Categories
WV State U

College Graduation and Senior Exhibit Art Show

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Chad Foreman Senior Picture. Here it is, the end of my formal education.

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College Graduation

College Graduation finally arrived. At the age of 44, it was truly welcome. My college journey began in the Autumn of 1992. I didn’t expect to go to college that semester but since I didn’t leave for the Army because of my accident, I figured I might as well knock out some classes. What else would I do with my time? Back then I was at Columbus State Community College in Ohio. I chose Landscape Design as my major because it was the most creative class they had at that time. Some of those classes counted towards my graduation from West Virginia State University, some 26 years later.

A couple detours later, mainly working as a whitewater raft guide and video kayaker, I returned to college in 2006. This time the New River Community and Technical College in Beckley. I earned my Associate of Science in Communications Technology. That was a great introduction to all things digitally creative. In 2008 I went to West Virginia State University Institute of Technology, or Tech for short, in Montgomery, WV. I was a Graphic Design major but dropped out because I was getting freelance graphic design jobs. Why should I pay to do a skill when someone can pay me?

[/fusion_text][/fusion_builder_column][fusion_builder_column type=”1_3″ layout=”1_1″ background_position=”left top” background_color=”” border_size=”” border_color=”” border_style=”solid” border_position=”all” spacing=”yes” background_image=”” background_repeat=”no-repeat” padding_top=”” padding_right=”” padding_bottom=”” padding_left=”” margin_top=”0px” margin_bottom=”0px” class=”” id=”” animation_type=”” animation_speed=”0.3″ animation_direction=”left” hide_on_mobile=”small-visibility,medium-visibility,large-visibility” center_content=”no” last=”no” min_height=”” hover_type=”none” link=””][fusion_imageframe image_id=”2047″ style_type=”none” stylecolor=”” hover_type=”none” bordersize=”” bordercolor=”” borderradius=”” align=”none” lightbox=”yes” gallery_id=”college-graduation” lightbox_image=”https://chadforeman.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/20180618graduation/Foreman-photography-college-graduation001.jpg” alt=”The Candy Girl. Midterm project for my Advanced Digital Photography Class” link=”” linktarget=”_self” hide_on_mobile=”small-visibility,medium-visibility,large-visibility” class=”” id=”” animation_type=”” animation_direction=”left” animation_speed=”0.3″ animation_offset=””]https://chadforeman.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/20180618graduation/Foreman-photography-college-graduation001.jpg[/fusion_imageframe][fusion_text]

The Candy Girl. Midterm project for my Advanced Digital Photography Class

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A Roundabout By Design

Skipping ahead, Graphic Design began to loose its appeal to me. I felt chained to a computer screen all day, every day. I noticed that I spent a lot of time editing photos of other photographers. Most of them were enthusiasts who volunteered their services in exchange for whatever. I knew that I needed to pursue my photography dreams.

In a roundabout way, grants and scholarships made finishing my education affordable. I discovered West Virginia State University had a program where I could study photography. It would be an hour and a half drive one way to class but I reached a tipping point in my life where I felt like the importance of finishing what I had started 26 years ago trumped the time I’d be spending in my car.

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“Come Home Safely.” Final project for my Advanced Digital Photography Class

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Preparation for my Senior Exhibit

When we were in grade school teachers prepared us for high school. When we were in high school they prepared us for college. College was to prepare us for a career. The culmination of that entire experience was my senior exhibit. It would represent a little bit of everything I had studied since elementary school. Now it would all tie together in a show to be displayed at the Davis Hall Fine Arts Gallery.

The previous semester I worked with my advisor to come up with the theme for my show. The theme would be represented in a cohesive body of work. My theme was photography in the style of Norman Rockwell. Norman Rockwell’s style has been described as an idyllic, stylized portrayal of classic Americana. His painting evoke emotion because almost anyone can relate to them. The facial expressions, the dramatic lighting, the scenes and the backgrounds. Everything in his paintings lend a part to the story.

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“Show Me The Stars” digital composite image with dynamic lighting. The concept for this image is a young lady from the city goes to the mountains to see the stars for her very first time. I used off camera flash and light modifiers to create the dynamic lighting. After my models left, I lit the background using the flashes with colored gels. All 4 images were composited to create the final photograph you see here.

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Photography Inspired by Norman Rockwell

This is what I tried to create. Not exact replicas of Rockwell’s paintings, but something in his style with my own creative twist. I kept the themes simple. Two of my images I had captured in the previous semester, Autumn of 2017. You can read more about those images in my last blog post, but I will include them at the end in case you don’t have time to read about it.

In that previous semester I was working on creating images with dramatic light, often called “cinematic lighting” because it has high contrast and directs the viewer’s attention immediately to the subject. Techniques I was using I learned from Chris Knight and his most recent book, “The Dramatic Portrait.” For those images my goal was to get it right in camera and not use any image manipulation in Photoshop. A few minor adjustments were required but nothing extensive.

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“Prince.” digital composite photograph. Made at the Prince Amtrak Station in Prince, West Virginia. This image was lit with off camera flash. My camera remained on a tripod. After my models left, I photographed the train station, using my speedlites to light the station how I saw fit. A train just happened to go by at that point. All images were composited in Photoshop.

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Digital Technology in Photography

This semester, being that my specialty is Digital Photography, I chose to take full advantage of the digital technologies available. That includes using off-camera flash to generate dynamic light on my subjects as well as compositing multiple images in Photoshop. This was accomplished by shooting the same scene on a tripod in multiple images. Some images had my models in them, some didn’t. In some I took my speed lights and lit separate parts of the scene individually.

The frames were made from discarded pallets. This is something I’ve been working on for a couple of years now and I saw it as an opportunity to step up my game to the next level. The frames came out great and I am very happy with them.

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“The Filling Station.” Nostalgic Dramatic Digital Composite in the style of Norman Rockwell. The Wild Blue Adventure Company in Fayetteville, WV was kind enough to allow me to use their “filling station” to shoot this photograph, along with their 1940 Packard.

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Graduation Day

My show was a blast. We had a nice sized crowd and I was able to talk about my work to the viewers. What a great experience.

Graduation day finally came. It was quite a heavy experience to say the least. All of the memories of school over the years flooded through my head as I walked into the auditorium. My mom, sister Carrie and Uncle Mike were in attendance. It was really special to look up and see them in the audience.

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Categories
Art 452 Advanced Digital Photography Uncategorized WV State U

Advanced Digital Photography

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Senior Year of College:

Autumn of 2017 was the beginning of my senior year of college. At the age of 43, I was excited. It would be the last time I experienced that “Back to school” feeling. The feeling that only comes this time of year. The warmth of the sun is comforting as it is a bit lower in the sky. Cool nights in jeans and hoodies. The grass smells like football. A few leaves have already fallen from the trees. We’ve played our hearts out all summer long and don’t mind going inside. The smell of a freshly-sharpened pencil. Ready to draw or take notes.

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Advanced Digital Photography Class

This semester was also my last Digital Photography Studio Arts class: Advanced Digital Photography. The instructor for this class was Professor Josh Martin. Josh was also my advisor. The goal of this class is to begin to develop the concept and work for my senior exhibit. I was particularly excited about working on my senior exhibit because that would be the last major project of my formal education.

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Self-Designed Curriculum

One cool thing about Art 452, Advanced Digital Photography, is that I got to work with the instructor to develop a curriculum that met my own particular goals. At that time I was working on some very specific photography techniques. I read a book by Chris Knight entitled “The Dramatic Portrait.” In the book I learned how to create drama with high-contrast between highlights and shadows. To do this, I used a light meter with my off-camera flash system to light specific parts of my composition at varying light ratios in order to direct the viewer within the photograph.

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Working Through Ideas

I worked through a few different ideas before I finally decided on a topic for my senior exhibit. The first idea was to do “Whitewater interpretations of Tarot cards.” I’ve always been fascinated by the magic and intrigue of the Tarot. Since 1997, I’ve been fascinated with whitewater. This seemed like an interesting way to blend them. After I did my first Tarot card, “Queen of Wands,” I realized it wasn’t what I was trying to do. The image, which required extensive Photoshop manipulation, was not exactly what I was going for as a photographer. It was creative and artistic but ended up looking a little too cartoony for what I wanted in my photography.

[/fusion_text][/fusion_builder_column][fusion_builder_column type=”1_3″ layout=”1_3″ spacing=”” center_content=”no” link=”” target=”_self” min_height=”” hide_on_mobile=”small-visibility,medium-visibility,large-visibility” class=”” id=”” background_color=”” background_image=”” background_position=”left top” background_repeat=”no-repeat” hover_type=”none” border_size=”0″ border_color=”” border_style=”solid” border_position=”all” animation_type=”” animation_direction=”left” animation_speed=”0.3″ animation_offset=”” last=”no”][fusion_imageframe image_id=”2026″ style_type=”none” stylecolor=”” hover_type=”none” bordersize=”” bordercolor=”” borderradius=”” align=”none” lightbox=”yes” gallery_id=”advanced digital photography final” lightbox_image=”” alt=”” link=”” linktarget=”_self” hide_on_mobile=”small-visibility,medium-visibility,large-visibility” class=”” id=”” animation_type=”” animation_direction=”left” animation_speed=”0.3″ animation_offset=””]https://chadforeman.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/05/advanced-digital-photography/stella-military-portrait.jpg[/fusion_imageframe][/fusion_builder_column][fusion_builder_column type=”1_3″ layout=”1_3″ spacing=”” center_content=”no” link=”” target=”_self” min_height=”” hide_on_mobile=”small-visibility,medium-visibility,large-visibility” class=”” id=”” background_color=”” background_image=”” background_position=”left top” background_repeat=”no-repeat” hover_type=”none” border_size=”0″ border_color=”” border_style=”solid” border_position=”all” animation_type=”” animation_direction=”left” animation_speed=”0.3″ animation_offset=”” last=”no”][fusion_imageframe image_id=”2023″ style_type=”none” stylecolor=”” hover_type=”none” bordersize=”” bordercolor=”” borderradius=”” align=”none” lightbox=”yes” gallery_id=”advanced digital photography final” lightbox_image=”” alt=”” link=”” linktarget=”_self” hide_on_mobile=”small-visibility,medium-visibility,large-visibility” class=”” id=”” animation_type=”” animation_direction=”left” animation_speed=”0.3″ animation_offset=””]https://chadforeman.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/05/advanced-digital-photography/photography-military-costumes.jpg[/fusion_imageframe][/fusion_builder_column][fusion_builder_column type=”1_3″ layout=”1_3″ spacing=”” center_content=”no” link=”” target=”_self” min_height=”” hide_on_mobile=”small-visibility,medium-visibility,large-visibility” class=”” id=”” background_color=”” background_image=”” background_position=”left top” background_repeat=”no-repeat” hover_type=”none” border_size=”0″ border_color=”” border_style=”solid” border_position=”all” animation_type=”” animation_direction=”left” animation_speed=”0.3″ animation_offset=”” last=”no”][fusion_imageframe image_id=”2022″ style_type=”none” stylecolor=”” hover_type=”none” bordersize=”” bordercolor=”” borderradius=”” align=”none” lightbox=”yes” gallery_id=”advanced digital photography final” lightbox_image=”” alt=”historic airplane photography” link=”” linktarget=”_self” hide_on_mobile=”small-visibility,medium-visibility,large-visibility” class=”” id=”” animation_type=”” animation_direction=”left” animation_speed=”0.3″ animation_offset=””]https://chadforeman.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/05/advanced-digital-photography/advanced-photography-airplane.jpg[/fusion_imageframe][/fusion_builder_column][fusion_builder_column type=”1_3″ layout=”1_3″ spacing=”” center_content=”no” link=”” target=”_self” min_height=”” hide_on_mobile=”small-visibility,medium-visibility,large-visibility” class=”” id=”” background_color=”” background_image=”” background_position=”left top” background_repeat=”no-repeat” hover_type=”none” border_size=”0″ border_color=”” border_style=”solid” border_position=”all” animation_type=”” animation_direction=”left” animation_speed=”0.3″ animation_offset=”” last=”no”][fusion_imageframe image_id=”2025″ style_type=”none” stylecolor=”” hover_type=”none” bordersize=”” bordercolor=”” borderradius=”” align=”none” lightbox=”yes” gallery_id=”advanced digital photography final” lightbox_image=”” alt=”pilot portrait” link=”” linktarget=”_self” hide_on_mobile=”small-visibility,medium-visibility,large-visibility” class=”” id=”” animation_type=”” animation_direction=”left” animation_speed=”0.3″ animation_offset=””]https://chadforeman.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/05/advanced-digital-photography/pilot-portrait.jpg[/fusion_imageframe][/fusion_builder_column][fusion_builder_column type=”1_3″ layout=”1_3″ spacing=”” center_content=”no” link=”” target=”_self” min_height=”” hide_on_mobile=”small-visibility,medium-visibility,large-visibility” class=”” id=”” background_color=”” background_image=”” background_position=”left top” background_repeat=”no-repeat” hover_type=”none” border_size=”0″ border_color=”” border_style=”solid” border_position=”all” animation_type=”” animation_direction=”left” animation_speed=”0.3″ animation_offset=”” last=”no”][fusion_text]

It All Leads to This

Everything added up to that. At Montrose Elementary School in the mid-1980’s we were preparing for Bexley Junior High. BJH was to prepare us for Bexley High School. BHS was to prepare us for college. Don’t get me wrong, BHS did a great job in preparing most students, It just took me an additional 20 years. I had a few setbacks and side roads that most people don’t take.

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Rockwellian Art

After my mid-term the topic was decided: Photography in the style of Norman Rockwell. I began doing my research on Norman Rockwell and discovered that his art work generated over $30,000 in War Bond sales to help the effort in World War II. This gave me the perfect idea for my final project.

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Wild Blue Adventure Company

Here in Fayetteville, West Virginia we have a commercial aviator, Chris Kappler of Wild Blue Adventure Company, who offers biplane rides over the New River Gorge. He and his family collect vintage military vehicles and even have the uniforms to match. For this photo shoot my goal was to create the chiaroscuro (Italian Renaissance term used by painters to describe the drama and contrast created with highlights and shadows) with my light kit and not use as much Adobe Photoshop.

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Off-Camera Flash

It was early November when we did this shoot and the sun was setting early. It wouldn’t take long to get the contrast I was looking for. Off-camera flash provides a rather unique “studio lighting” look to the natural atmosphere. I particularly like this style and enjoyed working on achieving it. I’m very thankful for my models’ willingness to participate.

The highlight of the evening was the main shot with Stella, Levi and the biplane.

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Military Style

We started out with some simple shots with Stella, Jack and Levi with the military vehicles. It was still rather light out, which meant I couldn’t get as much contrast between the light and dark. Either way, it’s all good practice and the authenticity of the military vehicles and uniforms is certainly worth documenting.

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Categories
Art 452 Advanced Digital Photography WV State U

Last Semester Of College

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A Long Journey

Last week I began the last semester of my bachelor’s degree. At the tender age of 43-years-old, I must say that it’s been a road. Every time I think about a milestone in my life it reminds me of how I need to work on my autobiography. If you haven’t met me and don’t know my past, it’s been quite an interesting story. I will have to put off writing that autobiography until I can find the free time between studying for tests, homework assignments and commuting to class.

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Twisting Path

College, for me, started at the Columbus State Community and Technical College in 1992. It was the fall after my senior year and after my accident, and not going off to AIT for the Army, I was stuck in this “what do I do now” phase. More on that another day. Two of my favorite classes were Psychology 101 and Basic Technical Drafting. Both are counting towards the degree I will earn in May.

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Back to the Books… Again.

Fast forward to 2006, after a fun-filled career in whitewater (again, more for the autobiography) I returned to school at New River Community and Technical College. There I finished my Associates of Science in Communications Technology. It was a fun introduction to web design, graphic design, photography and video. To be true, I didn’t even have to take the class on video. My years as a video boater counted as credit. I just had to do a midterm and a final video.

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Graphic Design at Tech

2008 took me to West Virginia University Institute of Technology, or Tech for short. I was a graphic design major there and made some really great friends. Interestingly enough, those friends were my professors because they were closer in age to me than I was to the other students.

[/fusion_text][/fusion_builder_column][/fusion_builder_row][/fusion_builder_container][fusion_builder_container hundred_percent=”no” hundred_percent_height=”no” hundred_percent_height_scroll=”no” hundred_percent_height_center_content=”yes” equal_height_columns=”no” menu_anchor=”” hide_on_mobile=”small-visibility,medium-visibility,large-visibility” class=”” id=”” background_color=”” background_image=”” background_position=”center center” background_repeat=”no-repeat” fade=”no” background_parallax=”none” enable_mobile=”no” parallax_speed=”0.3″ video_mp4=”” video_webm=”” video_ogv=”” video_url=”” video_aspect_ratio=”16:9″ video_loop=”yes” video_mute=”yes” video_preview_image=”” border_size=”” border_color=”” border_style=”solid” margin_top=”” margin_bottom=”” padding_top=”” padding_right=”” padding_bottom=”” padding_left=””][fusion_builder_row][fusion_builder_column type=”2_3″ layout=”2_3″ spacing=”” center_content=”no” link=”” target=”_self” min_height=”” hide_on_mobile=”small-visibility,medium-visibility,large-visibility” class=”” id=”” background_color=”” background_image=”” background_position=”left top” background_repeat=”no-repeat” hover_type=”none” border_size=”0″ border_color=”” border_style=”solid” border_position=”all” padding_top=”” padding_right=”” padding_bottom=”” padding_left=”” dimension_margin=”” animation_type=”” animation_direction=”left” animation_speed=”0.3″ animation_offset=”” last=”no”][fusion_imageframe image_id=”1874″ style_type=”none” stylecolor=”” hover_type=”none” bordersize=”” bordercolor=”” borderradius=”” align=”left” lightbox=”no” gallery_id=”” lightbox_image=”” alt=”” link=”” linktarget=”_self” hide_on_mobile=”small-visibility,medium-visibility,large-visibility” class=”” id=”” animation_type=”” animation_direction=”left” animation_speed=”0.3″ animation_offset=””]https://chadforeman.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/candy-girl/candy-girl-photography-chad-foreman-2.jpg[/fusion_imageframe][/fusion_builder_column][fusion_builder_column type=”1_3″ layout=”1_3″ spacing=”” center_content=”no” link=”” target=”_self” min_height=”” hide_on_mobile=”small-visibility,medium-visibility,large-visibility” class=”” id=”” background_color=”” background_image=”” background_position=”left top” background_repeat=”no-repeat” hover_type=”none” border_size=”0″ border_color=”” border_style=”solid” border_position=”all” padding_top=”” padding_right=”” padding_bottom=”” padding_left=”” dimension_margin=”” animation_type=”” animation_direction=”left” animation_speed=”0.3″ animation_offset=”” last=”no”][fusion_text]

Final Stretch

Here I am with one semester to go. Finally. I wasn’t sure if I would ever finish my degree. I wish my dad could see me now. Even though I didn’t become a firefighter like him and I chose to spend my youth chasing whitewater, all he ever wanted from me and my sisters was for us to finish college. Cheri and Carrie both finished up at the typical age.

My Senior Show

In May I will have earned a Bachelor’s of Arts in Art with a Specialization in Digital Photography. That’s quite a mouthful and an entire line of type. I have an Art History class and History of Graphic Design class that I am really enjoying. I really like the Art Department at West Virginia State University. They really put their heart and soul into the program and it means a lot to me as a student.

The highlight of this semester will be my senior show. It will be in May. The other graduating seniors and I will be preparing for our show. Part of that preparation includes maintaining an online journal, which I will do here.

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Starring Paryss as The Candy Girl

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Featuring Zane as The Patron

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Rockwellian Style

The subject of my show will be my depiction of scenes in a Rockwellian style. The idea for this subject came from the featured image in this article. I just thought this was a fun image and my advisor used the term to describe it. Sounded great to me because West Virginia is full of all kinds of nostalgic locations that haven’t changed much since they were first built, much of them in the mid-twentieth century.

Casting Call

I will be looking for models to pose in these scenes and if that sounds like fun to you, please use the contact form below to send me a message. I would really like to thank my neighbors, Sydney, Zane and Paryss for helping me out with this picture. Those costumes are fabulous and the fact that they spent their time putting them together means a lot to me.

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Categories
Art 452 Advanced Digital Photography WV State U

Back To School

It’s that time of year again, back to school. As a 43-year-old college student, it’s that time of my life. Only 1 semester and 9 weeks to go until I complete my Bachelor of Arts in Art with a specialization in digital photography! I get to enjoy that “Back to School feeling” once again, possibly for my last time. Hopefully not. I enjoy school so much I would love to go to grad school.

In January of 2017, after an 8-year break from last school, West Virginia University Institute of Technology in Montgomery, I started at West Virginia State University. It’s located just West of Charleston in Institute, West Virginia. On my first day I discovered there were lockers in the hallway. Not only that, but we can sign up for a locker and use it. So I did. The first time I opened that locker door, I was instantly transported back to 1992. That is the year I graduated high school and the last time I have looked into the open door of a hallway locker. It was a strange experience. I wanted to attempt to document that sensation with this picture.

This picture is a class assignment for Art 452 Advanced Digital Photography. One great thing about this class is that I get to make up my own curriculum. Seeing as how I have a desire to work as a professional photographer, I already have a pretty good idea of what I want to do. The main goal of this class is to prepare work for my senior show. This includes documenting my progress on this blog. Subscribe, for updates!

Something I am working on is creating unique environmental portraits with dynamic lighting. To do this, I first come up with a plan. After I have a plan of what I want to create, I choose a strategy for how I want to light my scene.

Here is the plan and strategy for this picture:

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Starting with correct exposure for the scene.

First I get some general light readings of the scene as it occurs so that I could set the exposure for my background. I wanted the scene to be dark for a mysterious look. So I chose to reduce the exposure of the scene by 3 stops of light. I wanted a narrow depth of field so I set my aperture at f1.4. The hall is actually pretty bright so I had to use a fast shutter speed of 1/1600 of a second. ISO 100.

Next, I set my key light. I wanted the light coming out of the locker to be the brightest light in the scene. There are 2 speedlites in the locker. One in top, one in bottom. They were both on group A, set to the same output power. Using my light meter, I reduced the output until it matched my camera setting.

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Measuring light output from key light.

For my fill light, I wanted to go one stop lower for my fill light. However, my light meter only goes down to f1.0. How could I get a lower reading? I needed to stop down to f5.6 on my camera and then slow my shutter speed by two stops to maintain the same exposure. Since we are dealing with ratios and they are scalable, I would just change the aperture back to f1.4 and the shutter speed back to 1/1600 and everything will remain the same. I softened the light with a little 8 inch soft box from “Life of Photo.”

Determining exposure for the fill light.
Determining exposure for the fill light.

Finally, I added my kicker light. I used a standard 7″ reflector with a 30 degree grid and a set of barn doors to focus the light.

Adding the kicker light for a rim light effect against the dark background.
Adding the kicker light for a rim light effect against the dark background.

The “smokey-looking” purple haze is chalk dust. I wanted to use it to add some substance to the light beams coming out of the locker. In the Spring of 2017 I took a film photography class. The film photography professor, Molly, likes old fashioned things. We even made hand-churned ice cream in class because the whole class went the entire semester without mixing up the chemicals in the dark room. She uses chalk boards in her class. I thought that was fitting for the whole “throw-back” theme of the picture.