Saturday, February 23, 2008

"Shrimp" #2

Here's Shrimp being held by Melanie, one of the vets that was caring for him.

I've always liked photographing people in hallways. Using a telephoto lens not only provides a flattering perspective for portraits but in this case, compresses the hallway and turns the door frames into geometric lines that frame my subjects. The telephoto, with it's limited depth of field, allowed me to have both Shrimp and Melanie in focus against a soft background.

For this shot I used a similar lighting set up as the one of Shrimp on the exam table. A Canon 580 speedlight into a silver umbrella, mounted on a stand and placed high and to the right of my subjects. The wall to Melanie's right provided just the right amount of fill. To separate Melanie from the background, a second Canon speedlight was mounted on a stand and placed about 10 feet behind her and pointed directly at her back. I zoomed the flash head to the 105mm setting and added a Lumiquest snoot to focus the light on Melanie and keep it off of the walls. Both flashes were fired by an on camera Canon STE2 infrared transmitter. I had to bump the ISO up to 400 to get the f/5.6 ( Shrimp & Melanie in focus) and the 1/60th (I can hand hold this) shutter speed and allow the ambient light to provide detail in the hallway.

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Wednesday, February 20, 2008

"Shrimp" #1

I received a call from Bill Smith at Mainline Animal Rescue. A puppymill had just surrendered a dog to them and he wanted me to document the animal’s condition. He asked me to meet him at
Metropolitan Veterinary Associates where he had taken the dog for treatment.

Bill nicknamed the dog “Shrimp” because he was small, pink and more resembled a crustacean than a canine. He was so emaciated and had lost so much fur, that it was hard to determine just what kind of dog he really was. Shrimp was malnourished, dehydrated, had ulcers in his eyes, mange, parasites and splayed feet from standing on the chicken wire floor in the rabbit hutch that had been his home. Shrimp was surrendered because he was not a good breeder, problem was, at some point he had been neutered!

Shrimp was weak and in need of immediate treatment so I had to work quickly. For the image of Shrimp on the exam table, the main light was a Canon 580EX speedlight mounted on a stand and shot into a silver umbrella at camera right. For fill I mounted a Canon 540Ex on a stand and bounced it off the low white ceiling. Both flashes were set on the ETTL automatic exposure setting. The 580 was set as master and the 540 was set to slave. Both speedlights were fired by an on-camera, Canon, STE2 infrared transmitter.

This combination works well indoors when both flashes can see the infrared signal from the transmitter and allows using multiple off camera flashes in automatic mode. I used a Canon 20D with a 28-70, 2.8 lens. I set the ISO to 100 and exposure dial to manual. I chose 1/60 of a second to burn in the background as there was some daylight coming in from a window just out of frame. I chose 5.6 as the aperture, to insure I had sufficient depth of field for Shrimp to be in focus but allow the bars of the pen in the background to go soft.

To see what you can do to help prevent this kind of abuse visit