The Final Frame

I always find it interesting how frequently the very first, or the very last frame of a photo shoot turns out to be my favorite! Yesterday I had a really fun portrait session on Kiawah Island with the Zeifang family…an wonderful extended gathering of grandparents, children, and grandchildren. Towards the end of each portrait session, once I’ve got all the different combinations and group shots everyone wants, I try to shoot a few candids.

This shot of one of the grandchildren was the final frame and (you guessed it) my favorite image of the day. Don’t you just wish you could bottle some of that energy?!? 🙂  The photo was made with a Nikon D300.  I use that camera instead of one of the D3s when doing beach shoots because the sync speed is 1/320th instead of 1/250th.  So I get an extra 1/3 stop when balancing flash with the existing bright sunlight.  I used my new custom-made “Triple Tree” lighting bracket on a Bogen Manfrotto light stand to hold three SB-800 strobes.  Each was triggered with the RadioPopper Px system so that I didn’t have to worry about the bright light defeating Nikon’s CLS system.  I’ve found that ganging three flashes together allows me to use settings in the 1/8 to 1/4 power range, instead of maxing out a single flash at full power.  The benefit is I get much faster recycling time.  I placed the lights to my right, oposite the angle of the sun.  My lights became the main light, and the sun became the rim light.  To accentuate the height of her jump, I kneeled down as low as I dared in the surf.  ISO 125, 1/320, f11, 24mm on the 24-70 f2.8 lens.

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