DC: Pumpksgiving and Lighting

The day following our “We’ve Moved!” Party, Mike and Nikki hosted a Pumpksgiving gathering at their home in Bethesda.  Luckily we were prepared food-wise, because we had intended to make Pumpkin Snickerdoodles and Beer Queso for the party but hadn’t gotten a chance to.  The pumpkin carving competition was fierce, with Mike’s outline of Maryland contender on the lower left below.  (I voted for him.)

But Jonathan won with his Sharknado-inspired pumpkin (below left).  Hilariously and timely (we had just watched the movie!), it was pretty fantastic.  And I garnered a couple of votes for my kitty-inspired pumpkin (the top is in the first gallery at right).

The move to the new apartment brought an unexpected photographic challenge that tested my ability and style.  My photos of foster kittens had always been light-filled, with neutral backgrounds that allow a potential adopter to focus on the adorable kitten.  (See GALLANT, GARTH, TESSA, TATUM, & TANNER or HUMANE DOMINION)  But the light source in the new apartment is the alley behind our living room windows!  (Hence the dark and disappointing photos of Dylan, Rhea, and JD.)

So I ordered my first lighting kit!  B&H Photo has this affordable kit for sale, which includes 2 softboxes, 2 four socket fluorescent fixtures, 2 light stands, and even includes the bulbs.  Based on the size, amount of equipment, and reviews, I also ordered this bag, which fits everything nicely!

IMG_2509When I set the equipment up, Lucia was ready for her close-up!  She seemed to enjoy basking in the light from the softboxes and I was pretty thrilled with the effect, given the fact that it was nighttime and no ambient light was coming in through the windows.

But photographing the kittens proved to be quite the challenge.  Because they are constantly moving, I needed to move the softboxes farther out, which led to less light.  And less light means blurry, dark photos.  I’ve included the one above of Dylan (original and edited) to demonstrate how much shooting in RAW and post-processing can save a photo.  But who wants to go through that much work every time?

None of the photos above are usable for adoption purposes- but they all demonstrate the challenge quite nicely!

And the ones above would have been fantastic with more lighting- the kittens would have actually been in focus!

So I waited until the next day to continue the shoot.  This time, with the sun streaming in through the window, all of the house lights on, and the kittens in a much more cooperative mood, I was able to capture some good photos for their Petfinder profiles!



2 responses to “DC: Pumpksgiving and Lighting

  1. Pingback: DC: 2013 Holiday Card (Our First!) | Kara Smedley Images·

  2. Pingback: People: IT Works! Headshots | Kara Smedley Images·

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