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Thursday, April 29, 2010

Survivors - Weatherproof, Whenever, Whatever

 Survivor - this concept was the main reason for returning to Fuwairit.  We were hoping for a sunny day but rain clouds and natural breeze provided an even more dramatic effect. 

Bad weather, for most people, is bad news.  But bad weather never really stopped me from taking pictures, especially if it's something planned for some time.  All it does is present new lighting challenges.  Remember the first trip to Fuwairit, when the day was gloomy and ambient lighting was generally flat?  I solved that with off-camera flash.

Two weeks later (and two weeks of planning as well) on the day of our return trip to Fuwairit, we faced nearly the same weather condition while we're still in Doha.  My companions were starting to doubt whether we should go ahead or cancel this trip.  I really hate cancelling a trip at the last minute especially when so much planning has been done.  Along the way, rain started to pour, there was even a portion of the trip where there appeared to be a sandstorm.  I did not let that stop us.

Of course, we came here with more concepts than just "Survivor" concept.  We had two weeks of planning and it was a long drive to get here so we made sure to maximize our trip.

It was still cloudy when we reached Fuwairit but the rocks were dry so it has not rained there yet.  It was cloudy but not flat cloudy with the sun peeking through from time to time.  Raindrops did fell from time to time but nothing heavy - nothing that our "non-weather sealed" equipments could not take.  So we went ahead with the photoshoot.  We basically, used 2 strobes most of the time with varied positions.  The clouds were more interesting and provided some dramatic effects.  Wind blew hard, but not so hard, just enough to give some effect on the models' hair.

The natural rocks of Fuwairit, and the dark clouds in the background, the wild environment, contrasted with the model's "city boy" outfit.  Add a couple of strobes and voila!!

I'm glad we did not cancelled this photoshoot.  Both myself and the models liked the results.  They are perhaps some of the best I've ever done.  More important, new things were learned from this experience and we did had a lot of fun.  We took shots with no plans of stopping - until it became impossibly dark for my 40D to focus accurately and capture acceptable ambient brightness without bringing down the shutter speed slower than 1 second.

So the next time you're faced with a bad weather, remember these:
1. There is no weather condition (ambient light) that a pair of speedlites cannot improve.
2. Your cameras (and it's accessories) are not as fragile as you think.  You'll be surprised on how tough they really are. 

Even with just one light, photos looked awesome.

Learn to light at any light.  There is a certain sense of freedom when you have that ability to solve problems in lighting conditions.  You have control over light - and light has no control over you.

We are weatherproof - shooting whenever, whatever.  Rain or shine, cloudy or sunny.

Update 03 May 2010:
See the photos larger in the new photo blog --> Lighting Adventures.  Tip: Hit F11 for full screen viewing.


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