There are endless tutorials and lessons in photography about “the rules” ( “the rule of thirds”, “fill the frame”, “don’t run with scissors”, etc.) There are also endless tutorials and lessons about breaking all those rules. This is a little different and, I guess, a confession.
In the above image I was going for an edgy/urban look for the Armorettes. The Armorettes are the dance team for the Springfield Armor who are the NBA D-League team for the Brooklyn Nets. The Nets dance team, the Brooklynettes (stay with me), are often photographed in an edgy/urban style. Being good team players we decided to follow suit.
The garage we used gave us a nice (edgy/urban) backdrop with plenty of deep perspective. Of course you see very little of that edgy, urban, deep perspective in this shot but sometimes it’s what you don’t see in an image, right? Isn’t that a rule or something? I digress.
The garage was open along the right side where the mid-day summer sun was blasting in. I wanted it dark so I adjusted my settings accordingly, which is where I started my “brush with the law.” I had two 580EX II speedlites set up off camera-right. They were staggered a bit to spread the light across all five ladies. I was unhappy with the way the light fell, there was too much of it. The flashes were shooting through diffusers to make the sources larger. In doing so, light was going everywhere. I didn’t want to use the lights without modifiers because I felt there wouldn’t be quite enough spill to go around.
Keeping the modifiers on, I decided to put the pedal to the metal and break the sync “speed limit.” Forgetting about High-Speed sync, the “speed limit” for my camera and its flash is 1/300. If you exceed that shutter speed you end up with an improperly exposed image (because you’re catching the entrance of the second curtain.) Luckily in this case the image is not completely improperly exposed. Only a portion of it is dark (the part I wanted dark.)
I used a 1/500 shutter speed for this shot. Any faster and the effect would have been too pronounced. It caused a wonderfully effective stripe of light across their faces and torso. You can almost see the effect around their waists. It kind of reminded me of the way they’d light starlets eyes in old movies.
I was speeding but I fought the law, and this time, I won.