Chilling in the city

I have fond memories of my years living in Boston back in the day... but as a well-below-the-poverty-level graduate student, I didn't exactly live in a nice part of town. Greg and Becca have found a really great neighborhood to live, in the former Charlestown Navy yard, overlooking the city. In return for their donation to my fundraising efforts last year, I thought it would be fun to torture photograph them for a few hours last week in the cold, windy weather in their neck of the woods, so they would have a little something to remember these days (you know, besides the effects of hypothermia).

What drew me to this setting was a combination of a) noticing that this was really one of the few places you could be that was East-ish of Boston yet still be on dry land (so we could get some nice photos with the city and the sunset in the background) and b) the stickler of a security guard watching Bruins' Brad Marshand's condo building, where we originally planned to shoot these, who needs to take his job a little less seriously.

As the sun went down, we froze our tootsies off patiently awaited the precious few minutes when the lights in the city buildings balanced nicely with the dropping brightness of the sky. As I remembered from this photo, setting the camera's white balance to "fluorescent" takes some of the nasty green out of the lights in the city buildings with the bonus of adding a punch of magenta to the evening sky. This is slightly complicated when flashes are used, because their light too would turn magenta. But this is easily fixed with this new math I'm learning: green + magenta = white. Slap a green gel on the flash with the white balance set to fluorescent and I get white light again, which I can then color a little warmer (their faces), a lot warmer (his jacket/the bench), or any other color I want by stacking gels on top of the green one.

It was fun for me to get to play around and Greg & Becca were troopers, putting up with my antics, the chilly weather, and staying up well past our bedtimes on a school night.

Really chilling in the city
Strobist info: The key light is an SB-800 with stacked Full Green + 1/4 CTO gels in a Lumiquest SB-III, zoomed to 50mm and fired at 1/4 power from slightly behind them to camera right. The accent light in the foreground is an SB-600 with stacked Full Green + Full CTO gels with a Honl 1/8" grid, zoomed to 85mm and fired at 1/8 power from hard camera left. Fluorescent white balance shifted the greened flashes back to normal and the sky to magenta. Strobist info: (top photo) The key light is an SB-800 with 1/4 CTO gel in a shoot-thru umbrella, zoomed to 24mm and fired at 1/2 power from camera left on a thoroughly sand-bagged lightstand. Wind machine to make her hair subtly fly, courtesy of Mother Nature.