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In commercial photography – it’s all about getting the shot regardless the circumstances. There are more times than not that I will walk into a situation, have five minutes to conceptualize how to portray the subject interacting with the equipment/environment and formulate my pose/angle/lighting for the optimum impact.
The above pictured image was created at Sandia National Lab in Livermore, CA. The challenge was to capture a scientist with a small furnace used to test the heat durability of components and materials. Shooting from the inside of the furnace enclosure outward achieved my goal of featuring the technology and the researcher. This angle/lighting also created some mystery as to what was happening in the photo and hopefully baited the viewer to want to investigate further regardless of their interest or understanding of the technology.
The rear access panel of the furnace enclosure was removed to facilitate placement of the camera fitted with a 15mm fisheye lens. For safety reasons and not willing to risk my gear being exposed to the high temperatures of the furnace but wanting to keep the appearance of heat – I placed a Quantaray QDC900WA speedlight/Pocket Wizard with two layers of CTO gel inside the furnace well. Two Alien Bee 1600’s with strip boxes and grids were placed on either side of the scientist and another Quantaray QDC900WA with a blue gel placed on the floor to illuminate the background. With the scientist’s time so valuable – my assistant and I were only in the lab a total 30 minutes from set up to tear down. Canon 1Ds mkIII, 15mm f/2.8 fisheye lens, 1/160 sec @ f/18, ISO 640. Triggered via Pocket Wizard.