Lately I’ve been looking for ways to photograph people besides just my friends and family. I was super inspired after reading photographer Peter Waterman’s account of photographing 80 people in 1 day. I’m a hobbyist just looking to improve my skills and have fun. I like to get the best bang for the buck with my equipment purchases and keep my gear budget contained.
I checked my town’s local event website and noticed there was a 10K run scheduled for the upcoming weekend. I had never shot a sporting event before; I usually just shoot portraits and travel. The race map showed the course went right by my house so I had a perfect opportunity to take some pictures.
It has been a long time since I have asked for something photo related for my birthday. I usually don’t ask, just because I’m very particular about what equipment I use, and my friends and family know it. But this year, it was different. I thought about dabbling in some old school photography, so I asked for a Polaroid 600 camera. My fiancée stepped up to the plate and delivered, gifting me an awesome 1983 Polaroid Sun 600 LMS. I had some fun with my first pack of film, but then it was time to start pushing the envelope.
An idea hit me one day, and I knew I had to try something that I’ve never seen done before: shooting off camera flash with an older Polaroid 600 instant camera.
Shooting portraits of strangers in cars isn’t uncommon, but have you ever tried using off-camera lighting to illuminate their faces? That’s what photographer Jonathan Castillo is doing for his ongoing series called Car Culture.
Castillo, an undergraduate BFA student at CSU Long Beach, shoots candid, artificially-lit photos of people driving around on the roads of Los Angeles. While the photos are captured from a car directly in front of the subjects, Castillo lights the scenes using a second specially-rigged vehicle driving to the side.
Photographer Jesse Rosten wanted a more efficient and mobile way to do off-camera lighting, so he invented this backpack-style apparatus that he calls “The Strobist Jet Pack”. Although it’s pretty ridiculous looking (it reminds us of Ghostbusters), it works well for placing lighting equipment in exactly the place needed while still being able to move about.
Optical sensors are a cheap way to trigger slave flashes if you don’t want to pay for a wireless transmitter, but the fact that you’re firing your on-board flash to trigger the sensors limits your creative options. Flickr user Victor came up with the idea of turning an on-camera flash unit into an infrared transmitter by covering up the flash with a filter. The filter is simply a piece of processed (but unexposed) E6 slide film — it blocks visible light, making it completely black, but allows infrared light to pass through and trigger optical sensors.
Using Infra Red Masters To Trigger Optical Slaves [DIYPhotography]
Image credit: Photographs by Victor W.