Greg, Shrimp Boat Owner and Volvo Marine Supplier

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volvo_800wThis is Greg, he owns 15 shrimp boats and docks them at the shrimp basin in Brownsville, TX. Shrimping is big business here on the Gulf coast of Texas.

I was asked to create a photograph for a magazine that the Marine Division of Volvo puts out. It’s all about the people who use Volvo engines in their boats. Unfortunately, I only had a two day notice before the magazine’s deadline. And, guess what? Yep, it was raining both days so all the shrimp boats were out on the gulf, netting shrimp. What’s good for shrimpers isn’t always great for photographers!

Since Greg also owns a marine supply store there at the basin (where he furnishes supplies and repairs to all the shrimp boats and some recreational boats as well) we decided to do the photograph indoors.

I used two Profoto B1 heads for lighting, one on Greg and one skimming across the photo from left to right in the background with a soft white umbrella. The new TTL metering capability of the B1 for Nikon cameras is so cool — I was able to control each head individually right from the camera which meant that I could make all lighting power and light ratio adjustments without having to run back and forth to each light and adjust it individually. What a blessing, not to mention really speeding things up.

When setting up lighting for a shot where ambient light is going to play a part, it’s a good idea to manually establish the correct exposure for the background first. Set this exposure in your camera on manual, then use the TTL capability of the flash to do the rest. This works beautifully with speedlights, too. If you do this it is much easier to balance the background brightness with the subject lighting by adjusting the shutter speed of your camera and not touching the aperture.

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