2000 miles from home

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2000 miles from home

The story behind this image

and the camera settings and

techniques used to obtain it.

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2000 miles from home

Camera Settings

Camera - Canon 60D,  Lens - Canon EF 70-200mm  F2.8L ISii USM @ 70mm

Metering mode - Spot metered (from the sky near the sun)

Exposure mode - Manual (M) , Exposure - F9 - 1/200 s - ISO 200

Off camera speed light fired ETTL-ii with zero flash compensation - set high and left from the subject.

Shot in RAW - Adjusted, cropped and sharpened in Adobe camera raw and photoshop.

The story behind the shot

Igor (seen here in the photo above) drove his VW Beetle all the way from Russia to spend the summer on Rhodes.

We decided to try and capture a shot that showed off the car whilst at the same time hinted at the long journey that had been accomplished.

I tried to capture this feeling by having Igor pose by the car whilst looking wistfully in the direction of his distant homeland - which just happened to be in Northwest and thus perfect for the Rhodian sunset.

Approach to exposing the shot.

Having set up the composition, I wanted to retain the rich colours of the sunset  - but knowing to avoid a silhouette I would need to use flash to expose for my primary subjects (Igor and the car) I knew that I had to keep the shutter speed under the max sync speed of 1/250th second (as my speedlight doesn't support hi-speed sync.)

My approach was therefore to first establish and ambient exposure for the background with a shutter speed set to 1/200s.  

To do this I set the exposure mode to shutter priority (Tv) and ISO at the lowest setting of 100. Then with the metering mode set to spot metering,took an exposure reading from a bright area of sky near to the setting sun. This revealed an aperture value of F6.3

I already had in mind that an aperture value of around F8 would give me the optimum depth of field and sharpness that I desired. So I reduced the aperture by increasing the f-number by three clicks (1 full stop) to F9 and then to compensate for the resultant underexposure increased the ISO by three clicks from 100 to 200.  I could have chosen to reduce the shutter speed by one stop (from 1/200s to 1/100s) but as I was hand holding I chose to keep the shutter speed as high as possible to avoid any camera shake or motion blur from my subject.

Thus arrived at my ambient exposure setting of F9 and 1/200s and ISO 200.

For the flash exposure I set the speedlight on a tripod mounted around 3 meters camera left and and a little forward of the subject. I fired the flash via wireless activation from the on-camera pop-up flash. I used ETTL - ii exposure and afterI reviewing a test shot on the camera's l.c.d screen decided that no flash exposure compensation was required.

Developing the shot

I was pretty happy with the exposure and composition of the final image as captured (see above), but felt that it lacked a little "punch" and vibrance.

I therefore used Adobe lightroom to significantly boost "snap" by increasing contrast and clarity.

I also increased vibrance and substantially adjusted shadows and highlights until I achieved the final look that I desired.

The actual settings used can be seen in the screen shot below.


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