Never delete a photo on location

Posted: May 7, 2011 in Photography

The Whoopsie Daisies Strobist info:Canon 7D, 10-22mm EF-s lens, sb-28 behind band camera left bare, sb-28 camera right bounced off umbrella for heavy fill, 430exII in front of band camera left bounced through umbrella as Key, Canon 430exII camera left pointed at red curtain. 🙂   I was just going through some band photos I shot from a few weeks ago.  Here are The Whoopsie Daisies an indie-rock trio from Woodenville Washington. Do yourself a favor and check out their song, “Rick Steeves Smokes Pot”.

I noticed that some of the best photographs are shot in between my posed setups.  I’ll actually say that half of my best are in between poses.  This photo shoot took place at The Mix in Georgetown Seattle. A cool tavern that focuses on both local and touring artists and doubles as a professional recording Studio. From their lips, “We are strong advocates of artist development and strive to work with each artist on marketing and promotion, to ensure the best possible turnout”. In my 4th pass through the photos I took there, I came across this not so obvious gem. Nate Fisher front manCanon 7D, 24-70mm 2.8 lens, sb-28 behind band camera left gridded, sb-28 behind band camera right gridded, 430exII in front of band camera left bounced through umbrella as Key, 🙂 I try to make sure I come away from every shoot with a little more information or insight on how I might approach my shoot the next time around.  This gives me another piece to the puzzle that makes for a perfect shoot.  I shot this entire set tethered to my computer so that i would have a better idea on face expressions and actual exposure as it can be quite difficult to see these important details on the back of any camera lcd screen.  I thought this was fail-safe.  I was wrong….

If you own a Canon as I do it comes with software utilities,  two of which are called, Digital Photo Professional and EOS Utility.  These programs combined let you connect your DSLR camera to your computer and either control your camera from the computer or shoot and see the results immediately on your computer screen, or both.  If you haven’t thrown these disks away already, you owe it to yourself to check this stuff out!  One word of warning(several actually);  The image that you preview on your computer is a Jpeg not the raw file which means the image you see on the computer is actually processed quite a bit.  It’s not the actual image your going to see when you get home and preview those raw files in Adobe Bridge and Photoshop.  The images that looked nice and bright on location were actually 2 stops darker than they should have been!  Lesson learned.

1. Use your light meter if you have one The light meter won’t lie(some need to be calibrated correctly). I found out recently that a lot of cheaper manufactures of umbrellas buy actual rain umbrellas, yes, rain umbrellas and fit them with their white silver and black photo material. The main concern with the design is not that they reflect the light evenly and effectively, but that the material stretches enough to give that curve shape while still maintaining structural integrity so as not to break during use. I invite you to take your light meter and hold it where you think your light is concentrated. Then move your light meter both above this spot and below it. You may come to find your light is actually concentrated where you weren’t expecting it to be.

2. If you do want an accurate preview of your tethered shot on location, open your photo up in camera raw, Lightroom or Photoshop itself.

3. Read your historgram on the back of your camera! Somehow I always forget about this handy tool. It really does give a lot of real world data!

4. Don’t delete photos! If you have to, buy an extra card to store more photos or if you’re lucky enough to have a laptop to take on your shoots. “dump” your photos to your computer’s hard drive

If I had deleted the photos I didn’t think would work I wouldn’t have found that last treasure and I actually wouldn’t have used one of their favorite photos. I had to use faces they liked from poses they didn’t and Photoshop them on poses they did like. Non of these examples are shown in this post but the fact of the matter is I wouldn’t have been able to provide that option had I deleted the photos I didn’t think I would use on location. Happy shooting!

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