Research: Set-Up and Equipment

When researching the set up of a photo-shoot I came across this time-lapse film of someone (T.J. Hamilton) setting up and collapsing the equipment required:

As stated in the publishers notes for the video the equipment used is:

  • White seamless paper backdrop
  • 4 Paul C. Buff White lighting strobes
  • 1 Nikon SB26 for a hair light
  •  Triggering strobe using radio remote

Our Photo-Shoot: Set-Up and Equipment

Whilst we could not obtain the same equipment as that shown in the YouTube video, we are able to use similar equipment available in the department under supervision, which consists of:

  • Canon EOS SD Mark III camera
  • Photography umbrella (acts as a light diffuser/spreader)
  • Continuous flash light
  • Wireless trigger linked to the flash light
  • Light stand
  • White/Black seamless paper backdrop

Both Matt and I have decided to use the white backdrop for the images intended for the magazine front cover, because the background will be cropped out when using the photo editing software ‘Adobe Photoshop CS3’. The black backdrop we preferred for the poster as we both intended to keep it when editing the image for the ancillary text, as well as it being easier to create deeper and more contrasting shadows.

The following photos show Matt and I setting up and testing the equipment before the photo-shoot:

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Research: Camera Settings

In preparation for the shoot I have researched camera settings including aperture, focal length, and shutter speed, and how these features would affect the images we want to create. The following information was largely found using and

  • The shutter speed is the amount of time the light can enter the camera, in other words it is the exposure time. The faster the shutter speed the less exposure time the camera has to an image. A rule of thumb to calculate a shutter speed to avoid blurring when taking handheld images is for the shutter speed to be 1/focal length; e.g. focal length = 200mm, shutter speed = 1/200s. The following table has been taken from the first link provided above presenting the various shutter speed settings and the type of image they are most appropriate for:

Shutter Speed

  • Aperture is the area through which the light can pass through the camera lens. The area increases as the f-stop value decreases. Each time the f-stop value halves in value, the area quadruples. The following table has been taken from the first link provided above presenting the relationship between the f-stop values and the area light can pass through the camera lens (combined with the shutter speed each row results in the same exposure):

f-stop values

  • “The focal length of a lens determines its angle of view, and thus also how much the subject will be magnified for a given photographic position”. Advise given by the site is that when increasing the focal length it is advised to decrease the shutter speed, to minimise the probability of blurring caused by shaky hands when taking photos using a handheld camera. The following table has been taken from the second link provided above presenting the typical uses and terminology for each group of lens focal lengths (specifically for a 35mm equivalent cameras):

focal length

Our Photo-Shoot: Camera Settings

For the photo-shoot we used the following settings for the photos intended for our magazine front covers (those with the white background):

  • Shutter Speed: 1/168s
  • Aperture: f/8
  • Focal Length: 35mm; 40mm; 45mm

For the photo-shoot we used the following settings for the photos intended for our posters (those with the black background):

  • Shutter Speed: 1/168s
  • Aperture: f/4; f/6.3; f/7.1; f/8; f/10; f/18; f/20
  • Focal Length: 24mm; 28mm; 32mm; 40mm; 45mm; 47mm; 58mm; 67mm; 70mm; 75mm; 80mm; 82mm; 84mm

We experimented more with the aperture and focal lengths for the photos intended for the poster because we wanted to achieve a variety of shadow depths and contrasts, which we achieved to various extents as seen in the images below.

Our Photo-Shoot

For the photo-shoot we asked Callum Perry, Jack Tulloch, and Ed Ray in person to arrive in the Media classroom at 15.30 on 10th February 2015. Both Callum and Jack attended, however Ed had last-minute personal issues which meant he could not. Despite this we held the photo-shoot, taking both individual photos of Callum and Jack, and shots of them together.

The following 69 images are the photos we took of the two (including the less on-task shots):

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