Anthony’s New Sparkling Gleaming Shoes
Anthony's New Shoes -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2008 Jeffrey Eric Francis Friedl,
Nikon D200 + Nikkor 17-55mm f/2.8 @ 44 mm — 1/60 sec, f/9, ISO 400 — full exif
Anthony's New Shoes

Anthony was really stoked on Friday afternoon when we all went shopping, and he ended up with new shoes. These had shiny leather... gleaming whites... cool blue... that all added up to shoes that he felt made him run faster. He was tickled pink.

He was excited to show them to Gen when we went to his place on Saturday, and to show them to Fumie's mom on Sunday, and, well, to anyone and everyone we met.

So today, he comes back from kindergarten, and here's what was left near the door...

Sigh -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2008 Jeffrey Eric Francis Friedl,
Nikon D200 + Nikkor 17-55mm f/2.8 @ 55 mm — 1/60 sec, f/9, ISO 400 — full exif

You couldn't help but laugh (unless you cried, which was a distinct option), so I had to take a picture. The lighting in our entry way is pretty bad, photographically speaking (it's mixed incandescent and fluorescent), so I decided to give flash a try.

I set my D200's flash to “commander mode”, and set up my SB800 Speedlight as a CLS slave (“CLS” is Creative Lighting System – Nikon's automatic flash-power control), pointing the SB800 up into a flash umbrella directly over the shoes. I also set my camera's flash to contribute, with an exposure compensation of -0.7EV to soften it up a bit...

Strobist SB800 + D200's onboard flash @ -0.7EV -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2008 Jeffrey Eric Francis Friedl,
Nikon D200 + Nikkor 17-55mm f/2.8 @ 32 mm — 1/60 sec, f/9, ISO 400 — full exif
SB800 + D200's onboard flash @ -0.7EV

The result was very soft, natural, “unnoticed” lighting, which is what I wanted. Lighting setups don't come much easier than this, but with my lack of flash experience, any success is noteworthy.

All 2 comments so far, oldest first...

Jeff, I have to say you are *extremely* spoiled by having such a relatively neat son. Here’s why:
a) Your little boy had new shoes on Friday, and on Monday, they WERE STILL CLEAN. Three days without one mud puddle – you ought to call Guinness book. It doesn’t matter if he was inside the whole time, or there has been no rain in the last month, or you were in sub-Saharan Africa. They can usually find a puddle, no problem. Three minutes is more like it.
b) You can still discern colors easily on the shoes. That shows great restraint on Anthony’s part.
c) You can still discern that they are SHOES. I’m sure you must remember some of the shapeless globs of mud with laces you left beside the back door growing up!

Oh, and good job with the lighting –no shadows at all! I’m still working on that.

There are shadows – it would look seriously unnatural without any – but they’re soft and minimal. Getting the umbrella that close is the key, and likely easier with a pair of shoes (compared to, say, a little boy). —Jeffy

— comment by Marcina on July 8th, 2008 at 3:59am JST (15 years, 8 months ago) comment permalink

I can see that putting the umbrella as close as possible eliminated the shadows. What is the brand/name of that little handy stand for the flash? I use a big light stand and it works great but sometimes it would be good to just have little “feet” like that.

BTW, leave it to Jeffrey to light dirty shoes strobist style.

The “handy stand” is just a cheap no-name mini tripod for use with point-n-shoots that we somehow found among our stuff over the years. It has “Minolta” on it, but that’s probably because it came with an old Minolta point-n-shoot film camera (that Fumie had before we met, I think). It seems similar to this. Frankly, looking at what I ended up with, I didn’t need it… I could have just set the umbrella down without the stand. —Jeffrey

— comment by Jon Van Dalen on July 8th, 2008 at 1:04pm JST (15 years, 8 months ago) comment permalink
Leave a comment...

All comments are invisible to others until Jeffrey approves them.

Please mention what part of the world you're writing from, if you don't mind. It's always interesting to see where people are visiting from.

IMPORTANT:I'm mostly retired, so I don't check comments often anymore, sorry.

You can use basic HTML; be sure to close tags properly.

Subscribe without commenting