Shooting the Team – The Optimizer

the-little-professor.jpg Hai was the next inline for the Team Portrait Project.

Hai is just the kind of guy who wonders around and fixes things up. Be it the shelf on the wall, the air conditioning tunnel or the cable modem which we work on – none will stay broken if they are near Hai. Ever saw Pulp Fiction? Remember the great role Harvey Keitel did as THE WOLF? This is what I am talking about.

Another thing you get to hear allot when you are around Hai is “This is not optimized”. Before you know it, Hai will tweak it, bend it, re-assemble it and fry it to make it “more optimized”. This is how Hai got to be THE OPTIMIZER.


Pose and Settings

Capturing this fixer-upper quality was the challenge in photographing Hai’s portrait. As the cable modem we are working with is a delicate piece of equipment we thought it would be amusing to show Hai drilling into optimizing one of the boxes. This theme set the general pose and driving idea for the portrait.

Lighting and Setup


The next step was to make it a bit more interesting. I used a technique I saw David Tejada using for small rooms. This technique puts focus on the main subject of the portrait while creating some interest in the rest of the shot. It is also very good to use in small rooms. I gelled a Nikon SB800 with a blue gel and pointed it to the ceiling. This made a nice blue room. The next step was to red-gel another flash and use a DIY snoot to control light to be showing only on Hai’s face. See the diagram for details. (Just in case you are wondering – this is how I do the pro looking lighting diagrams).

Am I happy with the shot? Mostly. I hit my self on the head 10 times for not making sure that my background is not cluttered. A mistake repeated in all the team portraits.

Making portraits of the team is a great fun for all – you can follow this portrait project here.

Little Professor: Device by Texas Instruments, Image by draggin