Friday, May 5, 2023

Behind the Scenes - Light challenges, the wrong lens and a grand piano

My most recent senior dreamed of having her senior photo taken with a Yamaha grand piano. Can I just say that I love a challenge BUT I do not love the challenge when I am presented with it. 

- Where am I going to find a grand piano?

- Where am I going to find a grand piano with good natural light?

Mom offered to help which is awesome but does mom know what to look for when it comes to getting a good exposure? Is she thinking about lighting, space to back up and fit the whole piano in the frame? What about the background and foreground is she considering that? I'm just a girl with a camera! (Interested in a magic wand - so let me know if you have any leads on one!! Oh and a weather machine, I could really use one of those!)

So, I began my own search as well. I did not have much luck (oh the stories I could tell), but mom found a piano store that was willing. I was worried. A thousand what ifs going through my mind. 

I arrived early (about an hour away) only to find out that my daughter had gotten our lens mixed up after borrowing them and put two of the same lens in my bag. I did not have my 50mm lens which I wasn't even sure would be wide enough to capture the whole piano!!! PANIC! But there was nothing I could do about it. I would need to find a way to capture the images she hoped for in a recital room with four walls covered in black sound absorbing foam, not a single ounce of natural light, over-head spot-lighting, and an 85mm lens. Oh and appear completely confident at the same time. (And the Oscar award goes to... set aside people this one is mine!)

But, once she arrived, the challenge was on! My brain shifted into "lets do this" gear and I was off and running! There were some obvious issues will all the light coming from above my client and the color cast of the light ran from very green to very orange. But at every shoot, my number one goal is use my camera and my know-how to capture a great exposure (I am photographer! That's what I am paid to do) - I never want to rely on Photoshop to make a bad image better. I have to say I was pretty excited about the raw images! And even happier with the finished ones. I was able to soften the shadows the overhead lighting created and do some color correction for a more natural look!

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