Desert Safari


We scouted a location, we planned a group meetup, we met and then **??!! osama_022

Seriously a big thanks to all for showing up for our first attempted desert location shoot and in particular to Andy and Jeff who made the journey all the way from Abu Dhabi. Top marks has to go to Jeff and his friend and willing model Osama for their total commitment and enthusiasm to make the meetup by taking a Taxi the whole way from Abu Dhabi, now that’s dedication.


Having finally managed to get everybody together, we headed out into the desert in convoy and somewhere between Silicon Oasis and Sharjah we managed to loss several of the group. I think next time we do a scouting trip we’ll need to bring a GPS!

Well finally a smaller group did manage to get out of the cars with cameras and lights and take a few shots, but before doing so I can assure you that a lot of shooting ops were spotted out there – a few camels and strangely enough rolling sand dunes, how odd!

osama_033Anyhow here’s a few shoots I managed from the meetup, which were pretty much taken on a run and gun basis as the light was fading fast. These were taken with 3xSB800’s at about ¼ power in an Octobox rigged to a C-Stand. I used 1 Pocket Wizard Plus II to trigger one of the SB800’s and the other two were set in SU4 mode.


The Octobox was about 1.5 – 2 metres from Osama and I just set my shutter to maximum sync speed of 1/250th and fired a few test shoots starting at f5.6. At this aperture I was blowing out the highlights which was pretty obvious once I saw the blinkies and a spike all the way over to the right of my histogram. I could have powered down the SB800’s but as I was in a hurry the other easy option is to stop down my aperture and after another test shot at f8 I was good to go.

From there all I did was play around with my shutter speed to alter the background exposure of the fading daylight and once I was down to about 1/15 second I tried a little shutter drag until at ¼ second it was time to pack up and try and find our way back into Dubai!osama_041

There is very little post processing of these images other than colour correcting them, a slight S curve to bring up the contrast and a little sharpening using the Unsharp Mask with Amount 100%, Radius 1 and Threeshold 3. Photoshop is something I really need to get up to speed with once I finally figure out how to light!

Not only did we have our trials on the day, just think of the poor fellow that managed to get his CRV stuck in the sand that not even a Hummer could pull out and the crazy quadbike rider that pulled a wheelie on the highway almost flipping the bike over and killing himself in the process.

As I’ll be on vacation in Thailand over Christmas and New Year I propose that we have a meetup at Capital D Studio mid January. Also we can regroup and discuss options on the next on location meetup which hopefully doesn’t see us getting split up all over half of the Emirates!

Seasons Greetings to all bfn Nigel


~ by ncwalker1 on December 15, 2008.

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