Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Nick Watanabe | The Samurai Professor

Earlier this month I helped shoot the photos for a story about MU Professor Nick Watanabe's hobby of Kendo.

You can read the story at http://cafnrnews.com/2013/11/samurai-professor/.

We knew we wanted some compelling images to accompany the story so I decided upon using some camera setting techniques to provide more emotion to the images. We also were lucky to shoot on the stage of Jesse Hall Auditorium. The old wooden stage provided a makeshift dojo and the black stage curtains gave way to a clean background for the subject to stand out.

How did I get these images?

To get that blurred motion feel but still having the subject in focus I basically focused on a slower shutter speed and flashes set on second curtain.

Lighting Setup

I placed two Nikon SB-700 Speedlights on the side of Nick. One was on a stand about 4ft high and angled down and the other was placed on a floor stand, looking up at Nick. I fired them as slaves from a Canon 580EXII flash mounted on my Canon 7D.

I also had a Bescor LED panel to provide some fill light on Nick while my team member, Aaron, shot video.

Camera Settings

Shot with Canon 7D, 24-70mm f/2.8 lens.

I chose a slower shutter speed (ranging from 1/80th-1/20th) to allow the camera to record some motion from the subject and then pop a flash second curtain (at the end of the exposure) to "freeze" the subject and provide a crisp, focused subject.

The Video

This video was shot with two Canon 7Ds, a Rode shotgun mic and during the interview a Sennheiser lav mic was hardlined into one of the cameras. During the interview two Bescor LED panels were also set up to separate the subject from the background.

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