Day 2 of 7 in the Omo Valley

Day 2 of 7 in the Omo Valley

Dark skin, white body paint from ashes, light breaking through the clouds in the sky - talk about the need to balance light, so it’s manual mode to the rescue.


To attain this look, I calculated the exposure that I wanted to achieve to manage the background, then began to work on the strobe power until I arrived at this balance (only took two shots).

I created some deep shadows by moving the strobe approximately 120 degrees off to the right of the camera. This angle picked up only a few highlights on the right side of the warrior’s head. While the left arm was nearly over-exposed, his face was spot-on with just a slight accent of light on his forehead. Dark skin with perspiration will almost always give way to specular highlights that have to be managed. It is all about balance and what you are trying to achieve.

For this shot, I wanted depth, a gradual flow from dark to light, while not losing focus on the stoic and somber look of the warrior as he stared into the distance. I also made sure that I caught both of his eyes.

Photo Tip: It is rumored that the eyes are the gateway to the soul. When photographing people, it is critical that both eyes are tack sharp – there is simply no room for error here.

Shooting data: Nikon D810, 70-200mm Nikon f/2.8 @ 82mm, ISO 100, f/6.3 at 1/250 sec, Profoto B1 with native reflector, approximately 100-120 degrees to camera right.

#Nikon #Profoto #B1 #Omovalley #Omo

Day 1 of 7 in the Omo Valley

Day 1 of 7 in the Omo Valley.

Just for fun, and some learning, I am kicking off several week-long one-a-day postings from my safari locations. To those of you who follow me, you might recognize some of the images from several years ago. It is always fun for me to revisit my adventures, sort of like unwrapping gifts.

The kick off posting is a series from the Omo Valley. I’ll be back there in November 2016 for another remarkable experience (two spots are currently available).

Taken from the banks of the Omo River, a Karo (or Kara) warrior proudly poses for me against stormy clouds.

Once you understand lighting ratios and something called the inverse square law, it is very easy to overpower the sun and obtain shots like this. Don’t be fooled, this image was not created a dusk – it is just about managing the ratios of light.

What about the rifle? Don’t worry, it can’t be fired. Most warriors obtain rifles and display them with pride, just as others around the world would display flashy jewelry. I have no clue what the numbers mean on the stock of the rifle. When I asked about the numbers, my interpreter’s interpreter was having trouble posing the correct question, so I gave up.

Nikon D4, Nikon 24-70mm @ 28, ISO 160, f.5 at 1/250 sec. Underexposed by 2 stops, Profoto B1 with exposure compensation set for +1, 3 foot octo modifier. Light was 90 degrees off camera to my right.

‪#‎Omovalley‬ ‪#‎Ethiopia‬ ‪#‎Omo‬ ‪#‎Profoto‬

They Did It Again

Hasselbald, who's been bringing back images from the moon and space for half a century just knocked another one out of the park, actually twice this year. Introducing the X1D-50c. I have been a Hassy shooter (non-sponsored) for the past four years using both the ccd and cmos sensors. As such, I can attest to the incredible images that I can pull out of the 50c sensor.

While in Iceland this past March, I was forced to shoot at very high ISOs to stop the motion of the aurora. I thought I was just wasting my time however, I was wonderfully surprised when I started processing the files. With the 50c, I had very little noise at ISOs up to 3200. What a treat and what cool images I was able to capture.

This year they pushed the envelope again with the H6D (the pro body) and now the X1d-50c, the worlds first mirrorless medium format camera.

For more details, just jump over to the Hasselbald site.

While I will have to wait and see if the X1D has a place in my kit bag, meanwhile I eagerly await my H6D.

Well done Hassy!

The Palouse

Just completed another fully booked Muench Workshop in the Palouse with my co-lead Mike Brandt. Loads of wonderful locations with incredible photographs taken by all. Weather was great and for several days, the clouds were epic. Don't miss next years adventure. Yes, we will be back in 2017!

Shooting details:
Hasselblad H5D, HCD 35-90mm @ 55, ISO 100, 1/500 sec at f/8.0

‪#‎Muenchworkshops‬ ‪#‎Hasselblad‬ ‪#‎Palouse‬


Allow me to share a few thoughts as I grieve for my best friend.

Today, the world is without another great and gentle soul. As I was boarding my flight at SFO enroute to Iceland, I received word that my best friend, Mark Dickerson, had suffered a fatal heart attack sometime late last night. Mark was found this morning by his office manager.

I met Mark some years back, but funny thing is I can’t really recall how we first met – how odd. We instantly hit it off and I soon became a partner in his studio photography efforts. Over the next several years, Mark consistently pushed me to develop my own type of signature lighting – so glad he did. He had a way of making me see the light in the studio as we completed numerous projects together.

Two years ago he left a successful position as an electrician to pursue the startup of a laser labeling company. He was just beginning to really take his new business to the next level and was totally excited about where he was heading.

Mark was the kind of guy that would help anyone in need at the drop of a hat, and without question. He would give you the shirt off of his back and never ask for it back. He inspired anyone that knew him or was around him. Always respectful, and a true gentleman - a man of strong core values.

Mark, I am sorry you passed all alone. I am so sorry I was not there for you. I hope you know how much your friendship meant to me. I will miss you forever!

Feeling helpless at 32,000 feet.

‪#‎markdickerson‬ ‪#‎northwestlaserpro‬