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Monday, February 18, 2013

Nativity scene from a Strobist point of view

When I saw this nativity scene in a small church in Spain I thought it could be a nice subject to light with a couple of speedlights. The church was empty; we were the only visitors so I decided to give it a try. After a bunch of non successful attempts I switched a bit the concept and went for a harsh backlighting and the whole mood of the scene changed.

I placed an SB800 on its small stand on the extreme left corner of the image gelled with a full CTO, wanted to recreate a sunset light as it could be seen in the region. The other SB800 was on my left side too with a Lastolite Softbox III in order to open the shadows on the figures and trying to illuminate a bit the inside of the shack. Couldn’t achieve that hence I asked my daughter to hold my led lamp and point at the Child Jesus, reduced the shutter speed to 1/20sec at f11 and took few shots until I managed to get some light on the main scene.

F11 might seem a bit too much but I guessed this would give me quite a decent depth of field, which is what eventually happened. Thus I had to push my ISO to 500. One extra flash would have given me a better control on the shadows of the figures closer to the lens but that’s what I had with me and I tried to get the best out of it

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