Boulder: Working with Light

Yesterday afternoon brought some cool clouds and got me thinking about a photo. This is the cool looking boulder that I was checking out last week, with the intentions of coming back in the early morning when its north-east face (pictured below) might catch some morning light. The dark clouds in the sky got me thinking about a more dramatic shot and a couple of SB-800’s for the key light. So up the hill we went with a couple flashes, lightstands, and umbrellas in tow.

In my mind, I had the idea of a climber on the rock, lit by the flashes, with a dark dramatic sky in the background. I had to keep my flashes at a fair distance to keep them from appearing in the shot (at 12mm), but at this distance, the 2 SB-800’s weren’t able to give enough light on the boulder so I could sufficiently stop down and darken the sky. Even moving the flashes a bit closer, and into the shot, still didn’t give me enough light.

Lesson learned: Come back later in the evening with a darker sky and try again. I’m also already thinking how cool this shot could like in winter with everything covered in snow!

Shot 1: exposed for boulder/climber

Shot 2: exposed for sky (no flash)

Shot 3: flash moved closer

We next tried a shot on the right side of the boulder.  Here, I was able to get the flashes close enough for something closer to what I was intending with the other shot.  But this angle doesn’t show the cool mushroom-like shape of the rock, so I’m looking forward to going back at getting things right.

Cody Duncan photography: bouldering at Zogenreuth, Oberpfalz, Germany

2 replies
  1. Vladimir says:

    Hey, great shot! I stumbled upon your blog while looking at bouldering pictures, and I love the end result! Did you use any modifiers on the flashes?

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