Prepping for the hockey game

Remy GravelBeaupré, February 5, 2008 – Rémy Gravel, an employee of the Beaupré AbitibiBowater pulp and paper mill, laces his skate before the hockey game involving mostly unionized mill’s employees. The mill’s 400+ employees, whose salaries are by far the main economic mainstay of this region, are right now putting together a package of cuts to their wages and benefits, as well as suggestions on how to cut production costs at the mill. Photo Francis Vachon for the Montreal Gazette.
Technical: Canon EOS 1D mark II, 1/40 at f2,8 with a 50mm prime lens- ISO 400, two remote flash (see below)

That is a photo I did this week for the Gazette to illustrate a story on the human side of the forest industry that is on a huge slump in the province right now.

The journalist suggested to take some photos of a local mill employees while they play hockey every week. The photo would be in the dressing room, before the game. Kind of hard to have a stunning photo of a bunch of guys prepping up for a hockey game, but I had to come back with something.

A hockey room is pretty boring, with bad hard light coming from above. That’s the part I could improve.

I did not want to shoot with an on-camera flash. That gives a flat and boring light, and it gives you a ugly drop shadow behind the subject.

How could I setup my remote flashes then if there was not particular guy that I needed to photograph, i.e. I could have to photograph anywhere in the room, wherever “something” was happening?

I setup two remote flash in two corners, bouncing to the wall and 45 degree up at 1/4 power. That allowed me to shoot at a low 400 ISO with a nice light. Depending of whom I was shooting, one flash was acting as the key light, and some other time the other flash did. Ideally, I would have put my flashes in opposite corner, but the configuration of this room did not allow me this.

When you look at the diagram bellow, you see that in in this particular photo, the upper left flash act as the main (key) light, and the other one fills. That is what creates the nice side light.


That is not a portfolio picture, but that’s something I was happy to show to the photo editor. Something that will ensure they will keep calling me back.

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