I have the opportunity to earn some income with my D700. The pictures I'll be taking will be outdoors and indoors. I'm comfortable with outdoor lighting. However, taking indoor portraits and shots of customers, shelved items, produce, etc. in a natural food store are new to me.
Since the portraits and store shots will be less than 10 feet, will the built-in D700 flash suffice or do I need a speedlight? If I need a speedlight, which one would you recommend?
The 2 lenses I will use are the 80mm f/1.8 and the 24-70mm zoom. Am also considering getting the 50mm f/1.8 for this work.
I suspect it will be a combination of both. Some stills, informal portraits, small food set-ups, grab shots of customers sampling items, etc. Thankfully, I don't need to be an Annie Liebovitz with this project. The images will be used in a website, brochures, pictures hung in and around the store, and perhaps in a natural foods magazine or two.
I would recommend getting a Speedlight (Nikon SB-600, SB-800(Available used), or an SB-900). For shooting at 10 ft or so an SB-600 would be the least expensive and very competent option. A flash diffuer like the Gary Fong Lightsphere II Cloud will soften the light. If you plan on shooting in Portrait orientation, a flash bracket and SC-17, SC-28, or SC-29 TTL extension cord would also be a good idea. Good Luck and Enjoy your Nikons!
Thank you for the advice. I will be getting a speedlight and am focusing in on the SB900 or Sb600. As a preliminary to that, a friend of mine has offered to lend me his SB800 to get a feel for things and get the project off and running.
Since the sun has always been my source of light, this is a neew adventure, and who knows where it might lead.
Nick, If you only have one flash, I would also agree to use your pop up flash as a commander. Will your friend bring over the SB-800 beforehand so you can practice using it? Do you own a tripod? Or, have access to one? You may want to use a tripod for your staged product shots. You can dial down the ISO, shoot at a small aperture (to keep things in focus)& shoot at slow shutter speeds. I would also suggest, since you may only have one flash to bring along a piece of white foam core. Can be used as a bounce or fill. Will you be using the flash as the dominant light source, or fill? Will the store manager get the customers to sign a model release? If not, you may be responsible for doing so.
I plan to start with one speedlight and will figure out how to use the built in flash for a commander. I have some time with this and will have the opportunity to play around before things reach a serious stage. I've told the client that the best way to approach this is on a trial basis. If he likes the work, we can proceed forward. If not, then it's back to landscapes for me. He has visited my website and knows that I am an outdoor photographer. He is also willing to be patient with my learning curve.
Yes I do own a tripod (Manfrotto 055XB) with a tilt pan head (Manfrotto 229). Very sturdy. I will use the flash as the dominant light source, most likely with a diffuser. I have yet to discuss model releases with the owner. He has done this before but has not been overly satisfied with the image quality and compositions.
What I need to do soon is build on all the great suggestions given herein, start shooting to see where I am in the ballpark, and go from there.
Thank you for the great pointers.
Being part of the Nikonian community has been a great experience.
Nick, Do you have a cable release? If not, if you do use the camera on the tripod, you can put the camera on self timer, at least 5 seconds or longer, and depress the shutter. This way you are free to move about as long as the IR signal on the SB-800 flash is in sight with the pop up flash on the camera. May I also suggest you shoot in RAW. And look at food ads in your local newspaper to get shooting ideas or, go online, do a google search, and type in food pictures to also get ideas. Best of luck with your upcoming job. I would like to see some of the images if you don't mind posting them.
Sat 05-Dec-09 08:48 PM | edited Sat 05-Dec-09 08:49 PM by venusian
Yes I do have a cable release, use mirror lock-up, and plan to use that combination unless grab-type shots are needed in the store environment. There will also be a number of outdoor shots to connect the energy of natural foods with the loacl organic farmers/suppliers.
Your suggestion about looking at different printed media is a good one. I definitely plan to do so to get ideas, etc.
If I'm successful with this project, I will post some pictures.
Sun 06-Dec-09 03:03 PM | edited Sun 06-Dec-09 03:13 PM by ctadin
Nick, For your outdoor shots, with the store windows in the background, I would use a polarizer to minimize the reflections onto the glass. You may get a nice shot of the organic suppliers/farmers in the foreground (outside) with the shoppers in the store in the background. I am confident you will be successful with your upcoming shoot.