The Senior Picture

Christmas has come and gone for another year. Instead of spending a fortune shopping or completely ignoring the gifting this year, I decided to do something different. Since I’ve been doing more and more photography, I took an image I’d recently taken, tossed on an appropriate thought, printed a bunch of them, stuck them in frames, and gave them to my family members. They loved them, more for the fact that I created them I think than any real artistic value. But it was fun.

Xmas Chard

So there I am at the party when my sister mentions that a friend’s daughter is graduating from HS this year and would I be interested in taking some “senior pictures.” I’m pretty sure this is different from the actual graduation picture. I believe these are shots that they can include in the yearbook, give to friends, what have you, in addition to the “official” head shot.

To be honest, I said no at first. I suggested they hire a professional to make sure it came out right. They said no, my sister would be taking them with a point and shoot.

My sister is a talented woman and I love her dearly. She may be a very talented photographer though I haven’t seen any of her work. It was the point and shoot thing that got me. Mind you I use one all the time. I like them. I carry mine everywhere. I still think it’s a little hard to control the results, though I’ve gotten some nice images from them…

Olympia WA

The upshot is I agreed to take the images. Of course I don’t have the equipment for the task. Currently I’m shooting a Nikon D80 and generally use their 18-200 VR lens. I’ve got an SB-800, but only one, and not much else. What to do…?

Well the last time I did a favor for someone, I ended up buying the SB-800. A friend wanted me to shoot his living room after it had been refurbished so he could send the images to his partner for her approval. I knew enough to know I’d need more light, hence the SB-800. The images came out okay, not brilliant but up to the task. Of course the favor cost me $300, but I did get a great flash out of the deal, and thanks from my friend.

Let me state here, just in case this is actually read, I’m not complaining. The flash was on my list of things to get and all this did was push it up a month or two.

Of course having only one SB-800 isn’t very flexible. I got to thinking I need more light and need to learn something about lighting. I discovered Strobist.com.

I still haven’t heard if I’m going to be allowed to take the pictures, but just in case…I’ve gone hog wild and ended up ordering…

  • Another SB-800 (Hey! It increases the rebate, so there!
  • Two light stands and adapters
  • Four umbrellas (two came with the stands [white], two were added [silvered])
  • Cheap eBay radio slaves (just in case the we’re outdoors and the sun overpowers Nikon’s CLS)

Overkill? Maybe, maybe not. However, it’s another case of moving things up the list a bit. Since I’ve found the Strobist.com folks I’ve been on a lighting bent and realize that it’s probably far cheaper than getting faster glass and perhaps more importantly, even faster glass won’t put light where it’s not.

Anyway, now that I actually have a topic to talk about, I’ll see if I can keep this blog going for a bit, at least until I take those darn photos!

Aloha! Bob