Thursday, October 13, 2011

It's all about me!

It's October and in the Dublin Camera Club this means the start of the Winter League where members are invited to submit 2 colour prints, 2 mono prints and 2 digital images (colour or mono) each month until February.  There are three levels - Beginner, Intermediate and Advanced.

In each month, the entries are judged by an external judge and points are awarded out of 50.  At the end of the competition the person with the most marks wins!  Simples!
The club retains the top 10% of each month for a "best of the best" in March.

The competition attracts a lot of entries and is keenly followed by all.  I have done well in the past especially when I was in the Intermediate section.  There's some new blood in the club these days and they are stirring the status quo.  It's amusing when some of the judges remark that some entries in the beginners' section would have beaten those in the advanced.

I was a bit pushed for time this month but still managed to enter in all three sections.
I had one entry in the mono section and two in the digital section.  The judging of those two sections was last Tuesday and I scored two 42s and one 47.  I wasn't overly surprised at the 42 marks but was secretly chuffed at the 47 since it was a self-portrait.

I had been in the studio waiting hopefully for my subject to turn up but, because of some communication confusion (mainly my fault), she didn't turn up so I spent a few hours tidying up the studio and 'playing' with the studio flash to educate myself.

On previous studio session I had been know to use 6 studio flashes - too complicated!  I decided I'd go back to the old army adage KISS - don't just keep it simple; Keep It Simple Stupid.
I went back to one light and a reflector.
Here's the setup ....

One Bowens unit on camera left with a 'kill-spill' reflector and a shoot-through umbrella.  On it's own there was two much shadow on the far side of my face so I set up a reflector of sorts - in this case a softbox that I positioned pretty close to my face to get the balance between the key and fill to 2 stops difference..
I kept the key light pretty close to me so that the light falloff at the white background was almost black, actually a dark grey.

I'm not advocating that everyone should adopt this as the standard to use but I'm thinking that it's not a bad place to start to build on.

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