Saturday, August 22, 2009

Tourist Map Lighting

I have just returned from a trip to Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia and will share some pictures I took there with you, starting with this quick portrait. We visited the telecommunication tower in Kuala Lumpur from where there is an astonishing view on the numerous skyscrapers. I was traveling light and had only my Canon 430EX II on-camera flash. The direct flash looked very ugly in this situation, no details in the object's face and numerous reflections in the glass behind. The ceiling was too high to bounce the light over my left or right shoulder as I needed to properly expose the background as well. In this situation, I would normally use my reflector to bounce my on-camera flash off. However, what to do if no reflector is available? I suggested another friend of mine to take off his T-shirt and hold it up but he (as expected) refused :-) So we were looking for something else to reflect the light off and at the end used the tourist map of Kuala Lumpur. See the attached photo of this free and highly portable reflector setup. The map was placed relatively close to the object's face and we obtained very nice directional lighting emphasizing the feel of depth in the face.

I would also like to discuss the composition of this photo. Note how the space is divided into two spaces of about the same size. On the left part of the photo are Petronas Twin Towers, nicely framed in the glass window frames. I placed my friend's face into a triangle in the right part of the photo and his right hand connects the two spaces. The uniform colors add to the harmony of the whole composition. Camera spec: Canon 40D with Tokina 11-16mm 2,8 at 16mm, F8 @ 1/250, ISO 200, Canon 430EX II on-camera flash bounced off a tourist map to the left.

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