Piano man

This is another shot that came out of my offer to photograph donors (Dave & Rachel in this case) who supported me in my fundraising efforts to benefit the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. (Yes, I am slowly making my way through those of you who were interested... but it doesn't hurt to remind me that you are interested!)

We decided to shoot their photo inside their house, which is one of those 100+ year-old beauties that has more character to it than my entire neighborhood combined. The photo possibilities were endless, but our time sadly wasn't.

I was trying to capture the warm, rich colors of the room and piano but have them separated from the dark piano topped with a lot of memories by using lighting. I had it all worked out in my head, right up until one of the 3 flashes I was using died (turned out just to be low on battery power). I changed my settings quickly to make-do with 2 flashes, but could have used the 3rd (coming in from camera left) as a brighter key-light and to separate her shirt from the dark background a bit more.

All said, it was fun and I like the way it came out, especially the facial expressions. And I did learn a couple good lessons along the way: I had extra batteries for the flashes ready to go, just didn't recognize the problem with enough time to swap them out. We also dimmed the lights in the sconces on the wall to better match the (much more dim) light over the center of the piano, which made the whole room darker, which caused my auto-focus to have trouble (and I don't even shoot Canon!).

Strobist info: The rim light is an SB-800 from back camera right in a Lumiquest SB-III with a full CTO gel, zoomed to 50mm fired at 1/4 power. The (what was supposed to be fill light but turned) main light was an SB-25 in shoot-thru umbrella with a full CTO + 1/4 CTO gel, behind to slight camera left, zoomed to 24mm and fired at 1/8 power. The would-have-been key light is an SB-600 outside the doorway to camera left with a full CTO + 1/4 CTO gel, through a bedsheet hanging in doorway (didn't fire).