Photo of the Week, Vol. 2

This week my “Photo of the Week” is much different than last week’s. This image blends a “natural” element – rain – with artificial light, creating an image that is dramatic much like a movie scene. On Tuesday afternoon, Tristan, my good friend and talented photographer/cinematographer, and I were having one of our monthly, if not weekly, meetups at a coffeeshop in downtown Lawrence. We began talking about upcoming projects and where we’re looking to improve, but also the need to do projects that are fun – because that’s what it’s all about, right? For a year or so we’ve wanted to build a rain machine, essentially a device that allows us to create “rain,” adding a controllable natrual element that is typically impossible to work in with strobes – as my mom says “electricity and water do not mix.” So, on this 20 degree Tuesday, we finally decided to build our own DIY $15 rain machine (more on this later).

After two trips to Home Depot, one trip to Wal-Mart, two trips to both of our houses and a quick hangout with my cats we had all the supplies necessary to create our masterpiece. Several hours later our rain machine was complete and we were ready for our first test. When it comes to shoots in interesting environments – in this case, the freezing cold – Mackenzie is my go to subject. She’s incredible and this night she was stoked as ever even if it meant standing under a rain machine in dangerously cold temperatures.

By the time she had arrived the sky was dark over our set – Tristan’s backyard – and the temperatures we’re below 15 degrees. We fired off a few frames without Mackenzie, testing light, testing our “rain,” and finally it was time to throw her into the wintery mix. We shot 22 images that night, spanning a little over 13 minutes, and she didn’t complain once – her hair and face were literally frosting over.
Our final image is one of my favorites I’ve created because it’s different than anything I’ve done before perhaps because it was much more “controlled” than I’m use to compared to ordinarily photojournalistic portraits.
The image’s structure and content was untouched, only manipulations were color grading and a tighter crop.
The biggest thanks to Tristan Gramling and Mackenzie Leander, you two inspire me to push the limits of my photography.

Photo Specs:
- Canon 7D Mark II
- Canon 70 - 200 II IS (70mm, f/13)
- 2 PocketWizard MultiMax transceivers
- 2 Paul C. Buff Einstein Strobes with reflectors at about 1/2 power

Using Format