it was.
Overall, the light on Nicole is nice, but the photo as a whole does not work. Nicole is properly exposed but the background is under-exposed by about an f-stop.   There is no pop to the photo.  There is no compelling composition to make you study the photo.  And, finally, it lacks gesture.
I show today’s photo to show where we started so that you can better see how the session evolved.   
Camera settings:  Nikon D4, 85mm f/1.4, ISO 200, f/6.7 at 1/60th of a seconds with an Elincrhom Quadra flash on a pole above and to the camera’s left.
Post Processing:  
Lightroom 4—applied Portrait preset during import, set white and black points and then applied various Lightroom presets to the original picture.


  1. I agree not much here.

  2. a low impact foto. not sure why you included this one.

  3. Looks a lot like many of my flash photo, which, by the way, is not good.

  4. I cannot believe that people are commenting on this not being very good when you say such in your writeup. Please people read the words that are above. Still looking at this photo and looking at Joe's and considering your bad sky I can honestly say, your photo needs lots of work.

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