Since I tossed up a Sony A7Rii portrait I thought I might also play around with an image from the Nikon D810. All over the imaging map here today.

An image made for the Pedernales Electric Cooperative's Annual Report in 2016.

This image was done in a medical center near Kyle, Texas. It's one of dozens and dozens we set up and shot for an annual report project. A nicely "old school" assignment on which photographs were printed nicely across two page spreads and the design and printing were first class. 

I liked this image because I added a tiny bit of front flash fill to the two men on the right of the frame and even I can't tell I did it. I needed the extra puff of light to pull up the darker tones but I worked hard to not get any telltale shadows in the rest of the photograph. 

This was a quick set up using the Nikon D810 on a tripod, along with an 85mm f1.8 lens set to about f2.8. I wanted to shoot the "let's look at the iPad!!" shot in this location because it was such a nice way to show depth. Having the hall go on forever in the background makes my eyes happy. 

I tweaked the color a bit this afternoon with the new controls in Lightroom. Nothing earth shattering but every little step they improve means one more bit of control you have over your work...



  1. I like this image a whole lot. I’m always interested in your thought process as you came to set it up. You had lots of choices. Had you come to this already knowing how it would play or did you see the space and positioned people appropriately? And did you add the fill flash after trial exposures? Just curious - but I’m interested in learning how people think about their work. And I appreciate your sharing your work and thoughts.

  2. I have just come from a very brief hospital stay. I needed a pacemaker and finally gave in and they put one in. Already making a big difference in energy and alertness. So much for the organ recital. This picture captures almost perfectly the feel of a hospital corridor. Great placement of people in the background and lovely color feel. As you say, the fill flash is invisible but does it's job. To quote and old saying "It is not the arrow, but the archer."

  3. Just curious, do you compose a shot like this with the end publication in mind – ie to be printed across a spread? Presumably the gutter would run just to the left of the foreground pair.

  4. Mike, we worked on this project with an art director from the company in tow. When we shoot we don't just end up with one shot in a set-up, we work around the set up and shoot multiple angles and compositions. This particular composition was set up with a cover in mind. Wrapping from back to front the main people wind up on the left side of the cover. Many times, if an art director is not with me and a shot feels like it will work well in the context of a project I will try to cover the shot as a vertical and as a horizontal. Now that I'm shooting more video I try to cover scenes in a wide "establishing" shot a medium shot and a tighter shot. Options make clients happy. Moving to the left or right and pushing in doesn't take much time but having the option, in some instances, is priceless.

  5. Unknown, I walked into this location cold. When I looked at what we had to play with I knew I wanted the long hall in the background to add depth to the shot. Then it was a matter of placing the people within the frame. Most annual report shoots require walking into locations cold. The people in the background were not added, we took our chances and shot when people came through the shot. I shot a few test frames before I added the flash. I moved up the power settings on the flash till I saw "artifacts of flash" and then dropped the power back down until the artifacts subsided. We shot the primary people in three different locations in the hospital. Options help clients.

  6. Thanks Kirk - I wish our marketing department would hire photographers that diligent. Despite repeated representations that we (the artworks/designers) need a variety of shots, we never seem to get them... Hours I've spent Photoshopping extra background into shots because the photographers haven't given us the options. That's the value of hiring someone with experience I suppose.

  7. Thanks MikeK, I think it helps that I spent nearly eight years as the creative director of an ad agency at a time when print was dominant. I'm also married to, and frequently work with, a graphic designer who would smack my hand with a ruler if I didn't give her workable images. Let me know when your company needs my services and I'll be right there...


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