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New feature for my website, How I Got The Shot – borrowed from my Instagram feed (@AnthonyMorganti).

*Click on the image to enlarge

This is our dog Archie. It was taken around 5-years ago when he was 8 years old.

This was taken in my house and as you can see I was going for a low-key image. Since I was at home, I didn’t have any backgrounds that I could place behind him so I sat him down in front of our flat screen TV. Of course the TV was off so the screen was very dark. He was around 4-feet in front of the set.

I only wanted flash to illuminate him — no other ambient light, so I adjusted my camera settings so that when I took a shot without flash, I got a black picture. Those settings turned out to be:

1/250sec, F8.00, iso: 100. That was my starting point.

I put an external flash, to camera left. It was pretty far over too. I’d say around 60-70 degrees to my left and I pointed it so the center of the flash would pass in front of Archie — just the edge of the light beam would graze his face. I didn’t want any flash hitting the TV behind my dog.

I had the flash on manual, 1/8th power and triggered it with a Cactus wireless trigger. The first shot was a little bright so I closed my aperture down to F9.0 for this, the perfect exposure. I could have reduced the flash power instead of adjusting my camera’s aperture but Archie would have moved when I got up — I wanted him to stay still. As it was, I actually had a bag of baby carrots on my head so he would look directly at me… really!⁣

Gear and final settings:⁣

Nikon D800e with Nikon 70-200mm F2.8 Lens, Nikon SB910 Flash and Cactus Trigger⁣⠀
Auto White Balance⁣⠀
Single point focus. Focused on Archie’s eye. ⁣⠀
Manual Mode⁣⠀
1/250sec, F9.0, iso: 100 at 165mm⁣

Processed in Lightroom — nothing out of the ordinary except, a bit of his collar was showing at he very bottom of the frame. I used a brush with exposure all the way down to remove the tiny bit you could see. ⁣

Today, Archie is 13 and very gray. I like to tell people that Archie is, George Clooney Distinguished Gray. I hope to recreate this image to show how different he looks now that he’s a senior.

Look for a new How I Got The Shot every week or so!


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