December Challenge: Day 11 – Cole Constantineau

Cole Constantineau

Here’s another co-worker of mine at Quartus Engineering — this time inside the office area. So if you’ve ever wondered what engineering looks like, this is it folks. We sit in front of our computers all day and listen to our iPods from time to time, occasionally getting up to raid the kitchen or doodle on the white boards.

I shot this at 13mm with my wireless flash behind me and to the right. I bounced the flash off the ceiling and diffused it with an Omni-Bounce to prevent terribly harsh shadows, but they’re still not as soft as I would’ve liked. The setting is in one of the bullpens (which is like an office without walls on two sides), but we’re facing the corner that has two walls so you still can’t really see what the office looks like.

Cole’s all time classic hobby is fly-fishing; he’s been at it for about 13 years now. In general he likes being creative. In the last 4 years or so he’s done things like build custom furniture, paint, compose and record music, work on cars, and play baseball. Cole has just been out here in SD for a year or so, and he had lived in the Fenway (in Boston) for the previous 6 years.

To see the rest of my December Challenge photos, check the “Challenge” category here on the blog or visit my Flickr Set.

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About Brian Auer

a photography enthusiast from North Idaho. He's also the guy behind the Epic Edits Weblog. As a hobbyist photographer since 2003, his passion has been to constantly improve his photography skill set, to share his own knowledge with others, and to become an integral part of the photographic community.

4 thoughts on “December Challenge: Day 11 – Cole Constantineau

  1. Brian Auer Post author

    Thanks Trevor, I’m kind of experimenting with it. The 10mm end is really tough to work with, especially close up because of the distortion. But the 20mm end is actually quite nice. I have one other shot in mind that I want to get with it… maybe tomorrow or the next day when I’m at my office in Carlsbad.

  2. Neil Creek

    Nice shot Brian. One of my favourites of your portrait project so far, for the same reasons as Trevor. I’m no expert in lighting, but I have a couple of suggestions:

    An omni bounce won’t do anything to soften shadows, but it will fill them. The quality of the shadow edge is determined by the size of the light source. An omni bounce acts like a bare bulb, throwing the light in all directions, and thus will do a nice job of filling in shadows from the ceiling bounce – such as under the eyes. It is still, however, a small light source, thus the shadows will be harsh.

    To soften the shadows you’ll need a diffuser of some kind. I’d suggest using a sheet of A4 or larger paper held a foot or so from the flash by an assistant (or stand if you have one). You need to be careful that the shadow of the paper covers the whole scene of course, or you’ll see a bright area where the omni bounce directly lights the scene.

    Also, since the screens are such a feature of the shot, I would have increased your shutter time to allow them to expose correctly. Of course for that to work you’d probably need a tripod, which you may not have, or be willing to lug into work.

    These aren’t criticisms, just suggestions, take them or leave them :) Nonetheless, I really like the shot, and am enjoying the project!

  3. Brian Auer Post author

    Hey Neil, thanks for the pointers with the flash and lighting! I need to work on my strobist game, so I welcome any advice and suggestions. Since I couldn’t get rid of the shadows entirely with the equipment I had, I figured I could at least position the flash to throw the shadow on the empty part of the wall and make it obvious. You’re right about those monitors, I think the shot would look a little better if there were more exposure in those screens — I hadn’t thought about that.

    Good eye Neil — thanks for the tips! And keep ‘em coming!

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