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My challenge needs your expert advice
Old 06-23-2003, 09:41 AM   #1 (permalink)
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First of all, I stumbled on to this site last week, and I haven't left since. Tons of beautiful people, great work, good information, a class environment. [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/cool.gif[/img] Seems like a good place to solicit some basic advice for meeting a particular challenge coming up next week.

I've rented a beach house with a pool on St George Island, on Florida's panhandle coast, for the annual family vacation. Never been there yet, so I'm excited about checking out a new place. Been going over my supplies, strategies, and pretrip planning to get good, saveable images of all types - naturescapes, people, things....whatever, just about anything other than glamour.

For many years I've tried to engage in the art of crafting glamorous photography, but my only model has been the spouse unit, and more often than not we're not on the same wavelength as to what the optimum photoshoot experience should be like. Many a romantic getaway has been rendered less romantic by the intrusion of the lens. [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/confused.gif[/img] I'm not interested in launching a new career or boldly going where no photographer has gone before; I just want to make the best photographs I can in any given situation, and regain the confidence to keep making good photos. When I take poor pictures, my model loses more confidence and thinks the whole experience is a waste of time. [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/blush.gif[/img]

Among the genres of glamour, my predeliction is towards wetlook. Playboy's Wet and Wild series is great stuff. Not only is a wet blouse a turn-on, from a technical point of view wet material easily masks the imperfections of the slightly Rubenesque form of my model/unit. So most of our "sessions" have involved a hot tub or pool, and of course our vacaton location will provide several different kinds of wetlook opportunities...but I had decided not to go down that avenue this time, lest I tear the thin fabric of her universe.

Sorry for the cut to the matter at hand, I was surprised this weekend when my model said that one night next week, after our son and the mother-in-law have gone to bed, she wants to stage a shoot with all the trappings: candles, champagne, soft music, the works. I know she's serious 'cause she even bought a wig! and some other "surprises." All she asks of me is to take some good pictures for once. [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/shocked.gif[/img]

So the conditions are: pool at night, some candlelight, probably some big bug candles or torches as well. I don't know yet about pool lights or porch-mounted spotlights. I have a socket on a clamp with a reflector that I could use for some kind of illumination, too. My tools are my original Pentax K1000 from 20 years ago and a small top mounted flash unit, but I don't even have a meter, or whitebalancing cards, or any of that jazz. I also have an 80-250 mm zoom. I also have a Hewlett-Packard C618 digital camera.

So is that enough information to ask what my strategy should be to get some good exposures? How should I best use that reflector clamp? Will the flash just wash everything out but two red eyes and I'd be better off not using it? Will I be able to capture the warmth of candlelight without overpowering it with other sources? Is this doomed to fail? [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/crazy.gif[/img]

Like I indicated, I'm not expecting my limited experience to produce pro-quality results; the main enjoyment will be in the very act of doing it. But I would like to get some keepers, and if I should get very lucky and get one great one, I'll be eternally grateful to the Photo Gods. And to anyone here who can offer up some concise, usable advice. Thanks.

Any advice for the spouse/model would be useful, too.
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