I went to Northern Cal for vacation on the week of June 29. I got a chance to meet up with my coworker/colleague/friend Patrick Hung, a former pro photographer. Patrick said he had a bunch of photography stuff that he no longer have a need for. I didn't know exactly what to expect and boy oh boy, all the goodies exceeded my expectations! First of all, a real backdrop plus 2 9' professional-grade backdrop stands... JackRabbit rapid flash charger (I'll need to get an adaptor for the SB-800/900 since the adaptor is for a flash in the film days), a *real* studio flash unit with light bulb+flash (WOW), a camera flash bracket, a bulb release extension that fits on my FE2 (this is a electro-mechanical film camera). I offered $ and dinner but Patrick was such a generous guy; he wouldn't take anything but thanks. THANK YOU PATRICK.
Here's the first trial using the low-key backdrop. Manual exposure at 1/200 sec, f/4, 200 ISO. 1 SB-600 under umbrella at 1/16 power, 1 SB-600 pointing upwards at 1/4 power, 1 SB-800 rimlight snooted towards the hair (on the left side) at 1/32 power:
Here's when the model stops behaving:
Here's the setup (this shows 2 umbrellas but the top 2 pictures only used 1):
By the way here is something I learned about velour-type backdrops. The Photek instruction sheet that came with the backdrop says something to the effect: "Don't fold or it'll crease. Just stuff it in the bag. If it creases, just hang weight and wait." I thought, wouldn't it be better if you fold it carefully and roll it up? After a few days of experimentation, it IS better to just stuff it in a random manner. The random crease pattern under flash actually gives out a natural marble-like texture. On the other hand, when you fold it, there is a very noticeable crease that the eye can spot easily. So, there ya go-- it's is [sometimes] better to be lazy-- just stuff it in and everything will just turn out fine!