Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Shira & Jason's Engagement

A couple of weeks ago, my very good friend Jason told me about his plan to propose to his girlfriend Shira. His plan was to propose to her at the Fulton Ferry Landing near the Brooklyn Bridge at approximately 8:30 p.m. and then take her to the River Cafe for dinner.

Jason asked me if I could "surreptitiously" photograph the engagement so that he could surprise her with the pictures the next day. Of course I agreed.

In preparation for the shoot, Jason and I went to the Fulton Ferry Landing the week prior to check out the lighting conditions in the evening. What we found made for a very challenging photo shoot. There were NO LIGHT SOURCES on the pier of any kind. No lamp posts, nothing. The only thing providing any light at all was the moon. Needless to say, we could barely read our watches in the darkness.

I knew immediately that I would have to shoot at a slow shutter speed with a tripod in order to capture the lights of the Manhattan skyline. In addition, I would need to use a powerful flash in order to illuminate Shira and Jason from a distance of approximately 40-50 feet.

The equipment I used for the shoot was a Canon 5D camera, 70-200mm f/2.8L IS lens, a Canon Speedlite 580EX II flash, an external battery pack for the flash and a Bogen Manfrotto tripod. The external battery pack was necessary in order to provide fast recycling times for the flash in the 45-50 degree weather.

Jason proposed to Shira on Monday night and it went perfectly. She was so excited that she did not even notice the flashes going off. It was so dark that I had to quickly focus the lens manually for each shot as I changed focal length because the camera's autofocus did not work accurately in such low light at such a distance.

Here's a quick shot sequence:

Here's Jason giving me the "thumbs up". Congratulations Shira and Jason!!!

Photo info:
All photos in the sequence were taken at 1/6 sec., f/5.6, ISO 800, manual mode, ETTL flash at -2/3 flash compensation.
1) 70 mm focal length
2) 155 mm focal length
3) 155 mm focal length
4) 200 mm focal length
5) 90 mm focal length, slight panning.

1 comment:

JayEverett said...

Ed: You did a great job! Shira and I are thrilled with how the photos came out. -Jason and Shira