It is my second year taking team photos for the Downers Grove Outlaws 12U/GT softball team. These ladies remind me why I enjoy doing this job, because it’s fun! Last year we did all natural light shots. This year I thought it would be cool to play around with some off camera flash.
Headed out to Westview Hills Middle School in Willowbrook on Monday. It was here that the Outlaws were going to be meeting me and my team (husband and 3 of the 4 little people).
The photo (below) on the left is unedited. Here are my settings for this photo:
Having the aperture at f/22 created the star effect with the sun. My shutter speed was as fast as I could set it, since I was using a flash.
I had a Canon 580X II Speedlite (at full power) at about 45 degrees from camera left and the subject standing about 8-10 feet away.
The picture on the right is the result of post-production. In Lightroom, I tweaked the highlights and shadows, increased vibrance and increased the blue saturation. I then moved over to Photoshop and used HDR toning to finish the picture. I could give you all the numbers I used, but when it comes to HDR toning, it really depends on what you like. Not to mention, it’s so much more fun to play around on your own.
Here are a few more shots (before and after) along with their settings.
ISO 200 / f/16 / 1/200 / 5:40pm / 35mm
Timing is everything. My first attempt, I shot too soon and my flash could not keep up. So, needless to say, when they were in the air, my flash was recycling and I got a nice silhouette. Not quite what I was looking for. A couple attempts later, I timed it well. Once again, the photo on the bottom is the result of HDR toning.
ISO 2OO / f/16 / 1/200 / 35mm / 5:45pm
So this shot was inspired by the movie ‘Reservoir Dogs‘. I have never seen the movie, but when watching Zach & Jody (phenomenal wedding photographers from Nashville) on Creative Live (on-line workshops for photographers), he made reference to it. He said it’s one shot he always goes with when shooting the groom and groomsmen. My husband mentioned it might be a cool looking shot for these tough looking softball players. I think it worked quite well.
For the team shots I used two 580X II. I had them on both sides of the team, at 45 degree angles at full power. They were about 15 feet away for these group shots.
I’ll have to start thinking now, in order to come up with some new ideas for next year.