It's very rare that you get to test the limits of your camera's mechanical shutter speed, but when you do, the end results can be pretty neat!
Earlier, I blogged about a boho shoot with Jennifer Franco. On that same day, I also had the pleasure of working with pro model Galyna Yershoshenko. Galyna has done catwalks back east, so this was a real treat!
It was a really bright day outside. And as you can see from the shutter speeds listed below, it was a real struggle to shoot wide open while also not having the image so overexposed that it was unworkable in Lightroom. And I didn't want to use an ND filter because that would have reduced the quality of the image. Thankfully, even at 1/8000 sec, the images were not so overexposed that they weren't unworkable in Lightroom! Whew!
Our theme for below was designed by Marebeth Gromer and the lighting design, which mostly consisted of a reflector, was designed by Cedric Sims.
This first shot with the chain gun shows just how harsh the lighting conditions were. The reflector was being used as a fill off to the right side.
I’m not big into bokeh, but I did want the background to go completely blurry, but to also preserve the colors as much as possible, and you can see the blue sky and green trees in the background. Having that high mechanical shutter speed really helped.
With this second shot, the colors really popped out again!
Of note is that this was one of those rare instances where I had to use Photoshop. The reflector was showing up in the left lens of Galyna’s sunglasses, so I had to cover that up with the "content aware" fill tool. But overall, the colors in the shot really popped out, thanks again to the high mechanical shutter of the X-T2.
(I’ve never actually played with the electronic shutter of the X-T2 as I’ve read that it’s not as ideal as the mechanical shutter. I suppose I’ll have to experiment with it eventually.)
The next shot is rather interesting.
Granted, I wanted to get a good shot here of Galyna, but cheated my angle a bit off to the side for obvious reasons. This is probably my favorite shot of the entire set, because of her pose and overall composition. She's personifies the carefree nature of that time, but there's also a bit of defiance in her face and pose.
This next shot is basically unedited, so you can actually see where the reflector is. If there was one thing I would have changed in this shot, it would have just been the composition. I would have backed up a little more or quickly swapped prime lenses so that I could have captured her entire body.
This next shot is my second favorite, mostly because of the composition and her pose.
This one was also hard to get and it was sort of rushed because I was at one of the other themed sets at the time, waiting my turn to shoot with the model. Since there were two photographers ahead of me, I decided to rush over to get this one. You can see that the lighting is extremely harsh. Dark shadows and high contrast. I had to take down the highlights just to make it look closer to what my naked eyes saw. I’m wondering, looking at this shot, which shutter speed would have helped. I’m guessing somewhere around 1/10000th sec as it was really really bright.
This final shot was taken during a break and costume change. This was just an improvised shot -- no light modifiers or reflectors at all -- and Galyna had just finished checking her phone and decided to pop into character so us photographers could get the shot.
I toyed with converting the above photo to black and white, but then realized that the background colors weren't too distracting. Our eyes are drawn directly to Galyna, and her surroundings are sufficiently blurred out enough that our eyes cue in on her since she's completely in focus.
And that's a wrap for this portion of the boho-themed shoot!